Straight from the Sea

by Danilo Brunetti

Style, quality, and innovation come together at this enticing restaurant in the Quirinale district.

This refined restaurant, combining style and quality in an elegantly decorated setting, is a go-to spot for the most demanding gourmets in Rome. The restaurant’s seafood-rich menu, conceived by co-owner Valentina, focuses on  absolute excellence in terms of ingredients, especially when it comes to extremely fresh fish purchased from only the best suppliers, arriving daily from nearby Santo Stefano, Ponza, Fiumicino. What sets Matermatuta apart is the love and knowledge of the raw material, the innovation in the preparation of the ingredients, and a deep respect for gastronomic tradition and seasonality. The menu is rich with exquisitely crafted dishes, each carefully prepared with innovation and creativity. There are so many tempting choices that it can be a challenge to decide, so we’ve curated a list of the menu highlights.

Start your meal with a selection of French and Irish oysters; a Russian seafood salad; a tasting array of crustaceans from Anzio, Gallipoli, and Santo Stefano; or white shrimp tartare with lime, horseradish, and guacamole. With your appetite whetted, it’s time for a primo; we suggest egg chitarrina pasta with both raw and cooked purple shrimp, lime, and crunchy bread; or potato and pumpkin gnocchi in a garlic sauce with clams, bottarga (fish roe), and zucchini blossoms. Moving on to a heartier second course, don’t miss the tuna encrusted in aromatic herbs with a compote of red onions and raspberries; the sea bass saltimbocca—a maritime take on the Roman classic—served with smoked potato millefeuille; and the caramelized octopus with passion fruit and mango cream, served with crunchy fennel dressed with a special ‘nduja-infused olive oil. And since no meal worth having is complete without dessert, cap it all off with the cinnamon crème brûlée with banana ice cream. Add to all that a wine list featuring over 260 labels, curated by the owner Stefano with particular attention to the richest Italian wine-producing areas.

A hidden internal garden is the perfect place for a romantic and intimate meal in the shade of a splendid magnolia tree.

Via Palermo, 51. Tel 064823962.