Litro, a bright, welcoming wine and cocktail bar in Monteverde, was arguably the first in Rome to specialize in natural wines, which is to say organic and biodynamic wines vinified with minimum sulfur and no other additives. But where natural wine hotspots in other cities have sometimes taken a reactionary stance towards service norms, the team at Litro are warm and cheerful, clearly delighted to share the bar’s big list of obscure wines from throughout Italy, along with surprisingly evolved cocktail and mezcal selections.
Editor’s note: this review was written based on a visit in 2014 and may not reflect what’s currently happening at MAZZO. What follows is our first impression and you can scroll down to find links to more current reviews from other writers.
Rome’s dining landscape, like its literal landscape, can sometimes seem burdened by antiquity. All the more notable is the growing renown of Mazzo, an intimate, informal, and defiantly youthful restaurant by chefs Francesca Barreca and Marco Baccanelli, who often operate under the adorable epithet of “The Fooders.” At Mazzo’s ten-seat communal table and test kitchen, located in the far-flung Centocelle district, the Fooders offer a confident and playful update of Roman cuisine, where precisely-executed grandmotherly classics like trippa al sugo are merely the basis for a more wide-reaching and cosmopolitan menu that changes nightly.
Innumerable restaurateurs worldwide have failed where Portuense pizzeria In Fucina succeeds: transforming the modest, egalitarian pizza into the basis of a justifiably expensive, even chic meal. In Fucina, laudably, does it without gold flakes or lobsters. Instead, under the arches of In Fucina’s understated interior, diners share successions of pies, usually proceeding from the simple margherita to more evolved creations, like one featuring diced Barolo-marinated pear and fontina.