Delicious art and artful food
Posted on 01 / 26 / 2010
Il Margutta RistorArte--this is the name they call themselves, so take note when searching by name--has been vegetarian since 1979, in the middle of Rome, where vegetarian and vegan fare is not always convenient to find.
We decided to treat ourselves last week, after we had walked our feet to the ankles. (Rome is, of course, rich in art, history, architecture, and steps!) So glad we did. I was a bit worried, because when we arrived at 19:45 or so, we were the only patrons in a largish space. But I'd read others' positive reviews and also realized that our American sense of when dinnertime is just earlier than the Italian idea. So we trusted.
Also, a note that we were in Rome in the middle of January. The city is MUCH different, with "less crowded" being a hugely appealing factor.
The decor is mod and upscale. On one end of a swanky shopping block (closer to Flaminio Metro stop than Spagna, if your dogs are tired of walking). Lots of combinable two-tops and some beautiful banquettes for larger parties. Mirrors so you don't have to crane your neck to notice the beautiful people and the art suspended from the ceiling.
My husband and I each decided to order the vegan fixed-price option. Our vegetarian waiter was engaging and suggested some alternatives so that all our courses were not identical and we could sample more items. Fantastic!
Every course was carefully prepared and beautiful. Some delightful and surprising combinations. My salad near the end of the meal was the most creative and delicious salad I've ever eaten: fennel, pomegranate seeds, blood orange, greens. Flavors bursting all over.
Some great treatments of seitan: one escalloped (great orange sauce); one battered and substantial.
The food was expensive, yes. One should already be prepared that Rome itself can be expensive. The vegan fixed menu was Euro 32. There were other fixed menus ranging up to around E60 (these included wine or champagne). In addition to the fixed-price menus, there were a la carte choices. The concept might verge a bit on "precious," except for the care these folks put into the food. Everything was delicious! And such a reprieve from quick tourist fare and a lot of typical Italian fare. (I LOVE mediterranean cuisine!)
While it's true that, with diligence and research, one can eat well on the road, it was a real treat to know that our veg*n desires could be met entirely by Il Margutta RistorArte. I totally recommend.
Caters to veg*ns, Beautiful decor, Delicious, beautiful food!
Be prepared for price (WORTH it!)