With all due respect to 27 centuries of history, there's never been a better time to eat in Rome. The city is famous, of course, for classics like cacio e pepe, with loads of pecorino and ground black pepper, and the deep-fried artichokes called carciofi alla giudia. Those of us who live in Rome are highly opinionated about which restaurant serves the best version of each dish, and travelers to our city can spend several happy days seeking out their own favorites. But now there's another way to add excitement to a Roman food quest: by following chefs who are building on familiar tastes to invent something new. Talents like Gabriele Bonci of Pizzarium and Alba Esteve Ruiz at Marzapane are looking beyond the city, and even outside Italy, to add a jolt of surprise to their interpretations of signature Roman dishes. Whether you're scoping out a place to eat near a major destination like the Vatican or the Campo de' Fiori, or are happy to take a trip to the outskirts of Rome, there's creativity in every part of the city ... if you know where to find it.
—Katie Parla, co-author of Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors & Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City