Though the Professor can't stand Rome's beaurocracy, general lack of efficiency and rampant favoritism (add the stalking ex to the mix and it is visceral) he yet again found himself in love with the contemporary city last Saturday. We were out shopping for shoes in a neighborhood definitely not associated with any postcard. The 'hood centers around a long and ugly road full of shops, which are probably even lower rent than the rest. Some might say slumming, my mom would say smart shopping.
On this unattractive road is Rome's best fish store. And how do I know? Aside from the fact that it is always crowded and the volume turn-over hints that they cater to restaurants, they have neonati (newly born fish) my favorite sea delicacy. I've had the privilege of eating neonati in Sicily, which deigns me a neonati snob. The first time, they were served raw with a little of lemon and olive oil (bianchetti), just prior to the freshly caught, steamed octopus. More often, I have eaten them lightly fried in a mixture of egg, flour and salt, with a spritz of lemon, neonati fritti. My rule of thumb is that unless in Sicily, neonati are not worth it.
The Professor, however lost in the 3rd century and angry at the 21st, decided he would go out on a limb and make neonati fritti as an antipasto to our spaghetti con fasolari. Did I not mention that the pescivendolo also has those gorgeous coral-pinkish clams that have an oddly large, orange foot/tongue? Yes, this spot is that good and the Professor bragged about it all the way home. It was about time he talked about something he actually likes in present day Rome. I was getting bored with the predictable complaints.