Food and drink
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.
- Special occasions