Every time I am in Rome, I must eat lunch at Al Moro. After many visits, and bringing illustrious friends over to lunch, I finally get a smile and recognition from the very stern Moro (quite an achivement).
I thought I'd share Mimi Sheraton's writing on the place, since she does it so much better!
Excerpt from "The Bounty of Rome"
By MIMI SHERATON Published in the New York Times on March 26, 2006
"Since my first visit to Rome in 1953, I have begun restaurant rounds at Al Moro, a smartly compact, sophisticated spot displaying portraits of celebrity habitués like Federico Fellini and other denizens of Cinecittà and the literary world. Despite the coolly detached management attitude that Italians describe as strafottente, and the attempt to relegate foreigners to a separate room unless they specifically ask not to be, I am instantly disarmed by the temptations presented at the entrance. In season they might include fresh porcini, the egg-shaped white ovoli funghi, white truffles from Alba, cheeses, corallina and always prosciutto with its earthy, burnished flavor. Oddly, waiters are friendly and accommodating, suggesting the perfect artichokes alla Romana followed by thick bucatini strands in a refined amatriciana sauce (named for Amatrice, the Lazio town of origin) with bits of guanciale, onion and tomato. Or it might be spaghetti Al Moro — we recognize it as carbonara — which according to house legend was created here after World War II to please American G.I.'s who ordered spaghetti, bacon and eggs. More likely, it originated in the Apennines where lumbermen cooked this simple pasta over fires of wood charcoal — carbona. Consistently, Moro has also had the best spaghetti with clam sauce in the city, made with the tiny, greenish veraci clams that Romans adore, and sometimes at lunch, a coarse, garlicky cotechino sausage nested on broccoli sautéed with garlic and olive oil. Main course winners on my last visit were the Roman roasted lamb, abbacchio with rosemary-accented potatoes, fork-tender oxtail in an airy tomato sauce, and butter-gilded sautéed sweetbreads with mushrooms. Fortunately we had just enough room for what must be the world's most scrumptious babà, the rum-soaked yeast bun, here doused with satiny zabaglione."