Today I want to share with you the impressions from my visit to the restaurant “Il Pagliaccio” in the historical center of Rome. I went to Rome for professional meetings, and decided to stay overnight so that I could enjoy a good meal and visit the Vatican the next day. I found this restaurant in the Michelin Guide, which has awarded two stars to it.
Let me start by saying that the service was impeccable. Polite, not overbearing, as restaurant service should be. I selected a menu based on meats, the chef’s menu was something like 7 dishes, which after a very long day is not exactly easy to have.
The first item on the table was a Millefoglie (Mille-Feuille) with ricotta.
The pastry was divine, light and crunchy, and it went very well with the noble taste of the cheese. A good start.
A snack based on squid followed.
The squid was tender and tasty, the broth even more!
What came next was a dish based on suckling pig’s meat. The full name of the dish is:
“Maialino da latte, prugne caramelllate, sorbetto al latte di cocco e salsa di arachidi”
The meat was melting in the mouth and was full of flavours. The darkness in the color is due to the wine where it was marinated. The caramelised prune was tasty, but the sorbet had no place at all! Talking to the head waiter, he explained ot me that the chef wants to emphasize the contrast between hot and cold. Not very convincing in terms of taste.
The next dish was a light one, a risotto, whose full name is:
“Riso, fico, mandorla, capicollo calabrese”
The center of the circle is occupied by a fig, while the ring is the risotto. The red spots are dried pulverised “capicollo”, a cross between salami and ham from the region of Calabria. Very light taste, I enjoyed the fig and the rise that had mandorla in it, and the capicollo was top. The chef though seems to have a fixation with cold things, so he put a dollop of another frozen concoction on top of the fig, which destroyed the unity of taste of the dish, turning it into a lukewarm mass.
Last dish was lamb, the full name is:
“Kebab di agnello, pomodori secchi e mozzarella”
This dish was trully delicious, even though it did not look at all like a kebab!
The two cubes on the left were tender pink to rare lamb’s meat, wrapped in delicious thin pastry, on the right you had a couple of pieces of the skin, accompanied by a mozzarella slice, tomato, and parsley sauce. The little gondola like dish on the side was cous cous, without any interest.
The head waiter suggested to accompany the meal with a selection of Italian wines, and he was right. The wines were excellent, coming primarily from small wineries unknown to the large markets, never exported to other countries. What a delight!