Inside this former 1900s brothel that’s been turned into a stripped-bare bistrattoria (well-worn hardwood floors, a zinc bar, chipped brick walls), our Tuscan friend Michele Farnesi (ex-Rino) crushes the competition with his pasta game! His secret? Mantecatura, a magical emulsion made from the pasta water that produces a creamy, almost miraculous sauce. The day we went for lunch, served à la carte at the bar: a dilia-cate, angelic lobster tail over warm mozzarella, dotted with pan-fried zucchini; formidable spaghettoni that feels heaven sent, with luminescent bottarga and lemon to save the famished – amen!; before quartered strawberries sprinkled over a sesame crème pâtissière and topped with elderflower-infused fermented milk espuma for the epilogue. An atomic take on Italy! Meanwhile at night, the cuisine gets more Farnesian than Italian on the (really delicious) four-, six- or seven-course menus. For example, on the one for €49: marinated sardine and pea bruschetta; turbot with hazelnuts, white asparagus and tarragon; duck with kohlrabi and chard, dried fruit pesto; lemon-caper cannolo… // A.A.
FEELING THIRSTY? Vinitaly is here to play: a vigorous white blend from Saladini Pilastri in the Marche (€7 a glass), a Ducale Tuscan Syrah from Stefano Amerighi (€68 a bottle), a Campania white Fiano-di-Avellino (€55 a bottle).
PRICE: Menus €17-32 (weekday lunch), €49-79 (dinner and weekends), plates €12-24 (at the bar).