Roscioli is the kind of authentic local eaterie that you dream of finding but never actually do. It is a bakery with a 150 year history (on a separate site) and delicatessen, but also has a few tables serving simple Roman food. Its current format stems from 2002, when Alessandro and Pierluigi Roscioli added a restaurant to their bakery and delicatessen. The narrow dining room has some exposed brickwork, tightly packed tables, a tiled floor and jazz playing in the background. Surprisingly high quality wine litters the shelves (on the way down to the toilet you pass display cases with magnums of Yquem amongst many others). Indeed the menu seems to offer just a few wines, but if you ask for a list then two huge books appear. Vintage Tunina 2004 at EUR 50 is only a little more than retail price, while Antinori Tignanello 1998 at EUR 95 is very fair for a wine that will cost around EUR 65 in the shops. Downstairs there is an extensive wine cellar, with a few tables if you fancy dining amongst the fine wine collection.
The bread was a treat, a mix of rustic brown slices with lovely crust, and in particular some superb buttery focaccia (17/20). The local speciality spaghetti carbonara was a delight, with lovely texture, high quality bacon, good egg and fine Parmesan cheese (16/20). Amatriciana was also excellent, with a rich tomato sauce (15/20). Ice cream is as good as you might hope, with vanilla, hazelut and chocolate all having smooth texture and deep flavour.
We were so impressed with the food here that we came back the next day and had a lengthier meal. Pata negra is top of the range, with two varieties: Romero Sanchez and the Joselito Gran Reserva. Some mozzarella cheese offered with the bread was the best I have eaten anywhere. Cod with a topping of olives with spinach was nicely cooked, though it was a mistake to fry the radicchio leaves (14/20).
Tuna arrived as a vast slab, making it hard to cook through consistently, but though the presentation was rustic the flavour was good, served with a few correctly cooked vegetables: courgette, carrots, cauliflower (14/20). Fettucine with white truffles was simple but let the truffle fragrance speak for itself (15/20). Finally a tiramisu had very strong coffee flavour, was creamy but not too rich, with a sprinkling of good chocolate on top (16/20). Service was relaxed and friendly.
Although this is not fancy food, ingredients are terrific and there is a real honesty about the cooking.
Further reviews: 18th Feb 2014