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DLR DopoLavoroRicreativo in Frascati
Some restaurants are worth traveling for. DLR in Frascati is one of them.
Located a quick train ride from Roma Termini, Frascati is one of the Castelli Romani, a group of hilltowns located southeast of the city. The area is known for wine production.
In fact, as you step off the train, you’ll be greeted by a fountain depicting a barrel crowned with a bunch of grapes.
Chef Jacopo Ricci and his team prepare dishes that highlight the best ingredients of the season. The food is procured from local producers and served up alongside a selection of wines, many of them natural.
The ambiance in DLR is informal and slightly rustic, with wood paneling and simple decor. It’s the kind of place that’s focused on conviviality and food.
How to get to DLR
The train ride from Roma Termini to Frascati takes about 30 minutes.
It’s important to note that sometimes the train to Frascati leaves from the cursed platform 20 Bis, which is located out in the back of the station, after regular platform 20. You have to walk alllllll the way down platform 20 and out from under the roof that partially covers the tracks to find it. I’ve had multiple near-misses and once actually missed the train to Frascati because it takes longer to get there than you think it will!
Don’t worry though, sometimes the train leaves from the regular platforms, too. Unfortunately, you’ll only know for sure once you get to the station and check the board or screens. My advice is to get there EARLY.
Once you arrive at the station, you’ve got a five-minute stroll down Via Mamiani to get to DLR, which is on Via Nino Bixio.
The menu at DLR
Owing to the focus on seasonality, the menu changes regularly. I also went once for a pranzo della domenica, or Sunday lunch, a multi-course, prix-fixe meal that you should absolutely wear stretchy pants to.
I can’t say what will be coming out of the kitchen when you go to DLR, but I can do a little “show and tell” of what I’ve had there.
Jeremy and I initially went because we were staying in Frascati for a weekend to check out a wedding venue (the gorgeous Merumalia Wine Resort, which we loved but couldn’t book because our number of guests was too high), and also to escape the blazing Roman heat by sitting poolside at our hotel or inside our hotel room with the aircon blasting.
A friend of mine that knows chef Jacopo at DLR encouraged us to go, so we did, and we liked it so much that we ended up going back the next night. Normally we try multiple places when traveling, but going to the same place more than once allows you to really get a feel for it and make sure you have a solid recommendation for friends and, of course, blog readers.
So, the first night we went, they were running a special Abruzzese menu. I had sagne e fagioli, and Jeremy had sausage and greens. All great.
Night two, we split a plate of pasta with a white meat sauce and then each got a secondo piatto.
I ordered DLR’s take on pollo alla romana. Typically, the dish consists of stewed chicken and bell peppers, but DLR fried the chicken (thighs) and served it with whole peppers (green). I loved the combo of familiar flavors in a different format.
Jeremy ordered pork, and when I say it was the most delicious pork I have ever tasted, I’m not exaggerating. It was so tender. I tasted it, and then gazed so longingly at his plate for so long (while repeating “woooooooow, that’s soooooo goooooooooood”) that he ended up trading me. It’s just one of the many reasons I married him (not for giving me that pork, specifically, but kind of).
That night, we also indulged in an icy chocolate mousse with frozen flakes of raspberry.
The Sunday lunch I went to included a baked pasta, bombette pugliesi and a sweet slice of torta della nonna.
Another time, I had pasta with zucchini flowers, perfect for a warm night, and my friend had cannelloni, perfect all the time.
DLR: a punk rock restaurant
References to Italian punk and rock music can be found in the restaurant (its tagline is a nod to the band CCCP – Fedeli alla linea), but there’s something else about the place that embodies the punk rock spirit: Ricci pays his employees a high wage, offers them contracts, and provides them with good working conditions overall. In a world of unpaid internships and underpaid staff, that’s pretty rebellious, if you ask me.
Stellar food and happy workers? As a food-lover and a former server, I have one thing to say: More, please.
Information on DLR
Address: Via Nino Bixio 1, Frascati
Phone: +39 06 630640