Warehouse diner in hip foody Testaccio

To find out why Testaccio has its finger on the pulse of Rome, check out the ‘UI Areas of Rome’ page. I often passed by Porto Fluviale and wondered about the cheerful commotion inside with decor reminiscent of a spruced up 50’s boat house. The name is taken from the Ancient Roman port meaning ‘River Port’. There is a taste for every bud here with many quirky popular Italian dishes alongside American staples. Vintage meets current here with shining tile, military lamps and bebop jazz swinging below a pleasant din. Wooden decking and benches are contrasted with sharp and sleek metal fixtures. People come to look good and socialise as much as they do to eat. The setting is a vast 900 metres industrial warehouse from the area’s working class origins. Different cooking stations (including a pizzeria and Trattoria) are slotted together like pieces of a greater puzzle. This creates a social hub with little pockets of merrymaking, complete with slanted spy mirrors to see and be seen.

This place reeks of style, even the water was bottled in name brand milk bottles.  New food is like a birthday present for me and here I wasn’t disappointed. First we shared a springy round of bufala mozzarella. It was deliciously salty like all true bufala, but with a sensuous buttery taste to simply languor over. Next we tried a dish I hadn’t tried before but is often seen in Rome in little rotisseries along with roast chicken and grilled veggies. Stuffed tomatoes filled with rice and a side of roast potatoes is a simple but nostalgic dish. I could almost say that Italian roasted potatoes, cut small and drenched in oil are better than Irish. Next was heady scamorza cheese with a melty texture and earthy taste like that of white cheddar, wrapped in edible lemon leaves. How delightfully different. The drinks list is accomplished with many imported beers to complement your meal.  We arrived at 8pm and were just lucky to not have to wait, on our way out the crowds had descended. The price for appetiser, main and litre of house wine was €17 each. Open every day 10.30am – 2am, Via del Porto Fluviale, 22. http://www.portofluviale.com

In this artistic hip area, there is a lot more to see and do, search keyword tab for ‘Testaccio’.

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