Sherman's Food Adventures: Il Cuore di Napoli Ribelle

Il Cuore di Napoli Ribelle

Trying to avoid the usual tourist traps near the most popular sights in Rome, we decided to do a short walk from our hotel to a non-descript place called Il Cuore di Napoli Ribelle.  It was recommended by someone from Vancouver who is Italian.  Yep, once we got to the place, the outside was nothing special and the inside wasn't either.  However, looking over the menu, it featured some pretty good prices.  We ended up dining here for 63 Euros!  That already included a water charge and coperto.  Yes, we were aware that this is a Neapolitan restaurant in Rome.  But hey, why not try some other regions of Italian food?

We started with the Neapolitan Fried Specialties for 2 that featured Panzerotti, Palle di Riso, Potato CrocchĂ©, Montanare, Pasta Cresciuta and Mozzarella in Carrozza.  Yes, this was quite the cone of traditional Neapolitan street snacks and it was rather filling, even for 4 people!  I thought the best thing was the fried cheese as the breading was crunchy and there was enough cheese in the centre.  The same could be said about the potato croquettes as it had the same crunchy breading where the mashed potato filling was soft.  I do believe that the montanare could've used more sauce as it ate rather plain.

We wanted some meat with this meal, but not necessarily a steak since we already had one the night before.  We settled on the Grilled Pork Sausage with grilled veggies (zucchini, eggplant and marinated red peppers).  The sausage was meaty with chunks of meat and fat.  It was rather salty though and definitely was better eaten with bread.  As for the veggies, they were nicely charred but the eggplant was rather dry.  Loved the peppers as the tanginess was bright.

We also decided to share some pastas including the Linguine Gamberaccio that featured prawns, shrimp, garlic, cherry tomatoes and parsley.  I quite enjoyed this one as it was mild-flavoured but still had some shrimpiness accented by the garlic and olive oil.  The tomatoes helped bring acidity and some sweetness to the dish.  I found the shrimp to be firm but still had some rebound texture to them.  The prawns were a little overdone, but were still meaty.  Of course the pasta was done to al dente.

Our other pasta was the Orecchiette with sausage and Neapolitan broccoli.  We loved the firm texture of the orecchiette where there was some real bite to it.  There was plenty of crumbled sausage throughout.  It was the same from our grilled sausage dish and due to its saltiness, it provided plenty of flavour for the pasta.  Since Neapolitan broccoli wasn't in season, they probably used a jar/canned version and it was predictably softer in texture.  It did have the classic bitterness though.

Finally, we had one of their Neapolitan pizzas in the Capodimonte with tomatoes, mozzarella, smoked provolone, sausage, porcini mushrooms and rucola.  This featured a pretty decent crust with appealing chewiness and crispy edges.  The rest of the pizza was a bit soft but that could've been due to the amount of toppings.  After it was said and done, we were pretty full and we didn't spend a lot of Euros.  Was the food amazing?  Well no, but it was serviceable and we didn't mind it.

The Good:
- Inexpensive
- Serviceable eats
- Decent service

The Bad:
- You don't come here for the ambiance

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