We are definitely finding ourselves in new places and old places. Last night we walked over and up to Antico Arco. Located up in the Janticulum Hill above Trastevere. Quite the walk up there but worth it. The views are unbelievable. You are literally standing on the top of Rome with a serious vista. The restaurant is at the very top.
A charming small restaurant with low ceilings designed with a contemporary flavor yet in an old building. I do love how many places in Rome have taken the beauty of the old architecture and paired it with new world ways such as air conditioning and glass. The restaurant is owned by a couple, chef wife and husband sommelier. There is definitely a family feel there among the staff which is really nice.
The food is beautiful and creative. As always, somethings better than others. We finally got to the top and into the restaurant sweating so it did take a few minutes to compose ourselves. The meal starts with a beautiful basket of breads. Sesame coated, caramelized onions stuffed into rolls, whole wheat bread sticks and a dense Italian load. That and a few glasses of water and of course an amazing bottle of Vintage Tunina which was spectacular and we were settled in.
Out came a small taste from the chef. A suckling pig meatball over toasted bread with a mild tomato sauce over the top. A nice starter.
We split everything, of course. Our first course was small cubes of octopus mixed with small cubes of roasted potato tossed in an intense balsamic vinegar and a crispy Parmesan cracker over the top. The balsamic popped but the key to the dish was really the cracker. I might have even layered one cracker on the bottom and another one on top. The other dish was so smart and I am definitely going to try this one at home.
Mozzarella over sliced tuna roe ( for a salty taste ) and a confit of tomatoes wrapped in fillo dough and then roasted in an oven until crispy. The three flavors were delicious but the crispy dough is such an interesting addition and the cheese just oozes out when you cut into it. I believe a signature dish.
It is Italy after all, so we split a pasta course. Tonnarrelli pasta which is thin like spaghetti but not as thin as angel hair. This was mixed with sea urchin and buttery pieces of squid. Very good. At this point, probably because of the heat, I was full but we continued on.
The other dish was a deconstructed crispy suckling pig with a sweet and sour sauce. Three small rolled pieces of pork with a crispy rind stuck through them to keep all of the pieces together. Very good, beautiful but again I had hit the wall so I am not sure I really enjoyed either entree.