Making your decisions easy with a list of 20 eateries in the city and beyond
For the New Year we have compiled a list of the newly-established, or recently renovated, restaurants in Rome that most deserve a visit from Romans and passing customers.
Born out of the exciting ideas of three young friends, Alberto, Manfredi and Tommaso, former rugby players, Almatò is the most buzzing restaurant in the capital. In the heart of the Prati district, Almatò presents itself as a place that promises great tastes, dynamic and full of contaminations from South America. In an intimate, warm and elegant atmosphere, you can enjoy complex but straightforward dishes. An example? Risotto, rabbit, rosemary and juniper or lobster with Jerusalem artichoke, lemon and rum.There are two tasting menus, at 75 and 100 euro respectively, plus an à la carte option and a wine list.
Not even a year after its opening, Pulejo, the gastronomic establishment of chef Davide Puleio, has been awarded a Michelin star and conquered the hearts of Romans. How? By proposing nostalgic dishes of apparent and disarming simplicity. Elegant, straight to the point, sinking around the wooded atmosphere of a living room at home, one savours ‘Peperone come manzo’, a pepper left to oxidise, ‘minced’ and seasoned with capers, anchovies, oregano and rocket, and Risotto MI – RO, a Milanese risotto with coda alla vaccinara, a tribute to Rome but also to Milan, the city that first awarded Davide the Michelin star. There are two tasting menus available with 5 and 7 courses at 70 and 90 euros, plus the possibility of matching 3 or 5 glasses. The service is professional and punctual, accompanied by a young and refined wine cellar.
Ariccia food and wine-wise, shines in its own light this year. Why? Because, quietly, with modesty and rigour, Sara and Carla Scarsella and Matteo Compagnucci have won the coveted Michelin star. Where? In their Sintesi, with dishes that eliminate the superfluous and synthesise all that’s good to eat in the world. It’s a passionate, studious, adventurous and dreamy path that translates into an essential menu, a return to taste and good raw materials, eco-friendly, stealing oriental techniques and northern European preservation methods. Among the dishes worth tasting are the chard buttons stuffed with acidello in porcini mushroom broth and the smoked risotto, mutton chop and bay leaf powder. But to fully immerse yourself in Sintesi’s philosophy, I recommend opting for one of the two available tasting menus. The wine cellar has a limited number of labels that change and alternate with the changing seasons. Added to them is a selection of juices and kombucha for an unusual pairing. Great attention is paid to vegetarian and vegan proposals and the world of baking.
In the heart of Trastevere, just a few metres from Piazza Trilussa, Enoteca L’Antidoto is a wine bar that since 2020 has amazed for its counter current wine selection and a pop, naked and raw food proposal. You choose a bottle from the shelf and taste it on its own or together with many small tastings of cold meats, cheeses and seasonal raw materials processed expressly in the small open kitchen.
Thanks to Sergio Conti in November 2021, we have Forno Conti, a bakery (and much more) in the heart of the Esquilino district. In an environment with an essential, at times Finnish, atmosphere, international, Italian, Scandinavian and even French recipes are bought and enjoyed on site. From Venetian buns and bread and butter and blackberry jam to cardamom buns, croissants and pain au chocolat, baguettes, rye, cereal and nut bread, there is something for everyone at Forno Conti. The lunch break is intriguing with various savoury pastries, quiches and pizzas. Not to be underestimated is the speciality coffee of Aliena, the coffee roastery born in Montesacro from the experience of Faro.
Ristorante Campocori – Hotel Chapter
Inside the Hotel Chapter – one of the most interesting, multifaceted and contemporary examples of Rome’s hotel biodiversity – lies Campocori, inspired by the classic Italian restaurants of 1930s New York, which interiors were designed by award-winning South African interior designer Tristan du Plessis. In in this dark and luxurious but not formal place, you can taste the fun and youthful cuisine of chef, Alessandro Pietropaoli. The risotto with dwarf pine and frog legs and lavender, as well as the Minestra del Porto di Anzio, a homage to the chef’s origins, and the Turbot cooked directly in crepinette and paired with cauliflower, quinoa and field greens, are worth trying.
