Ahhh, Rossini, you are good to come home to! I have not written about Taverna Rossini in over a year. I think we had come to take it for granted as it is close to home and the only secret to getting a table is to call 2 or 3 hours before you want to dine.
Rossini is a huge and varied restaurant that still manages to feel like a neighborhood place. The wait staff recognizes us regulars, it is a 15-minute walk from home which is just about perfect (not too close), they have a wonderful outdoor dining area and a robust menu. There are three distinct sections to Rossini: a coffee bar, a pizzeria/taverna, and a ristorante/pescheria where they serve up beautiful fish in an elegant atmosphere. It is all inter-connected and the whole menu available in any section. The owner, Filippo Corvisieri, has a brilliant concept, serving cornetto e caffè in the morning, sandwiches from the bar as well as complete lunches in the taverna, and pulling out the stops in the evening, where the pescheria becomes a bit more elegant and romantic. The non-stop, Noon-2:00AM service is extraordinary. Want pizza at 4:00PM? You can have it!
Pizza is almost always our focus, and once again Rossini delivered, our first night back from our month in the Dolomites. We actually read the menu for a change and discovered a new treat: eggplant “meat”balls. (They sound better in Italian: polpettine di melanzane.) This was our starter, as though we really needed one.
Our pizzas were good, as always. Is it the best pizza in Rome? No, I still reserve that for Dar Poeta, Da Remo and La Pratolina. Rossini is a package. Location, service, selection, ambiance. There is something for everyone here. And try to save room for dessert. The palle di cioccolato (not on the menu; you have to ask for them) are to die for.
Pizza Quality: 2 I cannot give this a 3, try as I might. It is good pizza, it is just not the very best I have ever had. But it is really good!
Service: 3 The wait staff is like a well-oiled machine. They put up with my Italian, but we hear them speaking English to the tourists. In true Italian fashion, no one expects a tip.
Ambiance: 3 The dining rooms are designed in such a way as to provide intimacy despite the size of the place. The outdoor area is open year ’round and is our favorite part of the restaurant.
Bonus: 1 Extra credit for great fritti, great dolce, and the outdoor space.
Total Points: 9
Returnability: Go-to Place that borders on worth-a-trip-across-town. If you can hop on a Tram 19 or Tram 3, you will be dropped at the door. Why not go?