Chasing the Stars

by Danilo Brunetti

Visual attractiveness enhances the pleasures of the palate, or so sensory experts tell us. This is particularly the case at restaurants where, even before the food, the aesthetic effect of the setting conquers the visitor with all its seductive power.

It happens in those extraordinary places where the “specialty of the house” is the beauty that is on offer, without neglecting, of course, the undeniable importance of excellent food. We’re talking about the magnificent Roof Garden Restaurant Les Etoiles of the Hotel Atlante Star, which enchants the diner’s eye with a spectacular view over the Roman skyline, including the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica that is so close, it feels like you could reach out and touch it.

The kitchen is the realm of chefs Antonio Martucci and William Anzidei, who prepare the classics of Italian cuisine with the addition of some international touches, perfectly suited to the hotel’s cosmopolitan clientele. To follow our recipe for an unforgettable meal, start with the tuna tartare with wild greens and artichokes prepared in various ways; the sliced octopus in a cream of carrot sauce with thyme, turnip greens, and Taggiasca olives; or the Piedmontese beef tartare with truffle and an egg cooked at 65 degrees Celsius. For your first course, try the spaghettoni with garlic, olive oil, prawns from Mazara, orange, Sicilian pecorino cheese, and mint; or the mezzo pacchero rigato alla gricia with artichokes. When it’s time for the second course, the lamb chop with herbs, steamed artichoke, and seasonal vegetables is unmissable. A meal at Les Etoiles wouldn’t be complete without one of their tempting desserts; opt for the hazelnut and gianduia pudding with mango, coconut, and lime, or the dark chocolate bar with mint, pistachio, and passion fruit.

The restaurant is open all day long, a rarity in Rome, with a flexible and versatile menu that changes with the necessities of the day, from breakfast to lunch, aperitivo, dinner, and beyond. The ambience is elegant yet comfortable, and the wine list is as dazzling as the view. Fun fact: the terrace is the most sought-after in Rome by television networks and film production companies due to its incomparable stage setting.

> Via dei Bastioni, 1. Tel 0668638163. atlantehotels.com