Roland – Palazzo Brancaccio
Roland, a fine-dining restaurant inside Spazio Field, an art gallery and multicultural centre inside Palazzo Brancaccio, is freshly opened but already very popular. Signing the entire project is Andrea Azzarone, a Roman entrepreneur already operating in the restaurant world who, for this new adventure, has decided to entrust the kitchen to Carlo Alberto D’Audino, a Calabrian-Sicilian chef who studied art before turning to cooking. At dinner time, in rooms adorned with 15th-century stuccoes and canvases and drawings by Francesco Gai, the Brancaccio family’s historic artist, you can enjoy dishes such as “Migrating to Southern Italy”, or “Migrando nel Sud Italia”, that is, Torcione di Foie Gras, Tropea onions, pistachios and pan brioche, or “Omaggio a Roma”, with Spaghettone di Senatore Cappelli, Normandy butter, anchovies and katsuobushi. There are two tasting courses, ‘Essentialis’ in 5 acts at 110 euro, and ‘Ad Maiora Semper’ in 7 acts at 150 euro with the possibility of wine pairing. The entire drink list is also worth trying.
Giano – WRome
Inside the W Rome, a hotel full of Roman vitality, refined and informal at the same time, popular but not for everyone, is the Giano restaurant with the consultancy of multi-starred chef Ciccio Sultano. The menu at the Giano restaurant is a direct expression of Sicily, with strong and elegant flavours that are at the same time international. At the centre of it all are oil, wheat and salt tailored into sensational creations from breakfast to dinner via lunch and aperitif. Try the tuna tartare in the evening, the Taratata spaghetti or turbot on the bone. Intriguing main courses to share with a thousand varieties of seasonal side dishes. Don’t miss the desserts.
San Baylon – Palazzo Ripetta
San Baylon is the new taste salon where Executive Chef Marco Ciccotelli’s cuisine meets the signature pastries of Giuliano Marzullo and Giuseppe Solfrizzi of Le Levain, a popular boulangerie in the capital. The setting is Palazzo Ripetta, a cosy early 20th-century salon reinterpreted and refurbished as a luxury hotel, amid velvet sofas, bijoux tables, precious marbles, period photographs and contemporary works of art. And it is precisely here that gourmet cuisine is experimented; try the artichoke and its scarpetta, the rigatone cacio e pepe or the tartare of ombrine, and of course the desserts. Among all, the Mont Blanc with meringue filled with gel and chestnut mousseline, covered with chantilly and chestnut spaghetti. Not to be missed is the Baylon Cocktail Bar, signposted by The Jerry Thomas Project, with the capable hands of Desirè Verdecchia.
Alto Ristorante e Cocktail Bar
At the top of The First Musica, the Pavilions group’s third boutique hotel, is Alto Cocktail Bar, which, thanks to an elegant view of the centre of Rome, offers the combination of mixology and cuisine of the highest quality. From this summer, mixology and DJ sets punctuate the aperitif, dinner and after-dinner hours in modern and international ways. On the one hand, great crudes, crustaceans, fish-based main meals are the basis of the menu designed by Daniele Lippi, Executive Chef of the two-Michelin-starred Acquolina restaurant, and Matteo Cavoli. On the other, there is a complete drink list, designed by Mauro Cipollone and Valeria Tummolo, with great classics and signature cocktails. Also worth trying is the Roman pizza signed by Jacopo Mercuro of the renowned 180 grammi.
