Vincenzo Mancino has only one thing on his mind: promote the best that the Lazio region has to offer. He does this by protecting and showcasing small food and wine artisans.
As a scout of prime Lazio products and founder of the Centocelle ProLoco DOL – Di Origine Laziale brand in 2005, with the support of Alessandro Salatino, Marco Natoli, and Elisabetta Guaglianone––his partner in life, too––Vincenzo recently launched a new revolutionary dining destination in Rome. A central outpost dedicated to the same quality of the region’s culinary heritage promoted in Centocelle: say hello to ProLoco Trastevere.
In the less noisy, crowded side of the Rione, steps away from Piazza San Cosimato and around the corner from Les Vignerons wine shop, Trastevere can now finally count on its own ProLoco DOL format. Finally a brand new restaurant that brings together the legacy and philosophy of the Centocelle flagship to Trastevere. One that’s due to become one of our favorite hangouts.
The base formula is the same as in the Centocelle headquarters: a shop with excellent Lazio products, typical local cuisine and pizza. But there’s more. Three aspects make ProLoco Trastevere different and unique: the cocktails served at aperitivo time created by Christian Novacco; the Josper oven, ideal for charcoal-grilling meat dishes, and the menu consisting of dishes cooked directly in the wood-stoked oven, served in practical single-portion earthenware bowls. These can be cleverly paired with Novacco’s signature cocktails made with local liquor producer Sarandrea.
DOL fans will find their beloved grazing boards featuring cheese and cured meats (don’t miss the homemade mortadella!) plus the special selection of cheeses made by the female inmates of the Rebibbia prison creamery Cibo Agricolo Libero. The rest of the menu focuses on perfectly executed traditional Roman and Lazio dishes, among which DOL classics: gricia, amatriciana, pappardelle (crafted by pasta-master Mauro Secondi) dressed with tomatoless Magalitza pork ragout, juicy meatballs, roast rabbit and pork shin braised in beer. The kitchen is in the talented hands of Roberta Virgilio, and the excellent pizzas and focaccias are baked in the wood-fired oven by pizza chef Simone Raponi. Pies are light and digestible, prepared with a dough that’s left to rise for more than 72 hours, and then topped with delicious Lazio ingredients.
Open daily from noon to 1AM, ProLoco Trastevere is spacious and comfortable, divided into three main levels: the lounge at the entrance, furnished with comfy chesterfield sofas, where guests can enjoy signature cocktails and appetizers; the restaurant area near the open kitchen, and the pizzeria area which seats a total of 80. In addition, located above the cocktail bar, there’s a raised loft where private tastings and cheese, wine, beer and cocktail appreciation courses can be hosted.
Trastevere today, like it was in the past, is one of the most colorful and typical neighborhoods of Rome. Its inhabitants, the trasteverini, were for a long time identified as a separate population compared to the rest of the Romans. Almost all led a very simple life and were known for their genuine nature. If you’re lucky, and find yourself in the right places, this is where you can hear the authentic Roman dialect being spoken by older generations.
Walking through the narrow streets that characterize Trastevere, at every corner you’ll find typical taverns and crowded osterie: Trastevere is one of the busiest areas of the city. Both in the evening and during the day, the Rione is frequented by tourists, foreign students, youngsters capturing the charm of the neighborhood: the gilded mosaics on the facade of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, the tree-lined Piazza Sant’Egidio, people-watching at Piazza della Scala, sitting on the steps in Piazza Trilussa, drinking a sgroppino at Bar San Calisto…
But at the end of a leisurely stroll away from the crowds, discovering the real face of Trastevere, the elegant avenues, the cobblestone streets and secret alleys tucked away from the piazzas on the quieter side of the neighborhood, the relaxed, intimate and stylish welcome at ProLoco Trastevere will make you feel like you’ve come home.
Via Mameli, 23
Tel. +39 06 4559 6137
Eleonora Baldwin is a TV host, journalist, and culinary connoisseur based in Rome, Italy. Her writing appears in several food and travel publications. Her show “ABCheese” is broadcast on Italian food network Gambero Rosso. She loves guiding culturally curious, food-passionate travellers seeking experiences in Italy beyond the guidebook.