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Sperlonga: Gli Archi

Via Ottaviano 17 , Phone: 0771 5 43 00

Closing day: Wednesday

Reviewed by: Caryliz from NY, review #1067

When: 2004

Gli Archi offers excellent seafood and pasta dishes with attentive service at moderate prices, in a romantic outdoor courtyard setting.

Directions: Gli Archi is located off the main square up in old Sperlonga. Head slightly downhill form the back of the square (AWAY from the water), and follow the signs. The restaurant will be on your left at the end of a pedestrian passage, with outdoor seating in the courtyard to your right.

We ate at Gli Archi on a clear moonlit night in late June, and felt there could not have been a more romantic location for dinner in all of Italy! The restaurant does have indoor seating, but if it's warm enough to dine outdoors, I urge you to make a reservation for a table in the little courtyard under the stars.

Tablecloths are set with linen, china, silver and candles, and there is a tinkling ancient fountain in the center. The night we were there, we heard Italian opera music wafting from an apartment window above, and saw the silhouette of an older couple dancing slowly behind the sheer curtains. Two small children came outside to lure a kitten in for the night, while their mother leaned out of a 3rd-story window to bring in laundry that had dried on the line.

We drank the house wine, which was lovely, and ate fresh tomato and arugula salad. I had the best linguine con vongole I think I've ever had, with loads of fresh buttery little clams and just the right amount of garlic. My cousin raved about the homemade ravioli, and my fiancÚ enjoyed fresh grilled calamari with lemon and olive oil. The boys then shared a roast chicken with olives that they said was excellent, and we all managed to polish off a large platter of roasted vegetables that we ordered as a contorni. (We tried to indicate that we three were going to share one order, but we think instead they made an order for three!)

There were many fresh seafood choices and numerous pastas (including some vegetarian choices), but very few meat items on the menu. Three primi piatti, one secondi piatti, contorni (either one or 3, we're not sure!), salad, one liter of house wine and two large bottles of mineral water came to 60 euro.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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