See below for my Testaccio Review: Distinct Regional Flavors
Neighborhood: Logan Square
- Caesar Salad
- Eggplant Couscous Tagine
- Orecchiette Cacio e Pepe
- Panna Cotta
Before I discuss the specifics, I am in awe of how Testaccio opened in the middle of a pandemic, but they did and they are here to stay! Testaccio was opened by the same owner as Osteria Langhe, which I absolutely adore, but they could have more vegetarian options. It definitely has more veg-friendly and pescatarian options than Osteria, which is wonderful because the food here is unique and flavorful.
Testaccio is inspired by owner Aldo Zaninotto’s travels to the neighborhood of Testaccio, Rome where he found parallels between the multiculturalism of Testaccio and that of Logan Square. With a lovely patio on a non-busy street, Testaccio is much more attractive to Logan-Squarites during the Covid-19 pandemic. I didn’t really see the inside but it looked charming and is similarly laid out to its predecessor Quiote.
First off, they have an extensive wine and cocktail menu. I started off with their Negroni and it was so delightful – it had herbal, flowery notes and went down smoothly! For the later part of the meal, I moved onto a dryer Italian red wine and it was the epitome of why I love dry red wines.
Their food concept is regional Roman (with accompanying North African vibes) shareable plates from a wood-burning oven. We started off with their creative interpretation of a Caesar salad with broccolini, bread crumbs, and a zesty, savory caesar dressing. It was a refreshing, acidic salad with a perfect texture. Broccolini has such a robust flavor that it wasn’t lost in the rest of the components.
Following the salad, our next plate was the Eggplant Couscous Tagine speaking to the muliticultural theme of Testaccio. I was veryexcited to see a Tagine in Chicago after going to Morocco a few years ago. The couscous was perfectly made and fluffy in its magesticness. I think the eggplant was swallowed in the couscous but it had plenty of herbs and pine nuts to keep it interesting.
However, the star of the meal was the Orecchiette Cacio e Pepe. It was still a smaller, shareable portion, but absolutely delicious in its simplicity. It had fresh pecorino and robust peppercorns sprinkled throughout. How is something that is as simple as butter, pepper and pasta so delicious!!? I don’t know, but Testaccio has it down.
Finally, for our dessert we had the Panna Cotta, which was an incredibly distinctive and sumptuous Panna Cotta! It had Turkish figs, cardamom, rose, and bee pollen. It was one of the best Panne Cotte I have ever had in my life!
If you want a charming, date night vibe while eating pasta and Moroccan couscous, then definitely hit up Testaccio before it gets too cold! They are also doing delivery and take-out if that’s a better option for you.
- Hungry for more? Check out more reviews here!