Ai Tre Scalini

More than ten years ago, while the apartment was being renovated, we stayed in the wonderful neighborhood of Monti, on Via Panisperna.  The street has a particularly interesting history. One of the things we discovered on the street was a sweet little wine bar where it seemed half of Rome would be hanging out on a Friday or Saturday night, Ai Tre Scalini.* This place remains one we enjoy every time we visit it.

On weekends you’ll often find the restaurant obscured behind a crowd of people mingling out front in the narrow one-way street, waiting for a table, or for friends to show up, or smoking. They’re often drinking while they wait because there is always an interesting and affordable wine-by-the-glass list. So, check out the chalkboard when you enter!

Blink and you’ll miss it, the entrance to Ai Tre Scalini

You enter through a small bar section, but there is more spacious seating in the back.

The bar area

 

The first dining area

 

More dining area, looking in from the street

When we were here in March this year, they had the doors open for air circulation, and we enjoyed the light breeze.

Service is always friendly. Since it was a weekday, service was also prompt — weekends might take a bit longer. Our first need was a couple glasses of wine, though they also have a selection of craft beer. After happily starting on our wine, we turned to food. The food is simple but good quality, and always delicious. We tend to order a few starters and small plates, and then just order more if we are still hungry. Like most places in Rome, the post-Covid menu is smaller than it once was, but still has plenty of choices for our taste.

We started with a little bowl of sausage with truffle (4€), which disappeared before we even remembered to take a photo. But from then we moved on to cheese, meat, and more meat.

Cheese with walnuts and honey (8.5€), perfect with crusty bread (1€)

 

Meatballs in sauce (9€), also perfect with crusty bread

 

Porchetta (8.5€), perfect with… well, you know. Tip: ask for the mustard, too.

After just a few small plates and glasses of wine, we were too stuffed for dessert — even though they always several options that are good and inexpensive at around 5 euros. Maybe it was all that crusty bread. Nonetheless, the entire experience made this another pleasant evening in a cozy, friendly, and reasonably priced little spot we always love going to.

Ai Tre Scalini is open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Unlike so many places in Rome that limit booking to within 30 days, Ai Tre Scalini takes reservations several months in advance. So, do yourself a favor and book a casual evening at this wonderful little spot. Drink, eat, and drink and eat some more.  Then have a wander through the neighborhood. You can even walk back to the apartment from here if you want, maybe while enjoying a gelato on the way.

* Not to be confused with the more famous Ristorante Tre Scalini at Piazza Navona, which is a bit of a tourist trap.