Freni e Frizioni Draft
The punk attitude of Freni e Frizioni, the Trastevere street bar par excellence, arrives also in the Prati district in a new guise with a refined and minimalist touch. This is Freni e Frizioni Draft, a concept bar focused on the proposal of pre-mixed drinks served on tap, but also a new address for quality pizza and savoury pastries. The bar owned by Luca Conzato, Cristian Bugiada and Riccardo Rossi aims to be fast and dynamic, avant-garde and creative. There are about ten ready-to-drink cocktails to try, plus a selection of beers on tap. Zero frills for the pizza and fried food to be devoured in the shade of a drink in a contemporary, design-driven space of more than 300 square metres.
Just a few steps from the Basilica of San Paolo, Fabio Macrì and Mauro Lenci have transformed an old copy shop into a young and convivial wine bar where you can drink quality wine accompanied by tastings of seasonal cuisine. Bar Bozza, a place that honours the past by looking to the future.
Ruma, a farm shop and kitchen, brings the countryside to Via di Parione, just a few steps from Piazza Navona. Opened by Matilda and Guido Pallini, siblings who are carrying on an historic family tradition focused on farming and nature and animal welfare. Wood for the tables and steel for the cheese counter are the cornerstones of the small but well-organised premises. Here you can taste classic buffalo cheeses such as mozzarella, ricotta, burrata and more mature cheeses such as fiore di Capalbio, spicy robiola and francescano. Not to be missed is the Bufala ice cream and the meat of buffaloes raised in a semi-wild state and Maremmane, raised entirely in the wild. The choice of food is designed for tasting and sharing, starting with breakfast with ricotta cheese combined with honey or jam and warm bread, but also buffalo yoghurt with fresh or dried fruit or, again, crostini with cheese, vegetables and Tuscan ham. For lunch and dinner, platters of cold meats and cheeses, meatloaf, gnudi, Bufala roast beef, and vegetables complete the offer. There are also desserts and a small selection of natural wines.
The young couple Gabriele Di Lecce and Alessandra Serramondi, in February 2022 opened Dogma, a fish restaurant revolving around grilled food, in the San Giovanni district. Gabriele in the kitchen, Alessandra in the dining room, the two amaze their clients with solid dishes and a welcome that is both competent and sparkling at the same time. Gabriele’s cuisine is creative but down-to-earth. There is great attention to local fish and vegetables from the family’s garden in Maccarese to which bread and desserts are added, all homemade, with selected Sicilian flours ground in a small home mill. Don’t miss “L’ostrica a modo nostro” (oyster our way), tuna pastrami, spaghetti alla chitarra and fish soup – and always ask what the grilled fish of the day is. The wine list presents a constantly evolving, careful and ethical proposal with producers who work mostly in the natural way.
Recently opened in the heart of Rome, in Rione Monti, is the new 4 Star Boutique Hotel “MyTale Creative Academy Hotel Rome”, an independent building with 12 rooms spread over five floors from ground to sky. The style, design, materials and colours recall the 1920s and Art Nouveau style. But MyTale Hotel also hosts RI.One Restaurant & Cocktail Bar with several differentiated offerings. On the ground floor there is the Thais Room with its 30 seats and the Drink Lab with Pre-Batch cocktails – prepared in glass ampoules almost as if they were on tap – and also the Cafeteria with Specialty Coffee resulting from the collaboration with Faro Caffè. Finally, on the third floor, we arrive at the Dionisio Rooftop with a restaurant and cocktail bar offering an exclusive and reserved view of the ancient buildings. The gastronomic proposal of the RI.One restaurant on the terrace is a 14-course menu that uproots itself from the classic structures: maritozzo with mussels and lemon; cod with almonds, gin and tamarind; butter gnocchi with anchovies and ‘nduja are some examples. A tasty rendezvous is the Sunday Brunch and… the wine cellar, made up of only natural wines, provides a refined list.
