Costrini Italian Flavor, a delicatessen, lunch spot and trattoria in Rome’s Nomentana – Conca d’Oro neighbourhood offering a taste of Abruzzo, is a place for all seasons.
During this unusual period of lockdown in Rome, Costrini continues to serve its customers through its delicatessen, selling fresh products including cheeses, cold cuts and more, plus store cupboard essentials ranging from pasta and rice to oil.
Management recommends that you call ahead on 0689761092, specifying whether you would like its produce delivered to your door, or if you plan to pop by the store. Home delivery is free for a spend over €30.
And for Easter, Costrini is preparing a special selection of ‘feast’ packs starting at €29, perfect for the whole of Easter weekend in Rome. These include classic Easter cakes and treats such as colomba, casatiello and pastiera, as well as cheese, salamis and even lamb sourced in Abruzzo. If you would rather buy goods individually, you can choose items such as the classic colomba (€18), casatiello (€25 al kg), corallina (€25 al kg), small pastiera (€10), large pastiera (€20) – see Costrini’s Facebook page for details.
In the meantime, read on for the full story of how the Costrini family came to Rome, and a full review of their new trattoria experience, which will be available again as soon as the quarantine period ends in Rome!
The Costrini story
Owned and managed by the Costrini family, hailing from the Abruzzo region, Costrini Italian Flavor opened in 2009, just after the earthquake that devastated L’Aquila. ‘We had a very difficult time: we already had two eateries and all restaurant owners were brought to their knees by the consequences of that natural disaster,’ says Michele Costrini.
Before launching in the capital, the Costrini family already owned a typical restaurant and a bakery in the Abruzzo region, both of which are open to this day. The format brought to Rome by Michele is, instead, a hybrid between a classic delicatessen, with glass counters filled with all manner of cheeses, salamis, sandwiches and pastries, and a local eatery, serving hot lunches in a dining area that becomes a restaurant by night.
From first light, Costrini serves its north Rome community: dealing black bullets of coffee and frothy cappuccinos along the narrow counter with home-baked pastries and cakes. Look out too for parrozzo, a handsome, domed almond sponge cake topped with chocolate, typical of Abruzzo.
Late morning, pizza slices and other baked goods take over the counter, while locals drop in to complete their grocery shopping with cheeses and cold cuts from all over Italy, plus wine and vegetables stored under oil. Costrini also delivers on lunch with a typical pasta, rice or vegetable primo, such as carbonara or ravioli,starting at a very reasonable €7, plus second course dishes combined with a side dish from €8. Amongst the lunch options are arrosticini, grilled threaded skewers of mutton, synonymous with winter weekends Abruzzo.
Recently, Costrini bought the shop next door, knocking through to expand the store and create a real dining room at the back, which becomes a charming trattoria after dark. The focus on excellence continues with a menu inspired by the charms of Abruzzo, and also distinguished by an excellent steakhouse list, featuring Polish, Danish, Scottish and Italian steaks, all dry-aged from 30 to 90 days.
Look out for five different kinds of arrosticini: liver, lard, classic, beef and truffle, and a choice of first, second courses and desserts which goes far beyond the lunch menu. I recently went to try dinner at Costrini, so read on for the highlights!
Our evening started with a selection of yummy antipasti dishes, including this comfort food favourite of baked scamorza cheese with anchovies from the Cantabrian sea. This sharing portion costs a very reasonable €10. Other tasty starters included tripe, meatballs in tomato sauce and parmigiana di melanzane.
Next, we moved onto a selection of pasta dishes that didn’t disappoint. First up, these oversized ravioli stuffed with porcini mushrooms are served in a delicate cream sauce (€13) and provide hearty goodness.
While a strong tradition of Abruzzo cuisine runs through the menu, there are hearty, rustic dishes from all over Italy, like these homemade Tuscan pici. Served with a white lamb sauce, this dishes combines the strengths of both regions (€13).
We also tried these immense stuffed pasta shapes inspired by a recipe of Grandma Costrini. Filled with beef and served with a rich tomato sauce and shavings of cheese, they are perfect for tackling a mountain! (€13).
You can’t visit Costrini Italian flavor without trying the arrosticini. We went for the classic mutton version, piping hot from the grill and jucy with tender meat and fats. Unmissable and reasonably priced, starting at €1 each.
The meat dishes are sourced from the finest local estates and this selection of boned lamb didn’t disappoint.
Costrini Italian Flavor knows a thing or two about comfort food. This arrosticini burger, filled with roasted potato, spreadable ventricina salami and melted scamorza cheese might just about finish you off (€10)!
If you still have room for dessert (I know you do)., the homemade sweets are all satisfying and different. We tried a potted fruits of the forest cheesecake and excellent creamed desserts with candied peel and chocolate chips.
You can’t finish dinner at Costrini Italian Flavor without a shot of genziana, the mythical after dinner amaro made from the protected roots of wild gentian. Its bitter depths, overlaid with sweetness, are unmistakable!
All in all, Costrini Italian Flavor is a fantastic address to keep up your sleeve when in the Via Nomentana / Conca d’Oro neighbourhood. Well priced and full of delicious options for any time of day, it offers a taste of Abruzzo, but also so much more!
Testaccina was a guest of Costrini Italian Flavor
Costrini Italian Flavor | Via val Maggia, 40 | 00141 Rome | Italy |0039 0689761092