Il Marchese

by Danilo Brunetti

To the Bitter End

Newly-opened Il Marchese plays double duty as restaurant and amaro, or bitter bar.

A short walk from Piazza del Popolo, brand-new eatery Il Marchese brings an authentic dose of local culinary tradition reinterpreted in a modern key—to Rome’s often tourist-restaurant-heavy historic center. Dishes are prepared in a open kitchen by chefs, while a separate team of pastai, or pasta makers, knead and roll fresh dough for first courses. The décor, meanwhile, proves elegant and sleek, with marble counters and chandeliers. So what to order? Rugby player- turned-chef Daniele Roppo (a protegé of Michelin-starred chef Marco Martini) prepares a decadent carbonara, undoubtedly the restaurant’s signature dish, made exclusively with Parisi eggs, known in the culinary world as the Rolls-Royce of eggs. Their amatriciana is generously served with a homemade rosetta roll, inviting the diner to fare la scarpetta or mop up leftover sauce with the bread. Fresh ragù tossed pasta arrives at the table in terracotta bowls. Secondi, or second courses, include citrus and beef meatballs; chicken with bell peppers; cod sh with mint and zucchini puré; and veal saltimbocca. To conclude the meal on a sweet note, don’t miss their amaretto and cherry cheesecake or pistachio tiramisù. While Marchese’s food stays loyal to the past, its chic amaro bar is all about the present: over 500 Italian liqueurs, both international and local labels, are shaken and stirred into imaginative and original cocktails by top Italian bartender Matteo Zed Zamberlan and his team. All drinks come served in crystal glasses with hand-cut ice. Or, sip an amaro, a bitter digestive liqueur, at the bar after dinner. Ask sta for help in selecting exactly what you’re in the mood for. For true cocktail connoisseurs, a tasting menu of cocktails paired with food is on offer.

Via di Ripetta, 162. Tel 0690218872.