So where do I start. I was at a Relais & Chateau event at the Carlu, meeting hotel owners from all over the world from these high end restaurants who are all part of the same standard. During the evening 5 hotels wanted to give 5 lucky individuals a free stay at their hotels. Well, much to my disbelieve I was the last name drawn, and to my surprise it was Palazzo Manfredi, a Relais & Chateaux property in Rome! The hotel manager suggested that since I was flying to Italy, I should also explore their hotel in Capri, Punta Tragara – I honestly thought I was dreaming to be so lucky.
So yes, I can’t believe how beautiful and surreal Rome is – I didn’t want to come home. I thought I knew beauty until I saw Rome. You know when something changes you, your life, and your outlook on the world? Ya, that’s what happened to me. What I learned from my trip? You think you know yourself, the happiness bubble that surrounds you until you step outside and see what is out there. Also, while I enjoyed the history I also was preve to a few local restaurants which really gave me an authentic connection with the city.
Let’s start with Palazzo Manfredi, a Relais & Chateaux property in Rome. Locals (not just tourists) come from all over, to dine, propose, get married, or enjoy any event that is life changing to celebrate it at this spot. Its very boutique, modernly decorated however still holds the ancient magic of the city. The rooftop is the main draw, I mean the rooms are gorgeous, lavish and the staff beyond helpful, polite and caters to your every whim with gracelessness – seriously. The roof is divided into a bar/smoking area and the Azure restaurant. Dining is exquisite. I believe that food, service and ambiance all play into experience; food can be top notch but if the service is perfunctory, well then it takes away from the experience – not the case here. Additionally the central location is perfect to explore Rome. I’m in love with the city, the people, everything. Well enough about my thoughts, let’s get down to the food. Right?
The first night I went to this cute seafood restaurant called Sapori di Mare http://www.saporedimare.it/ . Let me tell you, I had the best shrimp in Rome. Butter, creamy fresh and the ambiance in this place is like a secret candlelit cavern. Servers pay just the right amount of attention, I couldn’t have asked for a more romantic first night in Rome. We ordered a seafood tower, salmon tartar and the best gnocchi I have ever had; al dente but the sauce was the kicker – like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese but so much better. So familiar, and yet so much more complex in it’s richness.
I had lunch right around the coliseum, bruschetta and lightly fried calamari – great for people watching – Royal Art Café Roma https://it-it.facebook.com/royal.artcafe.roma .
After our tour of the coliseum we had lunch at this cute little restaurant for fried eggs with truffle and a small salad, chewy thin margarita pizza and a Caesar salad that looked nothing like you would think atPasqualino al Colosseo https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pasqualino-Al-Colosseo-Srl/146510855393449
I also had the most amazing lamb at Taverna Trilussa http://www.tavernatrilussa.it/ , set in one of the oldest areas in Rome was another delight. Luscious wines, along with a vibrant crowd makes one buzz with old world energy (you’ll get it when you’re there) service is respectful.
I did manage to pickup grab a nice bottle of olive oil and moisture rich creams made from olive oil from http://www.bernabei.it/ Our weekends at Riva, a beachfront resto/lounge just outside of Rome, one of the best places to watch the sunset with an abundant selection of fresh seafood.