Dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant should be on any and every foodie’s bucket list, and where better to tick off that box than in Rome? You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t love a hearty plate of pasta or fine Italian cheese, so we figured the Eternal City was the perfect place to go on a little culinary adventure. This is what happened when one Savoir Flair editor dined at one of the city’s most romantic Michelin-starred restaurants – all in the name of research, of course.
Nestled in the heart of one of Rome’s most upscale residential areas, rife with beautiful gardens bursting with blooms and lush greenery, is where you’ll find the grand Aldrovandi Villa Borghese. The hotel is part of The Leading Hotels of the World collection, a luxury group that boasts over 375 of the world’s most luxurious resorts, hotels, and spas.
To make the cut, Aldrovandi had to go through rigorous tests and meet the highest standard of services, so you know you’re off to a great start. It also happens to house a gourmet gem that serves artistically plated offerings just waiting to be discovered (and devoured): Assaje.
With options to dine both inside and out, it was a no-brainer to sit beneath the stars amidst endless greenery lit up by candles. The atmosphere at Assaje is incredibly relaxed considering its Michelin-starred status, with subtle background music setting the mood. Expect an elegant but simple table setting, and the sounds of nature accompanying the Mediterranean-inspired dishes that look more like works of art.
The name “Assaje” focuses on six simple letters to represent six essential components of the culinary experience: elegance, tradition, humility, passion, dedication, and taste. And it does so perfectly. The fact that the restaurant received its first Michelin star within just eight months of opening says it all.
Resident chef Claudio Mengoni has created a unique menu that relies on raw elements to bring Assaje’s dishes to life, so you’re treated to incredible food from the moment you’re seated – even the ever-flowing bread basket of warm muffins (they’re infused with smoked Italian meats and local vegetables), and the breadsticks are served with homemade cream cheese are unlike anything you’ve ever tasted.
A standout melt-in-your-mouth starter has to be the low-temperature cooked egg with potato mousse, bitter Neapolitan spinach, chili pepper, and pecorino cheese fondue. Another menu highlight is the fresh homemade lemon tagliolini with raw red prawns, burrata cheese, seaweed asparagus, and oyster leaves. Each mouthful of every dish is bursting with unexpected flavors and textures to challenge your taste buds in the best way possible.
Be sure to save room for the duck breast with lettuce, toasted almonds, and red-berry sauce, or there are also lighter options of fresh fish and grilled octopus if you want to save some room for dessert – a must at Assaje. You’ll be glad you did when greeted with the walnut-and-pear brownie served with white chocolate mousse, coffee cream, and ice cream. Delizioso. In true Italian style, wrap up your meal with a cup of coffee. But, no ordinary coffee, as Assaje serves ‘Kopi Luwak’, an Indonesian blend that just happens to be the word’s most exclusive – of course.
For more information or to book a table at Assaje, click here.