About Taste of Rome
Where to go: For an atmosphere that combines Sausalito-style Bohemian with wireless Internet service and earthy, solid Italian fare, Taste of Rome is unique.
Inside: Windowed doors on three sides, open to the air in season, give the place an indoor/outdoor feel. Sit near the window or at sidewalk tables to watch the scene on Bridgeway and be part of that distinctly Sausalitan quality of chic, semi-urban waterfront community. Tables are dark wood, big enough to hold both food and a laptop, and chairs are comfortable. What makes the atmosphere most distinctive is all the light and air, the wood-burning pizza oven, viewable at the take-out gelato counter, and the people-watching, which is some of the best in the county.
What to order: The menu features egg dishes and other breakfast fare and a sturdy range of Italian-style sandwiches, pastas and pizzas. On a recent lunch, my favorite dish by far was a wood-fired pizza called the Sausalito. A layer of pesto, with fresh spinach leaves, chunks of chicken and plenty of mozzarella covered a thin, chewy crust that smacked of the oven’s smoky intensity. It was tasty and filling.
Lasagna Bolognese was a brick-sized, brick-colored hunk of food, heavy on the noodles and pepper. I liked the antipasto salad, an assortment of meats and cheeses with olives, onion rings, fresh tomatoes and red peppers, over just enough lettuce to allow it the name “salad.” Unfortunately it was fresh out of the refrigerator, with the gelid overlay hat comes with too-chilled food. If you have time to let this dish come to room temperature (20 minutes or so) you’ll have a better experience. Paninis, served hot or cold and with a good selection of fillings, seemed to be the most popular dish.
At the lunch: You may come across everyone from travelers just off a cruise ship in San Francisco to families to lots of solo diners. I counted five people eating and working away on their laptops at a recent meal. This cafe is a hangout, so there are many regulars, and the requisite number of folks lingering over a coffee and a newspaper.
Directions and parking: Taste of Rome is on Bridgeway between the Sausalito/Marin City exit and the Alexander Avenue exits on 101. Metered street parking..