BucaVino in Rome: Inspiration From Nonna’s Old Recipes

Behind BucaVino Restaurant are two siblings, Andrea and Francesca Romana Palmieri. They are the engines of the restaurant who keep the place running smoothly with an equal division of territories, Andrea, the chef, in the kitchen while Francesca, the sommelier, stays in the dining area. Prior to the opening of the restaurant in 2007 both didn’t have anything to do with the food sector. Andrea studied to be a doctor then he stepped into the role of a financial broker. Francesca instead went to Academy of Cinematography and Television and over the weekends worked in a restaurant, the same one that she and her brother now own.

“BucaVino was owned by a dear friend of mine,” says Francesca, “and when I learned that it was for sale, my brother and I took over it.” Andrea is the eldest of the two and immediately took this opportunity which he interpreted as if it were a sign of destiny. “We grew up in Rome but our family is from Leonessa, in the Rieti area. Here my grandfather was a maître d’, when doing this job still meant being a simple waiter. With his determination and his commitment,” Andrea adds, “he managed to ennoble his role and make it look like the most beautiful in the world in our children’s eyes.”

When the siblings decided to embark on this unexpected path fifteen years ago, Andrea went to culinary school then he continued with his master classes. In 2013, he was offered the position to become a teacher at the culinary school and with that, his former teachers are now his colleagues. Francesca on the hand concentrated on the wine and dining side. She became a sommelier after graduating from Fondazione Italiana Sommelier (FIS) and at BucaVino, she takes care of the cellar and the dining room.

The success of the restaurant is due to the siblings’ proficiency and passion for what they are doing. It’s a friendly place where you get excellent traditional food with wines that accompany the dishes well. The place, composed of three dining rooms, is always full of patrons (of course with less tables during this pandemic period) who enthusiastically savor the traditional Roman experience.

During the Covid total lockdown in Italy in the months of March to May 2020, Andrea found the old recipe book of their grandmother, preparations based on authentic flavors. Recipes that their grandmother used to cook for them as they sit and watch in front of the stove on waiting for the meals to be ready. This discovery has been fundamental in the next chapter of BucaVino as it became his source of inspiration for the creation of a new menu. He translated these recipes to a format that adapts well to the restaurant’s menu.

Appetizers (€5 to €15) include Smoked Eggplant Balls with Squid Marinated in Lime, Parmigiana with Eggplant and Mozzarella di Bufala D.O.P. and the Fried Anchovies with Puntarelle. For the Pasta dishes (€10 to €18), there are the Italian classics such as Carbonara, Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe, Matriciana and Gricia but there are also a couple of dishes, one based on fish, that the chef proposes depending on the ingredients he has that day. The Main Courses (€14 to €21) which are mostly meat-based have some delicious proposals like the Baked Suckling Pig with Potatoes, Chicken Cacciatora and the Mom’s Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes. Leave some room for the Desserts (€6 to €9) as they too are worth a bite. The Tiramisù with Osvego biscuits is Andrea’s dedication to his grandmother as he fondly remembers her coffee, milk and biscuits which, for the restaurant he transformed to coffee and milk ice cream with Osvego biscuits. One of the strengths of the chef is his freshly-baked bread which he prepares daily very early in the morning to be ready for the day’s consumption. The wine list, created and selected with care by Francesca, revolves around forty labels from different parts of Italy and particular attention is paid to those who respect the territory.

Among the good practices of BucaVino is the possibility to take home the unfinished bottle of wine and the leftover food. Takeaway food has become a part of the restaurants’ services in Italy during this pandemic and they have decided to offer the takeaway rotisserie, once abundant among neighborhood shops but almost nowhere to be found nowadays especially in their area. Roasted chicken, potatoes and lasagna made with quality ingredients are just some of the traditional proposals that can be ordered for takeaway.

BucaVino
Via Po, 45A
00198 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 068412803
Email: f.food@hotmail.com
Website: www.bucavino.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BucaVino/
For current opening hours, consult their Facebook page