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February 24, 2020 | Rome, Italy
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Piazza Rondanini, 53
Rome, IT-RM 186 Italy

Saverio Crescente (the host, quiet and gracious) and Danilo Frisone (the chef) opened this elegant central establishment in 2007 — both used to be at “Gusto.” Upscale it is, with the works of London-based cartoonist and artist Enzo Apicella lining the walls (he also helped design the place).

For starters, kudos to the kitchen: The homemade bread is delectable. The solid cuisine is meanwhile labeled Mediterranean, which helps Frisone take creative liberties, mostly southern-spun, with Italian staples (to wit, gnocchetti di baccalà in salsa di pomodori arrosto; cod gnochetti with roast tomato sauce and polpettine di brasato su salsa di zucchine e acciughe; braised meatballs with zucchine and sardine sauce).

Recommended: Pesto ravioli tinged with basil and risotto cacio e pepe with artichokes. Expect to spend €40-50 a head without your wine choice. The vanilla crème brule and (creme brulé alla canella) and dark chocolate with saffron are delicious. Excellent for a romantic dinner or among close friends.

Note: There’s a nice, semi-private niche (table for four-to-six to the left, entering the restaurant) and outdoor seating in summer. Closed in August.

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