The Romans have always meant business when it came to eating. Since antiquity, a genuine cult of dining and drinking in style has been developed, such that a holidaymaker of Rome would make nothing but a regrettable mistake if they choose not to explore the overpowering gastronomic horizon of the capital of Italy.
When it comes to food, Italy is best known for its’ pasta. However, pasta is only one of the three separate courses which can make any gourmet literally drool. The Roman cuisine is not as complicated as it might seem. Yet, it is neither as simple as one might consider at first. Of course, some of the ingredients might be difficult to find, especially since most of them are brought from Rome’s surrounding area. However, preparing a typical Roman dinner is not that complicated, since most of the recipes go way back to the times of the Roman Empire (of course, every chef could improve or simply customize them according to their imagination ).
Another interesting thing that any tourist should know is that the most important ingredients specific to the Roman cuisine are the vegetables (peas, fava beans and globe artichokes). Of course, meat is usually default (kid and goat meat in particular), while cheeses are always good for sauces or even deserts (ricotta is a low-protein cheese which can be baked into cheesecakes or simply mixed with sugar, cinnamon, orange flower extract and chocolate).
One of the chief ingredients used in the Roman cuisine is strutto, a type of pork lard which is canned in the winter. Of course, olive oil can be also mentioned, even if it is usually used only for salads and for partially frying some meats. Tomatoes and garlic are, also, ever present on the Romans’ tables, which is why they must also be mentioned.
As one can easily notice, the basic ingredients of the Roman cuisine are as diverse as it gets. The reason lies in the fact that Roman cuisine is actually a result of centuries of exchanges between the Romans of the ancient Roman Empire and the different nations they conquered. Another reason could be also the fact that Rome is home of the pope, therefore the best chefs were brought in here in order to serve the Vatican, making all the all possible efforts to combine their own ingenuity with the will (and obligation, in part) of indulging the palates of the religious and political bigwigs of the empire.
Of course, when it comes to dinning, beverages cannot be left out. While in the morning people usually drink coffee (and Rome is well known for its’ strong, black coffee or for cappuccino), the tourist cannot forget that Rome is like a world capital of white wines, since Lazio (the region of which Rome is the capital) is a warm territory favorable to the cultivation of vineyards. One can recall, in this respect, the Falerno wine, with its yellowish straw color, or the Cecubo, served especially with roast meat). However, we cannot forget about Campari, which is Rome’s most famous drink.Therefore, the holidaymaker of Rome can enjoy a nice evening at one of the cuty’s top restaurants, or they can eat on the run, while sightseeing.
The Sapori del Lord Byron restaurant is a luxury restaurant, located in the Lord Byron Hotel. While the view is not as beautiful as in other restaurants, the Italian food and the creative cuisine are exquisite, especially since the service is impeccable. One of the most favorite Roman specialties, at least as far as tourists are concerned, is the beef filet with anchovies, or the sea bass steak (for guests in search of sea-flavored delights).
However, this restaurant is best known for its creative cuisine, which includes succulent dishes such as the mild smoked salmon, with a sweet and sour red onion fixture.
The wine list from Sapori del Lord Byron is one of the best choices of labels offered by the hotels in Rome.
The Agata e Romeo restaurant could be considered a family business, since the chefs are also the owners of the restaurant. While the husband – Romeo Caraccio – manages the dining room, the wife – Agata Parisella – creates new versions of old Roman recipes. As a matter of fact, the cuisine is neither typically Roman nor international, but it can be labeled as new Roman cuisine. Here, the tourist can try the fried pasta noodles, filled with a cream of chestnuts, borloti beans and shrimp. The rabbit croquets are also one of the restaurant’s proud specialty.
When it comes to appetizers, the Agata e Romeo restaurant is best known for the pecorino cheese with pear sauce and chestnut honey. While this might seem like a dessert, the real dessert could be Agata’s millefoglie, which is puff pastry filled with sweetened cream and almonds. The wine cellar can satisfy any demands, regardless of clients’ preference for national or international labels. Tourists who want to try the tempting offers of Agata e Romeo should keep in mind the restaurant is closed, as a rule, on weekends.
When it comes to vegetarian food, Fabio Bassan and Enrico Bartolucci’s restaurant is rightfully deemed one of the top choices in Rome. Surrounded by wine racks in a generally deliberately rusticated and cozy set, served by friendly waiters under soft lighting, any tourist could compile a menu to meet any dietary needs. The cuisine is inspired from ancient peasant dishes across Italy, therefore one should not be surprised by the appetizers and main courses. The tourist’s favorite appetizer might be considered the asparagus meatballs, served with Bergamot tea sauce, or fresh ginger. The main course includes vegetable couscous, or lasagna with red onions, zucchini and mushrooms, or even artichoke with potato and pecorino mint sauce.
The wine cellar can provide a range of 250 brands, while the deserts are quite inventive – dark-chocolate cake, sprinkled with a nice, warm orange sauce.
When in Rome, the tourist should enter at least two restaurants that serve Roman traditional cuisine. One of these restaurants is Sapori del Lord Byron. The other one is La Terrazza dell’ Eden, located in the Eden Roma Hotel.
In here, besides the Roman specialties, the tourist can also enjoy the very pleasant view of Saint Peter’s Basilica. And, while the waiting is flawless, it is not at all intimidating.
Adriano Cavagnini is the chef at La Terazza. His family opened a restaurant on Lake Garda in the late 19th century, therefore he has it in his blood. Everybody knows that he is both creative and dynamic when it comes to preparing a good meal – every now and then tourists are amazed by the art to which he brings the mere act of cooking.
It might seem unnecessary to say which the best dishes at La Terrazza are. Nevertheless, in here anyone can enjoy some unparalleled lobster medallions with apple puree, or stuffed guinea fowl breast.