Some of you may know that I am not too fond of Spanish food. That’s not any fault of the Spanish. I also don’t like French food very much. Maybe the fault is all mine!
My wife is much less finicky than I. She loves all kinds of Asian food and most types of sea food and almost anything that I consider too spicy. Consequently, we often split up when it comes time for dinner.
But we both love Italian food and that’s why we also frequently find ourselves looking for a ristorante, no matter what country we may happen to be in.
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We have found good Italian food everywhere we traveled in the last few years. In Barcelona a couple of years ago we found a couple of nice Italian restaurants (one was on La Rambla near that recent massacre) and in Paris in 2014 we found a delightful restaurant (Marco Polo, see here) just up the block from our apartment on Rue de Conde. And last year in Edinburgh our Irish relatives took us to a classy Italian restaurant on George Street.
But one day when we were visiting Ponferrada in May of this year a ristorante found us. We had just toured the Templars Castle and were walking back through Old Town when it began to rain. We had just passed the old clock tower (torre del reloj) on Calle del Reloj between Plaza Virgen de la Encina and Plaza Ayuntamiento when we noticed an Italian pizzeria and ristorante to our left and we instantly made the decision to go indoors and have our main meal of the day right then and there.
The place is called Trastevere and we were pleasantly surprised to find it both spacious and cozy as the waiter led us back to an average-sized room that was one of several dining areas that fan out over two floors.
I ordered the cannelloni and a glass of chianti and it was simply delicious! My wife had a similar gastronomic experience with the eggplant parmesan. We noticed a large assortment of pizzas on the menu as well as many vegetarian dishes and yummy desserts. I was pretty full after my meal and so I just asked for a small dish of ice cream for dessert. My wife was so full that she passed on dessert altogether.
We were impressed with the decor and the quality of service, too, besides the food. If the weather is cooperating you can eat outdoors in front of the restaurant or in a courtyard in the middle of the ground floor. Our table was next to a window facing the courtyard where diners were protected from the rain by a retractable awning.
Trastevere can be found at # 6 Calle del Reloj near the southwest corner of Plaza Ayuntamiento. It’s rated # 11 of 147 restaurants in Ponferrada by TripAdvisor. We think it’s number one!