This post isn’t about the famous Roscioli bakery in Via Chiavari, which supplies bread to many restaurants in Rome. Awesome pizza bianca by the way – the best in town. It’s about the restaurant nearby – owned by the same family – at the top end of Via Giubbonari, a small street lined with clothing stores that empties into Campo di Fiori.
Here’s a fun fact to know and tell: Campo di Fiori has long (and by long, I mean looooooooong) been a commercial area and the streets around the piazza are named after trades – Via dei Balestrari (crossbow-makers), Via dei Cappellari (hat-makers), Via dei Chiavari (key-makers). Via dei Giubbonari means street of the tailors. The street got its name in medieval times, meaning they’ve been selling clothing there at least since then. Cool, eh?
I love Campo di Fiori. In the mornings, the piazza hosts a beautiful fruit, flower and tchotchke market and it’s a great place for people watching at any time of day. I often manage to be here around lunchtime and, when I am, I usually stop in at Roscioli. This is a deli/wine bar/restaurant. The meat and cheesy things behind the deli counter are imported from all over Europe and, although pricey, are pretty gorgeous. There aren’t many tables in the restaurant part of the shop – I guess it seats about 35 – so it’s probably best to book in advance although, having said that, I’ve never once been turned away. Here’s my trick: show up for a lateish lunch, around 2:00.
I’m not a big pasta eater (I know, it’s weird) but the spaghetti carbonara here is reputed to be the best in Rome. Peter S, if you are reading this, the search is over! I’m still working my way through the menu because I tend to get stalled on the things I really love. I really love the vellutata di pomodori.
Vellutata means ‘velvety’ and that’s what this is: a cold velvety tomato soup with a swirl of burrata, the best cheese on the planet. They always bring you complementary stuff at Roscioli, a very fine trait in a restaurant I feel, and the last time I was there, it was a little coin of fresh ricotta with some intense semi-dried tomatoes and teeny black olives.
For dessert, they complemented me with some warm chocolate dipping sauce with cookies for dunking. Roscioli isn’t cheap – I think my soup was about 12 Euros – but if you factor in the free stuff, it’s not too bad. Plus, yum.
Oh and the bread – from the bakery of course – is delish.
Not everyone is wild about the service here but I find it to be perfectly okay. A bit slow perhaps, but when you are savouring the butteriest burrata and the finest little explosions of tomatoey goodness, what’s the rush?
Roscioli, Via dei Giubbonari 21, Rome. Tel: 066875287. The bakery’s at Via dei Chiavari 34.