I always thought that the corner of Trastevere down the hill from Gianicolo, just off Piazza San Cosimato and right behind the basilica of Santa Maria was a bit of dead space. Not anymore.
You now turn on to this section of Via della Paglia and see Santo. Cocktail bar slash bistro, it’s the latest in stylish bars with a decent food offering to hit the Rome dining scene. The first thing you notice here is the decor. It’s so sleek and stylish that it’s a bit of a show off actually. Look up and there’s some industrial looking beams and a hanging garden. Look down and there’s a pretty arrangement of patterned tiles. The bar is hot chic and the music, an eclectic mix of 50s and 60s tunes (think The Temptations, My Girl).
The chef sent us out a little welcome starter of a cashew crusted goat’s cheese ball sitting on a ginger and potato purée. The tiny morsel packed with flavour was a great start.The menu here isn’t extensive but offering dishes like tuna or beef tartare, a range of carpaccio, comfort food like a baked Brie fondue, cheese and charcuterie boards and fresh salads, it’s enough for you to have a nicely balanced sharing feast.
And there are burgers including a vegetarian and fish option, if you need something more heavy duty. The cocktail list is fun with some delicious mocktail mixes thrown in for good measure (served in the cutest jars) and dessert is more than covered with 4 creations from Rome’s champion pastry chef, Andrea de Bellis. If Santo hadn’t won me over at molten brie cheese with mulberry jam or with a delectable berry cheesecake in a jar, then it certainly did when we received the bill. It came with a side of marshmallows!
This place sure knows the way to a girl’s heart and I hope it remains a permanent fixture on the Trastevere food and cocktail beat.
Info: Santo Trastevere, Via della Paglia, 40. Ph: +39 06 5837 7020. Website.
Signing off from Trastevere,