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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Trendy Eats in Rome

squash blossom, zucchini, corn fritters, and s...Image by kthread via Flickr
By Roo Sadegi

The former printworks of the Il Manifesto daily paper provide a post-industrial setting for Reef, a restaurant masterminded by Antonello Colonna, the Italian government's banqueting supremo. The design, by Marco and Ginaluigi Giammetta, is bold and raw-edged, right down to the sand on the floor which gives the place its name. Glass, iron, and light provide the ambiance for an inventive seafood cuisine that artfully marries the savours of vegetables, fish, and shellfish. Outstanding specialties include saltimbocca di rana pescatrice alla salsa di marsala (roulade of frog in marsala wine sauce), rombo (turbot) with artichokes, moscardini (small fish) kebabs with a salad of broad beans and Pecorino cheese, and swordfish couscous. For fans of raw fish, the sushi, sashimi, and makisushi menus change daily, depending on the latest catch.

Piazza Augusto Imperatore, 42-48.

Meals served 8pm to Midnight.

Open Saturday until 12:30am and Sunday 1pm to 3pm.

Closed two weeks in August.A wind of change wafted through Rome's pizzerias when La Spizzicheria opened for business in the spring of 2002, boasting a menu of all-organic pizzas prepared with choice regional produce such as Colonnata bacon and Pecorino cheese from Fossa. The revolution sprang from the experience of Tana deil Golosi, a food-lovers' society dedicated to protecting and fostering research into regional cooking. An oasis of new tastes and guaranteed freshness, La Spizzicheria has been jam-packed from day one. The surprises continue with the desserts: the wide range of ice creams are all certified 100 percent organic.
La Spizzicheria

Via Domenico Fontana, 26-28.

Meals served noon to 3:30pm and 7:30pm to 11:30pm.

Closed Sundays.
La Pergola is one of the best bets for dining in Rome hotels. The restaurant is on the top floor of the Hilton, perched atop Monte Mario. The magnificent terrace overlooking the city affords a breathtaking view--as do the large bay windows of the dining room. In winter, the terrace is replaced by the cosy atmosphere of an elegant brasserie, with an American bar (reserved for guests and diners). Chef Heinz Beck's creations, served on fine crockery, send Rome's "in" crowd into raptures. Dishes include scorpion fish ravioli seasoned with squid ink and bell peppers, zucchini flower fritters with shellfish and saffron broth, or, in winter, pigeon breasts with a puree of parsley, quail's egg, and white truffles from Alba.
La Pergola (Hilton Hotel)

Via A. Cadlolo, 101

Meals served 7:30pm to 11pm.

Closed Sunday, Monday, two weeks in August, and three weeks in January.
Roo Sadegi is an online travel writer based in London's East End, although he spends much of his time travelling around Europe's travel hotspots.

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