Seeing Stars

by Danilo Brunetti

Rome’s newest Michelin-starred restaurant stuns with eclectic and innovative Italian cuisine. Federico Schiaffino fills you in.

Within the new Pantheon Iconic Rome, a 5-star hotel of undeniable glamour and prestige, awaits an unforgettable gourmet experience. Just shy of its first birthday, Idylio by Apreda—helmed by renowned chef Francesco Apreda—has already claimed its first Michelin star, the only Rome restaurant to be awarded one this year.

Apreda’s cuisine is deeply personal, able to marry Mediterranean flavors with far away ingredients and techniques, Asian in particular. The menu provides an admirable portrait of Apreda at his best, rich in whimsical, contemporary dishes that push the envelope. Besides an à la carte option, Idylio proposes a trio of tasting menus: Inside the Pantheon, Iconic Signature at the Pantheon, and Seasons at the Pantheon. The first is an homage to traditional Roman recipes, each one deftly reinterpreted by the chef; the second is a collection of Apreda’s most beloved dishes; and the third is a showcase of seasonal ingredients.

Alberto Blasetti /

Standout masterpieces include puntarelle with anchovies, sea urchins, and citron; cappellini with garlic, olive oil, hot pepper, and smoked eel; ziti with red onion, mackerel, and foie gras; breaded scallops with black truffle; grilled pigeon with mango and lentils; and black cod with a vegetable scapece marinade. Conclude your meal with one of the spectacular desserts like vanilla apple pastry; sweet buffalo mozzarella; or date and coriander samosa. The wine list offers a broad range of Italian and international labels. The dining room is supervised with impeccable class by maître d’ and sommelier Alessandro d’Andrea and his staff, who welcome guests with both professionality and warmth. During the more temperate months, guests are invited to dine on the restaurant’s top floor, which boasts a rooftop terrace with a spectacular panoramic view of the city. Idylio is closed Monday and is open only for dinner.
> Via di Santa Chiara, 4a. Tel 0687807080.