After one final day in Rome, we ended the night with one more group dinner with the employees of Gustolab at BellaCarne Kosher Restaurant. This restaurant served a Roman-Jewish cuisine and we had five dishes which was more than enough for us to leave with full and happy stomachs. While we waited for our food we were given red wine and water for our beverages.
In Italy, a full meal includes 5 courses: Antipasto (Appetizer), Primi (First Dish), Secondi (Second Dish), Contorni (Side Dish), and Dessert. Our antipasto was carciofo alla giudia. Carciofo alla giudia is deep-fried artichoke and one of the best-known dishes of Roman Jewish cuisine. In addition to this dish, for the contorni we were served salsa hummus with falafel and mixed friend vegetables. These two were the perfect combination of flavoring to start off our dinner.
For the primo piatto we had rigatoni with artichokes which is a perfect, light spring dish to have towards the beginning of our meal. The secondi was one of my favorites and called “lo stracotto ebraico Romano” which in English means the Roman-Jewish Pot Roast. This dish is composed of Italian beef braised with red wine and tomato sauce. Tom informed us that once this dish is eaten if there is a little tomato sauce left, it is commonly recycled and used as a condiment for pasta. A picture of this dish is included below.
Despite having already eaten four courses, we were excited to finish off our meal with dessert. For dessert we were served Crostata Marmellata di Visciole, which translates to ricotta and sour cherry crostata in English. It was a lemon-flavored shortcrust pastry that was filled with sour cherries and sweetened ricotta. This was the cherry on top (pun intended) to our meal and fulfilled all of our sweet-tooth cravings.
As everyone was finishing up their desserts, it began to sink in that this was our last meal all together before concluding the trip. To end the dinner Tom stood up and gave one last toast to our group, reminiscing on the week we spent together, and wishing us a farewell and safe trip home. As we walked out of the restaurant we began saying goodbye to our friends Lulu, Tom, and Pier Alberto from Gustolab and thanked them for all they did on this trip. We then left the restaurant with full bellies and began to go our separate ways for the night. We said some bittersweet goodbyes tonight as this was our final farewell with the whole group before we split up for the summer, or for the grad students, forever.
While there are a few of us who will be staying in Rome a little longer, the majority of us will head back home on a flight tomorrow. However, regardless of when we return, we will all come back to the United States with new knowledge and experiences that we can apply to our future careers and educations.
Blog by Sophia Soltwedel