Quinzi e Gabrieli
One of the most delicious aspects of Italian cooking is an expertly prepared Mediterranean seafood meal, and this is the best place in Rome to have one. You’ll close your eyes and thank King Neptune over and over as each enormous, exquisite plate appears, such as the sauté di vongole antipasto, where each little bivalve marries perfectly with its garlicky broth, or the moscardini and baby tomato pasta, which includes as many miniature octopi as there are penne, and both are cooked to the same al dente perfection. Attentive and discreet service hits perfect levels of approachability and formality, and your fellow diners may well include Hollywood stars such as Cameron Diaz and Susan Sarandon, as well as high-profile politicians. And if that isn’t enough, expect an especially sophisticated setting—Quinzi e Gabrieli enlisted the Academy of Fine Arts to help decorate. The three rooms have hand-painted murals, based on methods used in the 18th century; each room has a different subject: “Sunrise at Portofino,” “Sunset at Capri,” “Night-time at Elba.”
Insider Tip: À la carte prices are daunting here, but the lunchtime prix fixe menus are more reasonable and include a welcome Prosecco, a glass of wine, and for dessert: a glass of Vin Santo and a gluttonous procession of gelato, bonbons, biscotti, and fresh fruit.
Closed Sunday and Monday.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.