Rome has been on my list of European cities to visit for a long long time. To go a little further, I've always had this idea that Italy and I will meet and get on incredibly well. I don't think I'm alone on this. The city and the country conjure up so many exciting things: the food, the architecture, the drink, the Italians, the climate, the scooter culture (even though I don't have a driving license)...I've had vague glimpses of Italy through books ('"Where Angels fear to tread", "Don't look now", "Eat, Pray, Love") as well as friends who have visited, which has only contributed to my feeling of ohmygoditsrightnextdoorhowhaveinotbeenyetthisisembarrassing. In some alternate universe I have myself convinced that the pale-skinned, freckly Lou has Italian blood running through her veins.
Well, drum roll pleeeeeeeeeease, my dream is soon to become a reality because JB offered me a long weekend in Rome for Christmas! Neither of us has been before and I am very very excited to experience Rome with him. I've had so many recommendations from friends, I've been lent guide books, and I've been on the internet and my Rome Google Map is shaping up nicely. I'm not being unrealistic and expecting to see THE WHOLE CITY in 3 days, so instead I'm aiming to be realistic about what we do. Most of all I would like us to walk around, soak the city up and eat and drink like they did when the Romans were on this Earth. My gladiator sandals are at the ready!
The main point of this post however, is about discovering good pizza in Paris. Confession time, I've only ever been for Italian once during my whole time in Paris. The restaurant was generic and definitely nothing to write home about. I suppose I'm also the kind of gal for whom a good bottle of Chianti can (literally) drown out the memory of an average dining out experience. Last week, Rachel and I (but mostly Rachel, who has a really great figure but knows where to eat out in Paris, and actually eats out in Paris) decided we wanted Italian but nothing was on the tip of our tongue. Rachel did some research and ended up suggesting the lovely and low-key Maria Luisa. First off, my Italian name is in the name of the restaurant and secondly my French name is in the street where the restaurant is located. That made me pretty confident that this was going to be a successful Italian meal.
And it was! The service was efficient but relaxed, the pizzas were really really good (the dough reminded me of a naan bread), the space was cosy (they have a heated, covered terrace) and the prices were very reasonable. We all left very content and would happily recommend the restaurant to friends. They don't take reservations but we were a party of 5 who arrived for 8:30pm and got a table straight away.
Restaurant Maria Luisa
2, rue Marie-et-Louise
Tel: +33 1 44 84 04 01
Métro: République, Goncourt, Colonel Fabien
Opening time: Mon-Fri midday until 2:30pm then 7:30pm until 11pm.
Weekends midday until 11pm