Piazzale Aurelio 7, Rome, 00152
- Recommended for:
- Foodies, Special occasions
Best for Romance - Expert review of Antico Arco
This classy, contemporary restaurant on the Gianicolo Hill above Trastevere is one of the first places I think of in Rome when I feel like going out for a really special meal. Set up by three friends in the 1990s, it’s kept up with the competition without changing too much about what makes it work - warm, informed service, a cultured atmosphere, great creative Italian food and a superb wine list. As it gives onto a busy road all the action is inside - but that’s probably a blessing, as outside tables with a romantic view would only push the (very reasonable) prices up.
Young Albanian chef Fundim Gjepali is a worthy successor to the restaurant’s talented executive owner-chef, Patrizia Mattei, who still keeps a hand on the tiller. The approach is creative Italian using carefully sourced ‘Slow Food’ style produce – as in the by-now classic risotto with Castelmagno cheese from Piedmont. There’s a freshness and healthiness to entrées like the grilled baby squid with savory and fresh pea soup, or mains like the crispy suckling pig in sweet and sour sauce. Wine is a strong point: there are 1200 labels on the list, mark-ups are reasonable, and sommelier Domenico is a charming and knowledgeable guide. There’s a little wine bar area just inside the entrance where you can enjoy a glass before dinner – or just enjoy a glass, if you’re passing through.
A 2007 refit gave the Antico Arco a look that’s minimalist without being remotely cold. And although tables are fairly close together, you rarely feel crowded.
I’ve never had a bad experience here on this front: they’re welcoming, but also good at giving advice and getting those orders right.
The restaurant is on a busy corner just behind the Porta di San Pancrazio, the city gate that stands near the summit of the Gianicolo Hill, above Trastevere. If it’s a nice night you could easily walk up from Trastevere past the scenic Fontanone fountain, but most people drive or take a taxi (around 12-15 euros from the centre).
Count on spending around 120 euros for two with a decent bottle of wine.
More information on Antico Arco:
- Price guide:
- Restaurant, Wine bar
- Italian, Modern
- Piazzale Aurelio 7, Rome, 00152
- 06 581 5274
- Opening times:
- Daily 7.30-11.30pm.
- Accepts Credit Cards:
- Always essential
- Free tags / Keywords: