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The wonderful saying of ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’ could not be more apt than when thinking about food during a trip to Italy. For centuries the Italians have delighted the rest of the world with their amazing cuisine, and I for one, just adore anything that is remotely Italian, whether it is pasta, hams, cheeses or anything other superb delicacy that comes from this wonderful vibrant European country.
Of course, when you are in Rome and feel like really splashing out on a meal that is to die for, then you need to know which of the many, many restaurants that are found here not only offer superb Italian dishes, created to perfection, served in a stylish way that only the Italians can do but also in a setting that will leave you speechless. This sounds like it may be too much to ask, and this is where you could be wrong in your thinking, after all this is Italy we are talking about.
One of the classiest restaurants in Rome has to be the 3 star Michelin La Pergola, which is very stylishly located in the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. The setting is superb, the service exceptional, but the food they serve here is out of this world. If ever cooking was considered an art form, then the dishes that come out of the kitchen at La Pergola, are pure masterpieces of culinary delights. The starters are just so beautiful they are almost too good to eat, the main courses are perfectly prepared with passion and the desserts, the dolci, are simply exquisite. For any gourmet, this is paradise on Italian soil.
If you want to be impressed with the restaurant you eat in when you are in Rome because film stars love it, then La Rosetta is one that should be at the very top of your list of special gourmet restaurants to eat at. This happens to be the favourite restaurant of Nicole Kidman when she is visiting Rome. So you never know, you might reserve a table here only to find this superstar of the silver screen sitting close by to you at the next elegant dining table. The chef is Massimo Riccioli, and he creates some of the best Italian food in Rome, all served in an ambiance of sheer decadent splendour. The most wonderful seafood dishes you will ever have the pleasure of tasting are to be found here at La Rosetta.
For an ultra modern yet very chic restaurant, the Glass Hostaria with its one Michelin star, is a place that will awaken your senses and get test your taste buds to the limit. The location alone of this lovely restaurant is superb. It overlooks the historical Vicolo del Cinque which is one of the oldest parts of the city. The design of the restaurant has won it many awards and the food they serve here is exquisitely prepared by Cristina Bowerman and a faithful staff of people including the sommelier, Guiseppe Carrus. Every dish is a balance of traditional Italian cuisine with the ultra modern that makes it so absolutely delicious.
Antonello Colona is a chef who has earned himself a stellar Michelin star and when you taste the food he creativily and passionately prepares at his incredibly stylish establishment, you can understand why this is so. The restaurant Open Colonna is breathtakingly glorious. It is located in the Palazzo which has been turned in an art exhibition centre. The restaurant is within the amazingly stunning, light and extremely airy space that is now an art centre.
This discerning and highly talented chef, serves his dinner extravaganzas on the mezzanine floor overlooking the Open Colonna below, and it is here you can take one of the best buffet lunches and brunches ever. It is not cheap to eat here, but the location is worth the money and the food – well that is just superb. The lunch time buffet table is constantly being replenished with a wide and various choice of everything that is out of this world. Cheeses to die for, anti-pasta that would make your grandmother weep and a salad bar that goes on forever. When it comes to the array of exquisitely presented desserts, well this is simply paradise on a white linen table cloth. Dinner in the evenings is served in the mezzanine and the sheer style of the place and the food that is served by the master chef, makes it one of the classiest restaurants to eat at in the whole of this vibrant city.
Hostaria dell’Orso di Gualtiero Marchesi
Another superb Roman establishment is Hostaria dell’Orso di Gualtiero Marchesi in via dei Soldati. This is one of Rome’s oldest restaurants and after extensive renovations, it reopened to continue serving superb Italian dishes in one of plushest settings you will ever have the fortune of sitting in. The restaurant is situated in an ancient 1400s mansion where pilgrims during medieval times would take refuge and get refreshments after their long journeys. The food served here is very traditional and absolutely out of this world in a way that can only be described as superbly Italian. Dishes like ‘riso oro e zafferano‘ translated this is ‘gold and saffran rice’ are just so very exquisitely moorish, not only to look at but to delicately eat too. This restaurant is definitely one of the classiest you will ever find in Rome.
Checchino dal 1887
Another traditional and very old as well as historical restaurant that boasts being first opened in 1887, is Checchino dal 1887. This wonderful Roman restaurant is one of the culinary landmarks of the entire capital. Owned by the Mariani family for generations, today this is one of the most elegant Italian establishments you could ever have the pleasure of eating at. They serve very traditional Italian cuisine and their wine list is to say the least excellent as one of the members of the family is indeed the sommelier.
Whether you visit Rome for a romantic weekend or just want to discover the marvels of Italy and your first stop happens to be the capital, you have to treat yourself to a one off experience (but maybe more) at one of the fabulous gourmet restaurants that are not only the classiest in the whole of Italy, but maybe even the whole world.