High end 3 Michelin starred restaurant with stunning views of Rome and exquisite care to portion size and design of dishes. Jackets most certainly needed for gentlemen to dine here.
This is a most impressive venue. It has a renaissance and highly luxurious feel to the interior visually and is located in the Rome Cavalieri (Waldorf Astoria) hotel, high on the hills of NW Rome which affords superb views of the city. This is the sort of restaurant that will earn considerable points for anyone taking their other halves out for a treat and one would not feel comfortable here underdressed. For my occasion here with my associate Mr Bainbridge, as usual, the point of the visit was complete focus on the food but, in terms of what feel the venue is, I would say keep this up the sleeve if you need to gain serious credit in treating someone special when in Rome.
At time of visit the costs of the tasting menus averaged €225 Euros which, although expensive is basically a no brainer when one is getting the 10 course highlights as opposed to an average of €200 for the 5 course a la carte. It was abundantly clear that this tasting menu had been planned and mapped out in detail. At no point did I feel bloated and the dishes all had careful precision in their execution. All the courses were enjoyable but the true highlights of this meal were the foie gras, fagotelli and ‘The Sun’ dessert.
The foie gras dish was a liquid foie gras base covered with aerated foie gras powder (snow). This was absolutely superb – so light and original, it was scooped very, very quickly. The fagotelli is one of La Pergola’s signature dishes and was simply faultless pasta with liquid parmesan on delicate macaroni. I can’t see how this could have been bettered and this is why you pay the price that these establishments set. The sauce burst in to the mouth as soon as each parcel was gently squeezed by the mouth. Pre-dessert chocolate was heavenly but ‘The Sun’ main dessert of passion fruit was another moment where one just wanted more and very quickly.
Miscellaneous observations here include the fact that the service was quite mixed which was surprising for a 3 Michelin starred restaurant. On the whole the service was extremely good but with one waiter dampening the experience by having a general demeanour that diners to this venue should feel lucky to be there. This attitude or delivery ceases to impress or intimidate me now and is easily dealt with by ignoring it and lack of engagement. Being grateful as a diner is important of course, but this restaurant would be wise to cut this blasé body language out as a) the price of the experience which is being paid for and b) diners are not there for the benefit of waiters. On the other side of the spectrum, it was wonderful to be invited in to the kitchen and meet Heinz Beck to chat with briefly and it was lovely of the staff to show us around briefly – my sincere thanks to Heinz and all and all who obliged. A serene operation of focus was seen with some extraordinary centrifugal equipment for making the foie gras snow for example.
This was great meal – refined and so clever in how it was designed from start to finish. I wouldn’t say I will remember all the dishes forever, but there at least three moments of sheer joy and the meal itself was clearly in the mid-3 Michelin star level (well deserved of its accolade). A great way to see Rome from high ground as well and was a considerably pleasant tick to complete on a 3 day visit to Rome.
Food Grade: 94%
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