You and your significant other are in Rome, one of the most romantic cities in the world. There is that one, special night you have saved for an intimate evening, gazing into each other’s eyes at a table for two. Be it a proposal, honeymoon or even a secret getaway, with so much choice in the eternal city, it’s no wonder couples can be at a loss in deciding where to make a reservation for a special occasion. Here are our tips for where to dine with your love in our favorite romantic restaurants in Rome.
Michelin-star restaurant All’Oro of The First Luxury Art Hotel is one of the most romantic restaurants in Rome. Make a reservation for a table on the small penthouse patio that’s located above the hotel’s rooftop terrace, you won’t regret it: the space – appropriately called 360° – only seats six and the menu offers All’Oro classic dishes such as ravioli filled with liquid broth, parmesan, saffron and lemon; delightful wild salmon with goat cheese beignets and a delicate onion extract. There are two very interesting tasting menus that summarize the chef’s culinary journey, or you can choose from the All’Erbiv’Oro, the restaurant’s newly inaugurated all-vegan gourmet menu. After dinner, head down to the hotel’s rooftop bar, 0–300° Cold & Grill, for a nightcap. Both dinner and drinks locations offer unbeatable panoramas of the twinkling city below. Closed Sunday.
The restaurant’s full name is “Romolo nel Giardino di Raffaello e della Fornarina” which specifies that this romantic restaurant is located in the garden that witnessed one of Renaissance Rome’s most torrid love affairs. The artist Raphael, while painting the Stanze in the Vatican, fell in love with a woman of the people, Margherita, who was the local baker’s daughter. They would meet in secrecy in the secluded garden, where the artist wooed her and made a lovely portrait of her, which is on display at the “Galleria Barberini”. The cuisine is all-Roman, with classics such as Amatriciana, Carbonara, Cacio e pepe, in combination with seasonal recipes, like Rigatoni with artichokes, Tagliolini wild asparagus, Fettuccine with black truffles and porcini mushrooms. Entrées feature quintessential dishes of the Quinto Quarto, the Roman-Jewish tradition and the cuisine from the Castelli Romani in the outskirts of the city. Closed Monday.
Located in the rooftop of elegant 5-star Palazzo Manfredi, the view enjoyed from your table will leave you speechless. Imperial Rome at your feet, and delightful modern Mediterranean cuisine on your plate, winning the heart of your beloved will be a piece of cake. The 7-course degustation menu features some of Chef Di Iorio’s classic dishes, such as potato gnocchi with black truffle, pecorino cheese and a delicate broccolini purée; squab casserole with celery and gooseberry sauce; and creative desserts like the maitre pâtissier’s chocolate and apricot bavaroise spheres, peach sorbet dotted with balsamic tapioca pearls. Each dish comes with a fitting wine pairing, for those interested in exploring the wine list, be forewarned: the Aroma wine cellar holds an extensive collection, featuring approximately 400 labels. Open daily.
This romantic restaurant in the heart of Rome, located on charming Via Margutta – with its handful of tables shaded beneath a canopy of vines – has been a meeting place for artists and literati since 1965. Chairs have name tags of those that were regulars here: avantgarde artist Giorgio De Chirico, authors Achille Campanile, Italo Calvino, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Natalia Ginzburg, poet Eugenio Montale, thespians Peppino De Filippo, Pupella Maggio and director Federico Fellini, to mention a few. From the elegant menu listings, choose pasta dishes such as homemade tagliolini in creamy lemon sauce, or delightful spaghetti with anchovies, capers and breadcrumbs. Entrées feature filet mignon served with creamy Gorgonzola, or beef tartare with grappa and freshly squeezed orange juice. Leave room for dessert, especially if the ricotta and wild cherry tart is on the menu that day. Closed Sunday evening, and Monday lunch.
This Contemporary cuisine restaurant specialized in fish and seafood is located in a romantic, dimly lit dining room with bare brick and exposed beams, beautiful art on the walls and a sexy atmosphere. The fresh catch that is artfully transformed in the kitchen arrives daily from the fish auctions held in Terracina, 40 km south of Rome. Assunta Madre serves some of the city’s best fresh crudo: oysters, scampi and purple prawns, carpaccios, fish tartares, as well as a rich variety of cooked appetizers. As far as mains, we suggest you try the paccheri with baby calamari, great seafood risottos, grilled fish of the day, oven baked turbot with potatoes, or – when available – simple steamed king prawns and live lobsters. Open daily, dinner only.
Eleonora Baldwin is a TV host, freelance food and travel writer, and culinary connoisseur based in Rome, Italy. Her writing appears in several food and travel publications. Her shows “ABCheese” and “Uazz’america” are broadcast on Italian food network Gambero Rosso Channel. Her podcast “iCheese” is recorded live on the Radio Food Live network.