/Romeo in Rome: First Impressions

Romeo in Rome: First Impressions

Today Everyday I am thankful for Mamma Parla. She flew in this morning bearing fresh cranberries, spent her first hours in town at the Mercato Trionfale shopping for Saturday’s belated Thanksgiving feast, then humored me by making her first meal in Rome a burger. Our dining destination was Romeo, which opened in Prati last week. This Roscioli-Glass union, which is subtitled “chef and baker”, sees the marriage of a baking-gourmet food dynasty (the Roscioli bros) with one of Italy’s most celebrated chefs (Cristina Bowerman) and her partner Fabio Spada.

Upon ascended the steps from street level, we entered Romeo’s inner sanctum. The baked goods and deli section gave way to elevated tables and high stools, followed by a space for seated dining. In the short time it has been open, Romeo has gotten a lot of press, so we expected a wait, but when we arrived at 1:30pm, we were immediately seated. We were shown to a table near a wall of wine—already a good start—and massive windows which illuminated the dining room. The decor was ultramodern and vaguely futuristic, with white light fixtures rained down from above like lightening bolts; they contrasted with the sleek, black furniture. We took in our surroundings while nibbling on toasty snacks.

If the interior design felt decidedly un-Roman, several menu items were even more so, like the pulled pork sandwich cooked in banana leaves (above). In the end, this was not a particularly satisfying incarnation of pork shoulder and BBQ sauce…

The “Hamburger Umami”, a blend of sirloin and guanciale, was more successful. Mamma Parla and I each got one and enjoyed the flavor of the 40-day aged beef and the fine mince (most of those awful burger places that have sprouted up all over town insist on coarsely knife cutting their pulpy, un-aged meat, which makes no sense. They should take notes.). The patty was bloody and juicy, as it should be, though the bun and condiment application (too much!) could use some tweaking. In spite of it all, I would say Rome is officially and finally home to a promising burger.

And it is certainly home to some really nice and efficient service (Rome residents and frequent visitors will appreciate just how rare polite service can be), including alumni from Giuda Ballerino and Glass. The first impressions of Romeo were positive overall and there is plenty more to try: pasta dishes, cheese, cured meats, the (affordable) wine list, and more. But in the meantime, I am grateful for spending the day with my Thanksgiving treasure, Mamma Parla.

2017-02-17T15:16:59+00:00 November 23rd, 2012|Categories: Food & Wine, Mamma Parla, Restaurants, Restaurants in Rome, Rome & Lazio|Tags: |6 Comments


  1. Joy (My Turkish Joys) November 23, 2012 at 5:45 am - Reply

    How funny that she brought you fresh cranberries! 🙂 I smuggled back pecans from the US and made a pecan-bourbon tart for our Thanksgiving here in Istanbul. Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving with Mamma Parla!

  2. Nathalie (@spacedlaw) November 23, 2012 at 8:59 am - Reply

    That snack looks really good. What was in it?
    Also: yum. Cranberries.

  3. codecables November 23, 2012 at 11:33 am - Reply

    My neighbourhood just gets better and better! “Rome is officially and finally home to a promising burger.” #reasonstoloveprati

  4. Rob Arrow November 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    I have to agree that Romeo was a fantastic experience. I loved the Antipasti. Burrata Cheese yum! Mortadella amazing and smelt so strong 🙂
    I like the fact it is open until late and the staff definitely were friendly. I have to say at the moment my favourite in Rome too.

  5. Katie November 23, 2012 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    @joy we can get every thanksgiving ingredient here except fresh cranberries. pecan bourban tart sounds amazing! happy t-day!

    @nathalie there was ham and cheese. maybe the perfect food.

    @codecables yeah prati pretty much rules

    @rob glad you enjoyed it! the burrata is the same they serve at roscioli, therefore superior to all similar fresh cheeses in rome

  6. […] here). I am really excited about version 2.6, which includes some new and noteworthy venues like Romeo, Panificio Bonci, and a second location for Birra +. The focus remains on small businesses, both in […]

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