by Lee Marshall
Skip the tourist traps and follow our expert, Lee Marshall, to the best restaurants in Rome – from romantic traditional trattorias to high-end dining with knock-out views (plus the perfect pizzeria.
This via dei Giubbonari culinary magnet is basically a food shop with tables. But what a food shop. On the left is a deli counter heaving with artisanal salamis, cheeses and smoked fish, on the right a wine cellar – or part of it, at least – with bottles stacked high on metal shelves. A few two-seaters allow you to admire the mozzarella and mortadella action out front; more tables are crammed into the intimate main space behind, with its exposed brick walls, and a downstairs dining room (not our favourite space, as it feels
removed from the Roscioli buzz). Run by brothers Alessandro and Pierluigi Roscioli, this was the first, and is still the best, of a handful of Roman deli-restaurants. Dishes can be as simple as Cantabrian anchovies on buttered toast (is there anything better?); others riff on a key ingredient – thin slices of foie gras, served with sweet-and-sour onions marinated in spice-spiked raspberry vinegar. Then there are the Roman classics just like mamma makes, but made with ultra-refined ingredients – so a carbonara sauce, for example, is prepared with guanciale bacon and pecorino romano cheese, Malaysian black pepper, and eggs supplied by Italian organic egg guru Paolo Parisi. Regulars know that what’s written on the carta is just a suggestion; one good friend of mine makes a point of never, ever ordering anything here exactly as it appears on the menu.