Off Rome’s tourist trail, but within walking distance of the magnificent Forum and Coliseum, this bohemian neighborhood is where trendy Romans go for food. From high-end restaurants to traditional joints, here are ten of Monti’s standout restaurants.
A favorite lunch spot among businessmen and government workers from the nearby Quirinal Palace, Da Valentino is a vintage and old-fashioned trattoria. The menu includes a variety of typical meat and pasta dishes, but the standout is a grilled scamorza cheese prepared in all sorts of variations. Simple furniture with white tablecloths completes this unpretentious and classic Roman institution.
Gaudeo’s brief is simple: paninis, done in style. Founded in 2012 by a group of friends who sought to inject some passion into a standard snack, Gaudeo crafts fusions of the finest ingredients to create paninis you won’t find elsewhere. The bread is specially made by Antico Forno Roscioli, one of Rome’s oldest and best bakeries. The fillings are a varied list of cured meats, cheeses and vegetables. Customers can have their panini to go, or sit and enjoy it with a beer or wine.
Gaudeo, Via del Boschetto 134, Rome, Italy, +39 06 98 18 36 89
L’Asino d’Oro is the creation of chef Lucio Sforza, who brought his trade from his native Umbria to a northern suburb of Rome, before opening his current venture in Monti in 2010. Sophisticated interior design featuring elegant modern furniture with red upholstery is mirrored in the well-presented food. Whether it’s wild boar cooked with chocolate, ‘drunk goose’ with cherries and pine nuts, or blancmange garnished with broccoli and horseradish, Sforza’s cooking is full of deliciously contrasting flavors. The set lunch offers some of the best value for money in Rome, with three gourmet courses and a glass of wine for €13.
Urbana 47 is about ‘zero kilometer’ food: fresh ingredients sourced from the local Lazio region, highlighting the countryside’s culinary value and including many organic and free-range products. Serving breakfast, lunch, tapas and dinner, there is a wide variety of exciting options on the menu like boiled rabbit salad with plums and pomegranate, stracchino cheese with grilled vegetables, persimmon marmalade and spelt crepes, and pumpkin muffins with cinnamon foam. A stylish, minimalist design, brick and piping still visible alongside simple iron chairs, puts Urbana 47 at the forefront of a new generation of trendy Roman restaurants. If not eating, free WiFi makes it the perfect place to relax over a coffee.
By Benjamin Parkin