Rome according to Apreda / 1

The chef, a passionate adopted citizen of the capital, guides us through his favourite places

17-05-2014
Forty-year-old Neapolitan Francesco Apreda, execut

Forty-year-old Neapolitan Francesco Apreda, executive chef at Hotel Hassler’s Imàgo, tel. +39.06.69934726, wrote a piece on his favourite food places in Rome - a mix of new establishments and classic destinations - which was published by Mondadori in the 2014 edition of Guida ai ristoranti di Identità Golose. We post it here, in two episodes

Rome, the capital… And what a capital! It is a city that thanks to its charm never stops surprising you, it’s a source of inspiration for anyone who is living here or dreams to be. I was adopted by Rome, and I perceive it with increasing intensity and pleasure. During these long ten years I’ve seen many changes and I can say that quality food in the Eternal City is going through a great moment, what with conviviality and the desire to do things properly.

The 13-metre-long counter at Porto Fluviale, +39.06.5743199, an eclectic place in Ostiense, located in a large old industrial warehouse

The 13-metre-long counter at Porto Fluviale, +39.06.5743199, an eclectic place in Ostiense, located in a large old industrial warehouse

Since the opening of Eataly the gourmet dna has had a pleasant change, thanks to this very international concept store, which nevertheless has an Italian heart: you can find many excellent Made in Italy products, but most of all, this has become a crossing point for great chefs, producers and professionals who, thanks to the various events that make this place sparkling, always creating interesting cultural exchanges.

Besides, it is pleasant to discover that there is a growing number of places that go beyond the usual definitions: this is a winning format. Whether we call them brasserie, bistros or something else, they are certainly fun places, because it is truly fun to spend some time enjoying good food, with finely selected raw materials and the beautiful smiles of the hosts, plus a careful service. I enjoy a relaxed time, for instance, at Porto Fluviale, in Ostiense: it’s a totally new place where the brilliant and tasty cicchetti act as a drive for a varied offer destined for gourmands; praise to Gino and Dany. In Prati I like Romeo very much: it’s a great and inspirational project shared by Cristina Bowerman, Fabio Spada and the Roscioli brothers: do try it to be able to say: «I’ve been there too».

A mixture of oven and stove: this is how the balance of the Romeo project, +39.06.32110120, open daily from 9 to midnight, is described

A mixture of oven and stove: this is how the balance of the Romeo project, +39.06.32110120, open daily from 9 to midnight, is described

I’m also happy to visit Baccano, a few metres from the majestic Trevi Fountain, a Mediterranean bistro that has nothing less when compared to the Parisian ones: the oyster counter overlooking the street and the colourful kitchen with Alessandro Cecere (his Fresh pasta with butter and anchovies is fantastic) are both beautiful, but the wine list designed by Fabio Casamassima, who thanks to his experience knows how to cuddle you from start to finish, also deserves an applause.

Moreover, being Neapolitan at heart, I enjoy going to the Splendor Parthenopes, a short walk from the reborn piazza Cavour, a cult Neapolitan place with surprising delicacies, from Pizza, strictly scugnizza, to Fritto di paranza (fried seafood), from Spaghetti con il piennolo (with cherry tomatoes) to typical desserts from Campania. It really feels like being in the shade of Vesuvius. For the perfect American style hamburger, instead, I recommend The Perfect Bun: it is right in the centre, overlooking Largo del Teatro Valle, with a young atmosphere and live music.


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