Rome, IT-RM 186 Italy 06.6993.4375
For those who saw the Fodor’s entry that listed this as Rome’s “Best Place for a Special Date” in the guidebook’s “Most Romantic Places on Earth” category, praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. Imàgo, the latest Hasser rooftop restaurant (there have been many), is above average but pretentiously overpriced. Young executive chef Francesco Apreda does fine with his fusion of Italian, continental, and Japanese dishes (gorgonzola ravioli edamame — with green soybeans, sesame and chestnut honey; fusilloni “carbonara” with quail ragù), but when you add it all up this is just an upper-echelon New York knockoff. The Spanish Steps and a beautiful view go a long way to buffer shortcomings (as do the magic words “recently refurbished”) — until you get the check. Hassler dining has always relied on ambiance to seduce the wide-eyed into spending sprees. And while, bada bene — or “let’s be clear” — this is a very, very pretty place, it’s simply not worth the (minimum) €100+ a head price tag. A far better bet is a drink at the bar at dusk. Dine elsewhere.
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