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Published May 23rd 2021
A stand out 70s Italian wine bar
Nestled into one of the many cobblestone streets of Roma is what initially appears to be a tapas bar located in the historical neighbourhood of Tor di Nona in Rome's rione Ponte. Once you get a closer look, you realise this is not just a tapas bar but an extraordinary wine bar from wall to wall with a range to make the most experienced wine connoisseur a little intimidated. That said, the atmosphere inside the restaurant is one that is joy, laughter and a level of friendliness that is comforting for locals and travellers alike.
I had the pleasure of stumbling upon this haute wine bar when I was last in Rome with my husband, his best friend and his sister. After an early day of exploring the Vatican city and trawling through some Italian thrift shops, we came across Enoteca Cul De Sac. The first thing that drew me to this place was the food I could see on customers tables. Everything looked so fresh, tasty and thoroughly being enjoyed by patrons.
We managed to get an outside table under the iconic umbrellas and looked through the menu. Although some menu items were easy to understand, some we did require the skills of Google to see exactly what the dish would be visually. After much deliberation, we decided a bottle of wine and some share plates would do the trick.
Interior Wine Walls @ Enoteca Cul De Sac (Photo from Enoteca Cul De Sac Facebook Page)
Our friendly charismatic waiter first came to us with our wine options. Believe it or not, Enoteca Cul De Sac has an impressive selection of over 1,500 wines to choose from. I found this hard to fathom, however when I entered into the venue (as the ladies was downstairs), I saw the array of wines sprawled across the interior of the restaurant and was impressed.
After much deliberation and input from our waiter, we decided on a Tuscan wine that would go well with our Ravioli (spinach and ricotta from memory) and Burrata Pugliese (Italian for basil, fresh tomatoes and burrata cheese).
Burrata Pugliese @ Enoteca Cul De Sac (Photo by Praneel Lal-Beadnell)
The service was prompt, with our winemaking an appearance first followed by our dishes. We tucked into the white wine which was easy to drink with a hint of fruitiness without being overpowering in sweetness. The ravioli was delicious, the filling was exceptional and the condiments on the table (always fresh olive oil and Parmesan) were the perfect addition, however on this occasion, because of the flavour of the dish, only a slight drizzle of olive oil was needed.
Ravioli @ Enoteca Cul De Sac (Photo by Praneel Lal-Beadnell)
The ripe tomatoes and burrata with locally sourced basil was a refreshing taste. These were some of the most juiciest and sweetest tomatoes I had tasted throughout our Italian road trip, which complemented the slight salty taste of the burrata perfectly.
While we dined in the local tastes, we were able to people-watch as tourists and locals passed by with shopping bags, cameras and pizzas in hand. All in all, a wonderful spot to indulge in wines, pastas, cured meats and fresh cheeses.