I put on jeans! I put on makeup! Then I went to GiNa, a cute restaurant near Piazza di Spagna. It wasn't really a traditional Roman restaurant, more fresh and trendy. The ambiance was light, bright, and airy. Here's how my table looked as I waited for my food:
I read about it in some "insider's guide" as a great place to have lunch with your girlfriends. My girlfriends weren't available so I took myself. It wasn't the cheapest place, but for some reason I haven't had occasion to spend money recently -- hmm, whatever could have happened?! -- so I was way under budget for this month. I had a delicious salad, as pictured below:
Look at that delicious goat cheese. It was lightly warmed and soooo good. I also saw that you can reserve a picnic basket to take with you for an afternoon in Villa Borghese, which is just up the hill from the restaurant. Cute! (It costs €40 however.)
As I walked back to meet Emi and pick up the boys at school, I stopped at Ciampini to get gelato. Mariacarla had recommended it to me when I told her I was making a gelato tour of Rome. She was right. My flavors of choice were dark chocolate along with figs and walnuts. So good! Not too sweet but full of flavor. Behold:
Then, after a good afternoon with the boys, I set out once more. It was a red-letter day, after all, and I wasn't going to let any opportunity slip by. This time I went for an aperitivo. This is a nifty custom in which one pays a fixed amount (tonight it was €8.50) for one drink and a buffet of food. Some places you get one visit to the buffet, other places are all-you-can-eat. The quality of the food also varies. I went to Fluid, a bar near Piazza Navona that Emi had told me about. It's well-known for its aperitivo and features pretty substantial food on its buffet (pasta, vegetables, etc.) I thought it would make a nice supper. Here's what I ate:
That's white wine, by the way, even though it says "martini" in huge letters. Afterwards I got some eggplant and some meatballs. I wasn't quite sure if it was one of the all-you-can-eat places, but nobody seemed to mind. It was a good meal!
Now I am tired and happy. Unfortunately, I can already feel my legs aching. What a bummer. I started running again at the beginning of this month (I had to save up my money for running shoes, first) and just before I got the chicken pox I was really getting into it. In fact, the day before the virus hit I had gone on a nice forty-minute run along the river. (That was partly because I deviated from my route and got lost. It took me longer than expected to get back home. Teehee.) Now I have to start over. Oh well, a new challenge.
Oh, and if you didn't get enough food images today, tomorrow is the grand opening of Ladurée (a Parisian tea room famous for its macarons, light almond meringue cookies filled with ganache or something equally decadent...maybe I will have pictures tomorrow). I am so excited because I have been longing for some good macarons. There used to be a bakery in Annapolis that sold them, and from time to time I would drive the half hour downtown just for the special treat. What luck that a Ladurée should be opening in Rome during my time here!