Deserving of the spotlight like the resto’s of Via Veneto , this one has a bloody serious take on the word ‘entertainment’. It understands the complexities of the Roman crowd: local and international. It is Italian when you want it, and something else when you least expect it.
One would just quickly assume it is a French restaurant as you walk in. It’s stunningly stylish with all the Parisian design details like white flaky clocks that tell you time is irrelevant; breath-taking cast metal, glass bead lamps; and elegant brass mirrors everywhere, even in the most unexpected corners. The oval mirror (a favourite) hung by the shelves of wine and water glasses upstairs catches you off-guard like a paparazzi.
But then, there are the pleasant surprises (undecidedly French or Italian) like rare and not-so rare monochrome photos of style icons – from Chanel, Bardot, and Liz Taylor to a very sexy Ms. Piggy of the Muppets; and the arresting blood red backsplash on the pizza corner. But as Virgina Miller, marketing consultant for the bistrot, said they are decidedly an Italian restaurant.
They boast of scrumptious pizzas leavened for 24 hours, home-made croissants and yoghurts for breakfast, and a rich selection of the best wines one could find. Note: the latter is a detail overheard from senior staff of a nearby embassy. For aperitivo, the lightly fried chicken fritters with smooth artichoke dip paired with their house bubblies is a good start to a sundowner. It is no wonder this place is often described as confused. It intentionally does that to disarm you of any structure you have left for the day – whether you are a traveller with a strict list of to do’s, or a local or expat living in Rome for too long and getting weary of it.
“In the tradition of bistrots where there is no separation between those who make art and those who love it, the place becomes a different place every night.” – Virginia Miller (Josephine Bistrot’ Events Manager)
Via Leonida Bissolati, 34 (Barberini)
Open from Mondays through Sundays from 7 am – 2 am