There are very few places in the world with a better food culture than Rome. You can’t really go wrong with a meal in the Eternal City, because everywhere from the small hole in the wall places to the largest restaurants create meals that would make anybody with working taste buds drool. With that being said, there are some restaurants which are a cut above; the crème de la crème of fine dining in Rome offer up more than just great food, but unforgettable experiences too. In a city where food is king, these Michelin starred restaurants are the Gods.
The only three Michelin-starred restaurant in Rome, indulging in a meal at La Pergola is so much more than that, and the second you walk in and see the stunning views of the Eternal City you can tell why. Reservations are required two months in advance for weekdays and four for weekends, but there isn’t a single diner who begrudges the level of forward planning necessary to get a table here. The general ambience of the restaurant is surprisingly laid back for somewhere with such an astounding reputation, and although there is a dress code for men (jackets required, but no tie necessary), it doesn’t feel stuffy. With that being said, everything about La Pergola is oozing with class, and it’s definitely the peak of fine dining in Rome.
Service is everything you’d expect and more; the waitstaff are highly trained and knowledgeable, and the chefs cater to all needs. There are two gourmet tasting menus, with the more reasonable Seven course version coming in at €225, although this does not include drinks. A la carte dishes vary in price, with main courses priced between €49 and €75; the Pigeon, Turbot and Lamb come highly recommended, although anything you choose will be exceptional. The wine cellar has some spectacular bottles available from Italy and beyond, and the sommelier will be able to give you the best pairing for your meal. All in all, there’s a reason La Pergola has three Michelin stars, and if you do manage to get a table there, you’ll see why.
A firm favourite of the foodie community, Aroma typifies the best of fine dining in Rome. Aside from being afforded unforgettable views of the Colosseum from your table, the restaurant serves the best of Roman cuisine in an intimate atmosphere.
When you have a seat here, you feel like the luckiest diner in the world, and get the service to boot. Despite being surrounded by ancient ruins, the restaurant is stylish and contemporary, as are the dishes on offer. The main tasting menu has seven courses and costs €150, although for an additional €70 you can add wines by the glass, all of which have been specially selected by the sommelier. Aroma has a big focus on innovative recipes, classic cooking techniques, and sustainable produce; in fact, all the herbs the use are grown on the restaurant terrace. Chef Di Lorio has developed the menu over the past decade, and the fish dishes are particularly vaunted, although each main dish is centred around different varieties of freshly made pasta, which is possibly the best in Italy.
Dinner at Il Pagliaccio is far from a standard dining experience; they promise to take you on a sensory journey that will guide you through rich emotions, and in that they totally succeed. The food is visually appealing, conceptually playful and, above all, mouth-wateringly delicious.
There are three main tasting menus, with prices ranging between €125 and €185, and each of them provide a cornucopia of gastronomic creativity. The wine list is extensive, but the sommelier will be on hand to help you find the perfect complement to your meal. When you combine all of this with the refined yet warm ambience of the restaurant floor, you get an astounding experience. Part of the joy of high-end cuisine is the feeling that you’re taking part in something special, almost magical, and head chef Anthony Genovese fulfils that desire with aplomb.
Everything at Metamorfosi has been designed with the utmost care in mind, from the artisanal plaster mouldings made with ancient Sicilian techniques to the warm Scandinavian-esque use of wood woven throughout the dining hall. They are meticulous about everything, but nothing more so than their food.
The modern, stylish cuisine on offer here is made to tell a story and delivers on perfectly balanced flavours; even the simplest dishes here have an air of elegance about them. The restaurant is friendly, no doubt, but it’s also the pinnacle of fine dining. Those who want a bit of everything can get a ten-course tasting menu with six glasses of specially chosen wine for €245. A la carte dining is also available, and the pigeon in purple corn crust is highly regarded, but those looking for a bit more adventure might be keen on the fregula with plankton, a unique yet scrumptious creation.
Playful, refined, and ingenious are all perfect descriptors for this Michelin starred restaurant. When you dine here, you do so alongside contemporary, high end art in a modern yet comfortable setting. The food is sophisticated, but has that passionate, Italian flair you expect from fine dining in Rome.
There are elements of simplicity to the dishes, with the menu focused on bringing out the best of the high-end ingredients, and the modern takes on many classics are delectable and unique. The items on the a la carte menu vary between €30 and €60, but there is also an eight-course tasting menu for €150. The wine list is mostly French and Italian, and one of the best wines on it is the Gavi de Gavi, which also happens to be one of the most reasonably priced. Their cocktail list is Dante themed, and the specialty drinks are all delicious and well balanced, but if you want a real kick you need to order their Salzerac; it’s the stuff of legends.
This fine dining establishment merges the best of traditional and contemporary Italian cuisine, reinterpreting classic dishes with a focus on food local to Rome. However, the plates on offer do more than just make up a good meal: they deliver an unforgettable sensory experience.
Pasta courses here hover around the €30 mark, with the meat and fish courses slightly dearer at €40 to €50. The ventricina glazed monkfish is particularly spectacular, but if you can’t decide what you want, the tasting menu runs at €120. As with all the restaurants on this list, the wine cellar is well stocked; they have described their wine list as a declaration against banality, which sums up the ethos of the restaurant in its entirety. When all of this is combined with the chic décor and excellent service, you get a culinary experience you’ll never forget.
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