My first week in Rome was spent flitting between hotels with my mother, desperately trying to find an apartment where 2bed meant 2bedrooms (false advertising doesn’t seem to translate here). All my worldly possessions were stuffed into my little English Corsa and as we drove down the winding streets dodging the kamikaze mopeds a battered frying pan would break free and fly to the most obtrusive space available. Needless to say this proved to be a stressful experience, so when we finally found a flat on a picturesque Bernini-hosting piazza and we were finally able to decontaminate the death trap car, my mother announced that it was time to celebrate. In my family there is only one way to celebrate, Prosecco, and such celebrations vary from the traditional Christmas and birthdays to lesser known festivities such as Monday and Tuesday. This trait is clearly hereditary as even my 90-something grandma refers to water as ‘ghastly stuff’.
We wandered down the nearest side street, and stumbled upon an awning of ivy beneath which lay beautiful white-washed garden furniture and tea-lights. We knew instantly that this was our ideal watering-hole.
When my mother returned a few weeks ago, we decided to celebrate (it was sunday Brunch therefore we were toasting to the appreciation of portmanteaux) and so we went back to our beloved Luce44, where a red-corduroy sporting gentleman told us that a mere two days ago he had become the new proprietor. As the previous owner had filled the restaurant with his extended family and ‘business partners’ we were the only customers there and consequently were given the real Vittorio Emmanuelle treatment. The head chef popped over to explain and recommend dishes from the menu, win the meantime our new friend il corduroy-rosso went to the back to find a special bottle of olive oil and another of red wine, both grown and pressed at his country house in Tuscany.
The food arrived and mamma-mia, it was delicious. Il cibo, like the décor, represents a modern and chic eataly, that is shy-ing away from the rustic stereotype by developing a fresh and equally impressive niche. Whilst you pay a small mark up to eat here, every penny is worth it (slight markup still means less than 30€ for a full belly and a woozy head, 40€ if you push yourself). I think it might just be my favorite restaurant in Rome.
In the off chance you read this please know that we had the most wonderful time, the excellent food was matched perfectly by your generous hospitality. It was a perfect afternoon and I thank you for that.
I apologize profusely for not leaving a tip, we searched high and low but realized we had no cash left, please do not be offended. I shall return soon and I promise to leave double to make up for this faux-pas.
I wish you all the best of luck in your new venture and I am sure all those who visit your establishment will find the same love for your food as I did.
My sincerest apologies,