We took a taxi to Salumeria Roscioli, a small restaurant that during the day doubles as a store selling top notch foods. I had heard a lot about this restaurant with nearly everyone telling me this was a must visit place in Rome.
The restaurant is not large. It has a few small tables in the front, where the bulk of the retail business is handled and a few more tables in the rear. The decor is what one might expect in the middle of a retail food store, though there are a few interesting pieces of art on the walls in the rear dining room.
We arrived at the time of our reservation and were seated at a cramped table at the very rear of the restaurant. At the time of our reservation, the restaurant was mostly empty. When I requested a different table, I was refused. The waitstaff were surly on the verge of rudeness throughout the meal.
We waited for our three Italian guests, but weren’t even asked if we wanted something to drink. While I did not like the service, the food was, in fact quite good.
We started with burrata from Pisignano with sun-dried tomatoes. The burrata, the best I have ever had was silky, smooth and full of flavor. The tomatoes, from Pachino, were sweet and added flavor depth to the creamy cheese. Plenty of ground Malaysian black pepper rounded out this remarkably delicious dish
An order of a flight of their best culatelli di Zibello was very good, but paled next to what we had at Pallavicina in Zibello.
The pastas were very good indeed. My son’s’s Cacio e Pepe and…
…my Carbonara were as good examples of these dishes as I’ve had. The pasta was the very definition of “al dente” and the sauces were creamy, perfectly balanced and just plain fabulous. For the Cacio e Pepe they used pecorino romano dop, cacio from Moliterno, and Pecorino di fossa from Sogliano del Rubicone accented with plenty of that wonderful Malaysian black pepper. The carbonara was a masterful mix of guanciale, Malaysian pepper, egg from Paolo Parisi and pecorino romano dop. These are the two pastas most commonly recommended, but the menu had a few other tantalizing options as well.
Desserts, including my cannoli,
Strawberry Soup with Yogurt Ice Cream,
and my son’s favorite dessert, Tiramisu were also very good. As good as the food was, though, the service was awful and really took away from the pleasure of the evening. For those for whom food is the only thing that matters, Roscioli may be worth a visit. For those who demand more, I hesitate to recommend it because of the attitude.
From Roscioli we strolled to see the the Trevi Fountain by night. It was as beautiful as I remembered and both my son and I threw coins into the fountain assuring our eventual returns to Rome.