I love the menu at L’Arcangelo, it’s like reading poetry. But it’s not all verbal fantasy: Chef Arcangelo Dandini’s beautifully described preparations are inspired by ancient Roman dishes, Renaissance recipes, and local cucina povera of the 19th century.
This brilliant restaurant in the Prati business district is loved by gourmands, and considered among Rome’s finest. Dandini cooks up some of the best pedigreed ‘cucina romana’ in town, and names his classic dishes with creative titles, like “A glance to the Portico d’Ottavia” for Roman Jewish specialties, and “Arcangelo e l’Inferno,” to define a spicy game dish. “Viaggio a Rocca Priora” is an antipasto sampler of typical Lazio specialties. I’m particularly fond of the “Tormento Aromatico in Quattro Passaggi,” a menu composed of four aromatic dishes.
His carbonara, cacio e unto (the original name for pasta alla Gricia) and the stewed oxtail are truly amazing. I love the fried eel, or the herring, sweetbreads and spongecake antipasto. The gnocchi alla matriciana (served only on Thursdays) are universally known as the best in Rome, and should absolutely not be missed.
Wise palates also flock here for the handsome slabs of foie gras served on Plasmon biscuits (the type fed in milk to Italian infants) and crumbled candy; or the mackerel on potato cream; and the quintessential offal queen: tripe, cooked in tomato sauce with mint and pecorino cheese.
As far as desserts go, the citrus custard bigné and the bizarre yet incredibly tasty liquid white chocolate with capers, candied ginger and olive oil, definitely win the gold.