While most visitors to Rome will think food around here is just about pizza and pasta, the latest trend of street food in the "Eternal City" proves very much otherwise. With an ever-changing food scene, there's a focus of late on sourcing the best organic or sustainable 0KM produce and bringing it to the masses.
And in Trastevere – often unfairly disregarded as a dining tourist trap – nobody is doing it better than Pianostrada.
Open for less than a year, Pianostrada Laboratorio di Cucina is aptly named. In Italian, laboratorio di cucina literally means "kitchen lab," and when you walk into this tiny, hole-in-the wall sandwich shop and street-food bar in Trastevere, you’ll totally understand why.
The focaccia is simply divine, and it's the best way to start your visit at Pianostrada Laboratorio di Cucina — Photo courtesy of HeartRome
Small like a lab, with an open kitchen and bench stools, there’s more than a chemistry that makes this place just buzz.
A feast for the eyes and appetite, Pianostrada is owned by Paola Colucci, her daughters and her friend Chiara Magliocchetti. Yes, in a climate of economic decline in Italy, these four courageous women decided to take a leap of faith and follow their foodie dream.
Magliocchetti and Colucci serendipitously met at a cooking class at a time when they had both decided to take on a new challenge in life.
Colucci says she worked for over 25 years in the professional services sector but felt like she was in a prison. Unhappy in her job, with food and cooking being her ultimate passion, she says the idea for Pianostrada was born from her desire to bring her home cooking to life.
"I wanted to bring my own kitchen and cooking to other people," says Colucci.
With all food created express and right before your eyes, showcasing the freshest and most unique of ingredients, the team prides itself on quality.
"I would never let a diner eat what I wouldn't eat," Colucci says.
The menu at Pianostrada features gourmet sandwiches, salads and generally a pasta and main course special of the day. It changes daily and seasonally to reflect product availability.
All of their bread, including the amazing Pugliese-style focaccia, is baked on site, and most types are left to levitate for hours.
Some of the sure crowd-pleasers include:
- Focaccia with prosciutto and figs
- Pane Mare (squid ink bread sandwich with smoked swordfish, fig buffalo mozzarella, pink peppercorn and rosemary olive oil)
- Bacca Burger (squid ink bread bun with a baccalà patty, zucchini flowers and homemade egg mayonnaise)
- Fish & Chips (tuna croquettes with lemon- and thyme-infused ricotta served with potato chips)
- Porchetta sandwich with radicchio, orange, mint and dijon mustard
- Eggplant stack of roast tomatoes, red onions from Tropea, burrata and basil
- Buffalo ricotta mousse with pears (made by Alice, who's in charge of sweets!)
You'll want to try it all, and having your food prepared while you watch and seeing these wonderful women interact is all part of the fun!
Pianostrada Laboratorio di Cucina is another feather in Trastevere's cap, bringing real credibility to the food and dining scene of the neighborhood.
These gorgeous women welcome you like friends. Their passion and energy is contagious, while their creativity and determination are beyond admirable.