We were staying in an apartment near the Campo de Fioro (sp?) coming off a month in Ireland teaching a university course. We promised ourselves some days in Rome for our 10th wedding anniversary. The last night was when we had the "special" meal. When I reviewed "Chowhound" I saw "mixed" reviews for this restaurant. But it looked nice and was within easy walking distance of our apartment so we gave it a whirl.
We walked in and were seated. The sommelier, even before introducing his role, moved us to a larger table. I initially thought that it was a slow Sunday night in January, but the restaurant quickly filled, so we possessed what eventually became a valued 4 top. We asked the sommelier for his advice and he took us to the cellar (which I had expected from previous reviews) to examine the options. I am unfamiliar with Italian wines but talked about the California, French, South American, Down under and Spanish wines we liked. We decided on a 1999 Barolo (sp?). My wife was not present for the price discussion, but we settled on 120E. He decanted the wine and offered us complimentary champagne as the wine breathed. They then offered to create a meal around the wine. So we split single servings of the entire Italian meal sequence.
First a selection of antipasti centered around calamari and shrimp. One was deep fried calamari with lemon, the 2nd was sauteed calamari and shrimp with potatoes in butter and olive oil the potatoes were So tender! We went on to a plain mixed green salad lightly dressed. Next was a seafood pasta done in a scampi style with shrimp and calamari and finally there were grilled red snapper with potatoes and tiny vegetables. All wonderful to the point it made my partner's eye water (not due to pungency).
We had a sugared cake for dessert (non-descript). We both had Muscado and then grappa for me and sambucca (sp?) for my partner (complimentary). The total came to 220E without tips (of course we tipped appropriately). .
It may be that we received this level of service due to low season and the recession. I do not know Rome well and there may be better restaurants. But, this was exquisite - it ranks as one of the top ten dining experiences I have had - and I have had more than my share. A wonderful time at a great restaurant in Rome!!!
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