Rome's dining scene has always been competitive, and this means that restaurants cannot lay back and rest on their impressive laurels. With a wealth of Michelin-starred establishments offering creative and surprising interpretations fine dining lovers will not be disappointed in this city. Here are a selection of our favourite contemporary dining options in the Eternal City.
Antonello Colonna Vallefredda
Less than an hour’s drive from Rome’s historic centre and just beyond Vallefredda Park this unique restaurant has been inspired by the Roman soil. Chef Antonello Colonna has returned to rustic simplicity with a culinary style that combines the best of nature with modern cooking techniques. The satisfying crunchy pork, custard and chocolate diplomatico with salt caramel, along with many other fresh-from-the-source dishes, are served against the backdrop of the sumptuous resort and spa.
Antonello Colonna Resort & Spa: Via Valle Fredda 52, 00030, Labìco, Rome, Tel. +39 06 9510 032, www.antonellocolonnaresort.it
Elegant yet contemporary, Michelin-starred restaurant All’Oro creates fabulous gourmet cuisine. From the breadsticks to pasta, from the puff pastry to desserts, Chef Riccardo di Giacinto and his team make everything from scratch with impressive results. Start with ‘Rocher’ oxtail with celery gelée, or salt-cod ‘tiramisù’ with Cinta Senese bacon, then savour homemade cappelletti filled with hearty broth. Enjoy an pre or post dinner drink at Misceliamo bar in the same building, also owned by Chef Riccardo and Ramona.
All’Oro: Via del Vantaggio 14, 00197, Rome, Tel. +39 06 9799 6907, www.ristorantealloro.it
All'Oro: suckling pig with mushrooms, hazlenuts and truffle sauce
Located on Collina Fleming and surrounded by a peaceful garden Acquolina Hostaria serves Roman classics with a seafood twist. Chef Giulio Terrinoni and his team incorporates ocean-freshness into every dish. The seafood carbonara is not to be missed.
Acquolina Hostaria: Via Antonio Serra 60, 00191, Rome, Tel. +39 06 3337 192, www.acquolinahostaria.it
Acquilona Hostaria: Papardelle filled with ricotta and pecorino, with spicy octopus
Chef Francesco Apreda explores new culinary horizons at Imàgo where the future of Italian cuisine is looking as bright as the view outside this lauded restaurant. Don’t get too carried away by the sight of the Eternal City from your window though, because the gourmet food is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the palate. Creative dishes draw inspirations from world cuisine and you will be won over with every recipe, from scampi carpaccio, lime powder and fig chutney to octopus, basmati rice and avocado.
Hotel Hassler: Piazza Trinità dei Monti 6, 00187, Rome, Tel. +39 06 6993 4726, www.hotelhasslerroma.com
La Terrazza dell’Eden
You can enjoy sweeping views from Villa Borghese to St. Peter’s Dome within the glass-housed comfort of La Terrazza restaurant. The calamarata with shellfish, Roman zucchine, lemon balm and sun-dried Vesuvio Piennolo tomatoes is a burst of regional flavours, while the tasting menu with dishes already paired with the perfect wines not only takes the guesswork out of ordering, but is also an amazing introduction to what La Terrazza has to offer.
Hotel Eden Rome: Via Ludovisi 49, 00187, Rome, Tel. +39 06 4781 2752, www.dorchestercollection.com
La Terrazza dell'Eden: oven roasted courgette flowers
Pipero al Rex
Shining bright on Rome’s culinary scene is the one Michelin-starred Pipero al Rex restaurant. Situated in a unique space that used to be a bar and cinema, the real stars of the show are the expertly directed dishes. Ricotta bottoni in chicken broth with liquorice, chef’s pigeon, beef with vanilla cauliflower and port wine jelly, and the triumphant flavours go on and on.
Hotel Rex: Via Torino 149, 00184 Rome, Tel. +39 06 4815 702, www.hotelrex.net
Pipero al Rex
In the ancient neighbourhood of Trastevere where the streets are marked by the well-worn signs of history, Glass Hostaria is a modern culinary gem. Chef Cristina Bowerman’s daring innovation has not only earned her many awards, but also international recognition for the restaurant. And no wonder, the dishes impress with their presentation and intricate flavours. The lamb short ribs with orange glaze, coffee- aromatized baby carrots and cannellini bean purée is a mouthful of exoticism.
Glass Hostaria: Vicolo del Cinque 58, 00153, Rome, Tel. +39 06 5833 5903, www.glass-restaurant.it
Glass Hostaria: lamb