Salumeria Roscioli

21/22 Via dei Giubbonari

00186 Rome, Italy

Tel. +39 68 75 287


Fresh fried anchovies with pepper sauce and chili

Buffalo mozzarella and semi-dry Pachino cherry tomatoes

“La carbonara” (spaghettone tossed with crispy pork cheek, Malaysian black pepper, Paolo Parisi eggs, and Roman Pecorino cheese)

Beef Hamburger (Fassona beef hamburger grilled and topped with crispy bacon, farmhouse cheddar, fresh mayonnaise, Bloody Mary sauce, and grain mustard)

Sicilian Cannolo Express


2004 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 


1962 Scarpa Barolo Riserva Speciale


Back in 2002, Alessandro and Pierluigi Roscioli decided to add an upscale bistro to their family specialty food shop and have never looked back. Today, Roscioli is a hangout of real foodies who know they can dig into dishes made with superbly sourced ingredients of the highest quality, ranging from plump anchovies from the Cantabrian sea, sun dried tomatoes from Italy’s sunny South, cheeses of all kinds from myriad provenances (just check out the numerous blue cheeses, for example) or especially flavorful San Daniele and Iberico prosciuttos. As if high quality ingredients weren’t reason enough to “run, don’t walk” over to  Roscioli, the place fast developed a reputation for what might well be Rome’s best Carbonara, the Roman pasta dish based on eggs, Pecorino cheese and cracked black pepper (this being Italy, there are numerous variations, some more successful than others). Last, but certainly not least, Roscioli also boasts one of Rome’s best wine lists, with numerous older vintages of wines from Italy and abroad. Having rightly sung Roscioli’s many praises, not all is perfect: some of the cooked dishes can miss the mark, and the place is rather snug, with table heaped upon table (at least, those in the narrow corridor leading from the door allow you to people-watch, always fun in Rome). However, the place is a genuine wine & food mecca that deserves to be on every serious traveling sybarite’s radar. Just remember that as Roscioli is always full, a reservation is not just a good idea, but a necessity.

Fresh fried anchovies with pepper sauce and chili

On this day, I stopped in for lunch and decided to have all-out fun (I was very generously offered a glass of Champagne while deciding on what to eat and drink). Food-wise, I opted to start off with probably the best rendition of fried anchovies I have had in the last ten years (no small feat: one of my favorite dishes I indulge in roughly 80-100 times a year, I have had my share of bad ones): very flavorful and meaty, the anchovies were perfectly fried, crispy dry on the outside and moist on the inside, revealing noteworthy culinary ability. 

“La carbonara” (spaghettone tossed with crispy pork cheek, Malaysian black pepper, Paolo Parisi eggs, and Roman Pecorino cheese)

The Carbonara was also simply spectacular, creamy rich yet light on its feet, with an unctuous yet delicate egg sauce that was of just the right peppery spiciness. Sounds easy enough to do, but it isn’t; getting the right balance for a perfect Carbonara is a playing ground reserved for only a very talented few. Serious pastaphiles should not miss trying Roscioli’s delicious version at least once in their lives. That said, the Bufala mozzarella wasn’t as flavorful as one might expect from a similarly famous food emporium (while the sun-dried tomatoes were exquisite) and the hamburger average at best, coated with a slab of artisanally-made cheese that was thick and generous, but flavorless.

Buffalo mozzarella and semi-dry Pachino cherry tomatos

Roscioli has two large wine lists (one devoted to Italian wines, the other to wines from outside of Italy), both loaded with great bottles. I zeroed in on two wines that though not cheap, were very fairly priced for their quality or rarity. I began the meal with the 2004 Bonneau de Martray Corton-Charlemagne, which is drinking beautifully at present: a whiff of reduction blew off with aeration, revealing precise mineral driven acacia flower, honeyed stone fruit and delicate hazelnut aromas and flavors. At 200 years and counting, the family running the Domaine knows a thing or two about the Charlemagne vineyards, and it shows. This turned out to be a great food wine, full of lively acidity and no undue weight (even better, this white Burgundy showed no signs of premox). It matched very well with the mozzarella, and even the anchovies weren’t overwhelmed, given the wine’s still bright acidity. It’s drinking beautifully at present, so I am not sure there’s much to gain by hanging on to any bottles much longer. An admittedly hard act to follow, but the 1962 Scarpa Barolo Riserva Speciale (a wine I hadn’t tried in the last six or seven years and was curious to see how it was holding up) was up to the task, and then some. This bottle was in perfect shape (decent provenance is always a problem with older Italian wines), still showcasing bright red cherry, rose petal and delicate tar aromas and flavors of noteworthy intensity, supported by vibrant acidity; unfortunately, thirty minutes after opening the bottle, less memorable woodsy and underbrush notes took over, while the fruit disappeared. Nevertheless I was very impressed by the wine, especially considering that 1962 is remembered as a vintage of mainly elegant Barolos but of dubious ageworthiness. Clearly, they were confident of the wine’s merits at Scarpa, as they chose to make a Riserva Speciale, something I wouldn’t have thought to be a particularly good idea in the 1962 vintage. Clearly, this wine proves me wrong. My sincerest compliments to Roscioli for owning such well stored wines, not at all a given in Rome.

Two gems from the international wine-list

I finished my lunch off with a delicious freshly made (“Express”) cannolo, that was melt in your mouth delicious and truly irresistible. When it was all over, I waddled, not walked, out of the place into the warm Roman air, happy as could be: admittedly, not every Roscioli arrow had hit the bullseye on this particular day, but those that did made for absolutely memorable wine and food moments. And I have no doubt those will make my “Best of the Year” list when December 2015 rolls around.

Beef Hamburger (Fassona beef hamburger grilled and topped with crispy bacon, farmhouse cheddar, fresh mayonnaise, Bloody Mary sauce, and grain mustard)

-- Ian D'Agata