Rome’s most famous female chef (the only female chef in the city with a Michelin star under her belt), Cristina Bowerman is about to open the biggest restaurant this town has ever seen. And gourmands and the local food and wine sector are watching closely and waiting!
In mid-March, Romeo&Giulietta is set to put on a real show at what was formerly an abandoned warehouse in Testaccio’s Piazza dell’Emporio. Together with Glass, Cups at Testaccio Market and a couple of food trucks that get around, the Bowerman brand just keeps growing.
This reincarnation of Romeo, formerly in Prati, is over three times the size and will seat 500 (with double the capacity for stand up functions). For the restaurant section (Romeo), Bowerman with her extremely talented sous chefs Emiliano Valenti and Antonio Giordano, has devised a charismatic and cosmopolitan menu that showcases the very best local ingredients. At lunch you’ll find quick and even 2 course meals, and salumi and baked goods are available all day at the bar counter. On the dinner menu, instead of the traditional antipasti, primi e secondi (entree, first and second course) dishes are organised by produce – meats, fish and vegetables for instance.
Aperitivo time also looks set to be a lot of fun with a huge bar where you can sit and enjoy Bowerman’s carefully constructed finger food snacks to match cocktails by bar boss and expert mixologist Riccardo Gambino (formerly of Roscioli and The Corner).
But what would Romeo have been without Juliet??
Giulietta is the pizzeria section – it boasts two pizza ovens producing both pizza romana (by Marco Lungo) and napoletana (by Napoli’s, the Salvo brothers) and will serve up classic and some new takes on pizzeria fritti (fried starters).
The complex has a a show-cooking space that will be available for cooking and wine classes and events and multi-purpose function room too, decked out with state-of-the-art cabling and technology. All the contemporary and eye-catching design and interiors are by Andrea Lupacchini, who has been instrumental in Bowerman’s other businesses.
Oh and there’s a gelateria (Frigo) too. You know, just in case!
I was recently honoured to attend an exclusive preview in an intimate setting of about 20 people, where Cristina and her chefs gave us a taste of what’s to come.Here’s what we feasted on:
Cappuccino di carote alla brace (grilled carrot soup, with ginger, orange, sesame, fresh coriander and habanero sauce)Gnocchetti with clams, mussels, vermouth and wild fennelGrilled octopus on lettuce purée with lemon and almondsSurprise dessert: a concoction of decadent chocolate, custard and caramel sauce The new Romeo&Giulietta brings yet another much needed Bowerman cosmopolitan and stylish touch to Rome. I loved it and can’t wait to see it take off. This is going to be the biggest new opening of the year!
Romeo&Giulietta will open in mid-March
It is a joint venture between Cristina Bowerman, her partner Fabio Spada, gragnano pasta maker Giuseppe Di Martini) and journalist, Antonio Scuteri)
Romeo – Piazza dell’Emporio, 28, ph: 06 32110120, www.romeo.roma.it
Giulietta – Piazza dell’Emporio, 28, ph: 06 45229022, www.giuliettapizzeria.it
Frigo – Via Marmorata, 30, ph: 45229045, www.frigogelato.it
Signing off from Trastevere