It’s all about the best ingredients at Roscioli. The best bread, the best cheese, the best wine, even the best egg that goes into what is the best Carbonara in Rome, maybe the world. Everything is good at Roscioli, with the exception, perhaps, of the service, which can be brusque.
What at first glimpse seems to be a crowded deli opens up into a full restaurant. The walls are lined with shelves of wine and gourmet ingredients which you can purchase to take home. There is an additional dining room downstairs in the wine cellar. That cellar is stocked with a wonderful collection of wines from all over Italy and features some top French producers as well.
Walk in the front door and you are immediately struck by a long deli case which showcases an incredible array of cheeses from throughout Italy and France. Not only do they have the typical standards, made by top notch artisan producers, the selection in unparalleled and includes such discoveries as a creamy rich cheese wrapped in a cabbage leaf. You will also find gourmet ingredients here such as a rich anchovy “colatura” or the fantastic French Bordier Butter.
That care for ingredients carries through. The meal may well begin with a complementary dish of creamy, sweet buffalo milk ricotta served with fig jam or marinated vegetables. Follow that with an appetizer, many of which showcase the exquisite selection of cured meats and cheeses, but could be a cooked dish like a wonderful Sicilian Caponata.
Pastas are true to the Roman classics. Fans might argue the merits of Cacio e Pepe versus Carbonara, they both have merit. But the Carbonara at Roscioli is a must. They do it like no one else. The egg comes from the cult chicken egg farmer Paolo Parisi, the guanciale is extra thick and crispy and five different kinds of black pepper enhance the dish, most noticeably aromatic Malaysian Black Pepper. That pepper is essential for cutting the richness of the dish. An herb salad perfectly offsets the pasta; an anomaly for Italy, it is a sophisticated salad with bright, vibrant flavors.
A Gattinara from Piemonte is the perfect accompaniment to a rich Roman pasta. It is a lesser known nebbiolo that lost the popularity contest to Barolo, but comes from the same grape and the same region. All of this is accompanied by the fantastic Roscioli bread, the best bread in Rome, and on par to what you can find in France. The bread basket is stuffed with two or three different breads, including a wonderful rustic country loaf, and if you’re lucky a walnut or olive loaf as well.
Before you go, enjoy a little bit of bittersweet chocolate “fondue” served with mini meringues, it comes for free and it is the perfect parting taste.
Get It!: Spaghetti alla Carbonara, homemade breads
Signature Dishes: Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe, homemade breads
Via dei Giubbonari, 21, Rome. www.salumeriaroscioli.com; tel: 06 6875287.
TIP: You can also enjoy epic wine tastings paired with some of the best ingredients from Roscioli’s larder at Roscioli Rimessa.