Best in Rome?
This place is wonderfully absurd. The building is ugly and situated in an off the beaten track street in the EUR area, not so well connected by public transportaiton. It is styled in such a retro way to seem even trendy. It is enormous, as it sits around 300 people! Locals tell me it has remained the same for decades. And it is pretty much the only luxury restaurant in Rome's largest business area.
Now you would expect all this to result into a mediocre place. Instead, you'll be greeted by hordes of polite waiters that will usually offer you plenty of choices for your table (the place is so huge it is seldom full, even at weekends). Notice the fresh fish exposed on your left-hand side while you get in. If you want to smoke while eating, this is one of the few places in Rome to have a good and airy smoking room - ask for it!
When I last went there in the company of 7 others we were offered to have two small portions of pasta (spaghetti with giant prawns, zucchini flowers and cherry tomatoes and home-made trofie with mixed vegetables and calamari). The portions were not small at all (each one would have been a dish of its own in many other places), the quality of the ingredients was top-notch and the execution was perfect.
We then had a gigantic mixed seafood platter which was slightly below perfection but still noteworthy (the mussels did not taste that great, but the tuna was fantastic and the swordfish divine),
We ended up with a great tiramisu, an excellent coffee and a grappa from their exterminate selection. The wine list is not as long as you may expect, but it is solid, and the waiter will always be able to advice on the best match.
The price of food is even less than what you would expect with such quality, and wine prices seem even below average.
The complex also includes a 55-room, 4-star hotel, a newsagent, a pastry shop, a tobacco shop with a good cigar selection, a swimming pool and a summer terrace that is surrounded by trees.
I don't think you can ask for more. The food is a class ahead of any other place in Rome I've been to - actually it is probably one of the top 10 places I have ever visited in my life (and I've been to many - I eat out about every second evening). The menu is almost endless, with dozens of different choices from all tastes, from soups to pasta, from fish to meat, from fruit to desserts.
I have had at least one or two memorable dishes each time I have been to this restaurant: pasta with vongole (a masterpiece in its simplicity), grilled tuna, mixed fish starter, pasta with giant prawns and zucchini flowers. The list could continue. What I like of this place is that they have such an incredibly large selection of dishes that you can go there every week and still try something different. Have I been convincing enough?