A new restaurant near the Vatican that offers cicchetti and unique dishes
Cresci is a modern twist on your mom’s home style Italian cooking: the intersection of the old and the new, where fine dining meets tasty and affordable. Located in close proximity to the Vatican, Cresci is the brainchild of Danilo Frisone and Saverio Crevente, owners of the Grano restaurant, a popular establishment serving tasty Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant was designed by architect Roberto Liorni who with his attention to detail helped to create a friendly, inviting atmosphere in this historic building which also rocks a fun, classic interior.
Sit at the bar and sip on a coffee or cocktail, treat yourself to a nice meal indoors, or enjoy aperitivo and relax outside. You’re in good hands with Cresci’s attentive staff who can guide you out of your comfort zone with one of the menu’s more unique dishes. Even the cocktails are given a twist here: you’ll find them served in plastic gift bags like those you might have received at a birthday party as a child.
You’ll know it’s going to be a good night as soon as you taste Cresci’s fresh homemade bread. Then browse the menu’s selection of cold cuts and sheep’s milk cheeses from the Roman countryside. Cresci is known for its cicchetti, small plates which are similar to tapas and can function as appetizers or meals: you can order five, ten, or twenty. Five cicichetti also come with cocktails or wine by the glass during aperitivo (5.30pm – 8pm). Be sure to try the supplí, a Roman staple which is a ball of deep fried rice, tomato sauce, and mozzarella. The bruschetta with seafood is also an excellent choice.
Serving high-quality pizza is truly a feat in Rome where competition lurks on every corner. Of course, Cresci stands out from the crowd with its pizza in teglia, which is tasty, square, and served in baking tins. Order pizza as a starter or a meal; there are basic options like Margherita pizza which will appeal to the whole table as well as options like arrabbiata with pomodoro del piennolo and Cantabrian Sea anchovies for the more adventurous eater. We’re especially huge fans of the eggplant, smoked prosciutto, and buffalo mozzarella pizza.
If you’re looking for a fuller meal, there are also a variety of pasta and meat dishes. The pasta menu ranges from traditional plates of spaghetti alla puttanesca to chef creations like fettuccine with red shrimp and cardoncelli (King Oyster mushrooms). The meat courses include eggplant parmigiana, beef messinese, fried meatballs with tomato sauce, grilled baby lamb chops with aromatic herbs, breaded cutlets, grilled Steccata di Morolo cheese with cardoncelli, herb-breaded grilled calamari, and steak.
Be sure to save a room for dessert! Cresci’s dolci are perfectly proportioned and satisfying. Try the potato fritters with vanilla cream and apples for melt-in-your-mouth goodness and the perfect to end your night. Or, get a sweet start to your morning with Cresci’s coffee and croissants or the classic bread, butter and jam.