Checchino dal 1887 Via di Monte Testaccio 30
http://www.checcino1887.com email: checchinoroma.it
Open from 12:30 to 15:00 and from 20:00 to 24 Closed Sunday night and all day Monday
The Mariani Family has owned the restaurant Checchino dal 1887 since it opened in 1887. Francesco Mariani takes care of the front of the house while his brother Elio is in the kitchen.
Considering the wine and the food, it is the best restaurant in Rome with over six hundred wines from Italy and all over the world. The wine is kept in a cellar that was dug into Monte Testaccio, a hill made from broken amphorae, which dates back to Ancient Rome.
The slaughterhouses of Rome used to be located here and the restaurant still specializes in the innards and other spare parts, called the quinto quarto, which the poor people used to eat.
Michele and I first came here 33 years ago and come back every time we are in Rome, which is very often. There is an outdoor space but we prefer to sit inside.
I enjoy speaking with Francesco about wine and like his recommendations. He knows I like older red wines from the area around Rome, especially Fiorano Rosso, Torre Ercolano and Colle Picchione, which are now almost impossible to find, so whenever I come to Rome, he searches his cellar to see what he can find. In February it was a 1971 Fiorano, and the year before a 1983 Colle Picchione. This year he said that he found another bottle of the 1983 Colle Picchione and of course I wanted it.
Colle Picchione 1983, Paola di Mauro, made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The wine consultant at the time was the legendary Giorgio Grai. The wine consultant today is Riccardo Cotarella. The wines were aged in large oak barrels. I have visited the winery twice and both times drank the 1985 vintage. The 1983 had hints of leather and cherry with a very long finish and great aftertaste. It was as good as it was last time I had it.
Tortino di pere e noci, a spiced pear cake with nuts and chocolate sauce.
If you go, ask for Francesco and take his advice on both the food and the wine. Be sure to ask if he would show you the wine cellar.
Checchino 1887 was one of the restaurants that took part in the Bio*Sagra for children, held at Fattoria Fiorano to benefit the Hospital Bambino Gesú https://charlesscicolone.wordpress.com/2016/10/04/fiorano-for-kids/
Here is a picture of Francesco serving the pasta e ceci at the event. Michele really likes this.
Mercato Testaccio (Testaccio Market) is just across the street from the restaurant and worth a visit. It is closed on Sunday.