Follie – Villa Agrippina Gran Melià
As of very recently, the celebrated Roman chef Luciano Monosilio leads the kitchens of the Follie restaurant inside Villa Agrippina, Gran Meliá, the urban luxury resort in Rome, included in the Leading Hotels of the World and Virtuoso Travel Network circuit. On the Janiculum Hill, with a view of Castel Sant’Angelo, the Roman hotel dresses up with the full-bodied and international author’s food and wine proposal that unites Rome with the rest of the world. Tasting menus or à la carte, a selected and extensive wine cellar are the basis of the proposal that is based on the simple “far bene” (the idea of eating foods that are good for you). Local products, from lake and river fish, but also local meats, such as the di Civitavecchia beef served with lettuce, fine black truffle and xo sauce.
Acquolina is the gourmet restaurant, now holding two Michelin stars, located inside The First Roma Arte Hotel in the heart of Rome. Here the young and talented chef Daniele Lippi experiments with a contemporary Mediterranean cuisine, made up of culture, research and technique. Looking at the Mediterranean as a sea that has united different peoples, traditions and cultures for centuries, Lippi elaborates dishes full of surprises and contaminations unknown to most. From the tuna ventricina to the red prawn with fermented sheep’s milk to the spaghettone with chickpeas and langoustine or the spaghetti with rose and the sweet Constantinople, everything is thought out in detail, from the cooking to the presentation in the dining room. There are two tasting routes, “Periplo” and “Anabasi e Catabasi” with the possibility of wine pairing. The service is punctual and formal. The wine cellar is extensive and international in scope.
Enoteca La Torre a Villa Letitia
Refinement, professionalism and haute cuisine in the heart of the capital. These are the cornerstones of the Enoteca La Torre restaurant, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant inside the luxurious Villa Laetitita hotel. High-impact dishes and attentive service in an exclusive setting punctuate lunch times. Chef Domenico Stile, one of the youngest chefs in Italy to obtain two stars, originally from Gragnano, offers concrete, Mediterranean dishes, mainly based on fish such as Risotto with lemons, cannolicchi, clams, asparagus and yoghurt. There are four possible tasting routes, “What you want from our menu”, “Hunting trip”, “A journey with your eyes closed” and “Movement” to which an extensive and in-depth wine list is added managed by sommelier Rudy Travagli.
In a corner of Rome’s Ghetto, Bottega Tredici is a restaurant run by three very young people who offer dishes that are concrete but not heavy, Roman but not autarkic, up-to-date but not banal. They are Roberto Bonifazi, Francesco Brandini and Daniele Gizzi, the first two in the kitchen and the third in the dining room. In their small space with contemporary, minimalist but comfortable furnishings, enclosed between an ochre and brown chequered floor, light-coloured walls covered with large mirrors and shelves full of bottles, and a wooden ceiling, you can eat dishes that are nothing short of excellent, made with seasonal and local raw materials. Try their focaccia di patate with lard and mushrooms sautéed in their cream, grape and shallot chutney and celery sauce; or their exceptional rice with, ragout, sage and currants. Also excellent are their classics of Roman tradition and their wine list, which is small and constantly evolving.
In the Prati district of Rome, four young creators came up with a small restaurant with a contemporary and mouth-watering offer. Its name, Roots, emphasises the family bond between the owners but above all the philosophy behind the cuisine: a search for harmony with the earth. In the kitchen are Alessandro Gentile and his partner Martina Zennaro, sous-chef in charge of the bakery and dessert line. Starting from extremely high-quality raw materials, intriguing dishes are developed, simple only in appearance. Among the starters, the grilled cardoncelli mushrooms and white chocolate, the parmesan risotto, onion jus and rosemary oil and the bbq diaphragm, red turnip and tarragon sauce are worth tasting. Not to be missed are Martina’s desserts such as focaccia with cooked apples and vanilla ice cream and the bread basket. In the dining room Alessandro’s twin sisters, Giulia and Cecilia, take care of the customers with gentleness and professionalism and walk them through their wine list of mainly natural wines from small producers. The restaurant of about 26 seats is minimal, with earth-inspired colours.