Naked stone walls, chic bistro furniture, varnished woodwork, old-fashioned tableware, industrial light fixtures… There’s nothing cheesy about Fabrizzio Ferrara’s bistrattoria (ex-Caffè dei Cioppi) – as it’s the perfect Italian spot for a taste of Italy that’s good for the soul! On the menu, the day we went: a delicate bruschetta piled high with runny stracchino, Coscia pear, celery and tuna bottarga; elegant turbot steak served with a surprising black Verona rice polenta, crisp Tropea red onions and olives from Calabria – or perfect eggplant-ricotta ravioli in an anchovy butter sauce with caciocavallo. All that, before a slightly underripe fig tartelet, saved by a creamy mascarpone mousse and a troubling saba sorbet (an exotic African fruit that tastes a little like grappa). // V.Z.
FEELING THIRSTY? Drink unfussy, chemical-free Italian wines: a fruity white from Andrea Occhipinti in the Latium (€7 a glass), a Sardinian white from Cantina Giba (€35 a bottle), a Piedmont red from Aldo Vajra (€49), unless you’d rather opt for the king of wines, the red Barolo from Giuseppe Mascarello (€290).
PRICE: Menus €21-26 (lunch), à la carte €36-57.