Ask any Roman about Hotel Hassler and he will immediately tell you that it’s the most historical luxurious five-star hotel in Rome. Its guest book boasts a lineup of royalty families, dignitaries, celebrities, and business leaders beginning from its construction in 1893. Its 140 years of history of being one of the greatest gem in hospitality known throughout the world had never left the hands of two great families of hoteliers, the Buchers and the Wirths. At present, President and General Manager Roberto Wirth, descendant of the families oversees Hotel Hassler in keeping the hospitality that his family is known for its timeless grandeur.
Rightfully positioned atop the Spanish Steps (Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti) while Via dei Condotti, the street of Italian high end fashion brands flows straight at the bottom of the steps, the area is an epitome of Rome’s famed luxury. In fact, after a day of shopping, one of the best places to recluse for a few hours of comfort and elegant ambience is the Palm Court of Hotel Hassler. Located on the ground level of the hotel and bordered by the Borghese gardens, this courtyard restaurant is surrounded by ancient Roman walls, plants and Neoclassic statues. Palm Court is a pleasant sanctuary from the heat of the summer that also extends to the lightly colder days.
Open all day long between the months of April and October, it is preferred by both locals and tourists for snacks, a brief lunch, dinner, or cocktails, Sous Chef Romano Marcello creates seasonal gastronomic delights under the supervision of Executive Chef Francesco Apreda of Michelin-starred Imago Restaurant, on the 6th floor of Hotel Hassler.
The menu has a wide array of exquisite entries of Italian and traditional Roman flavors that cater to everyone’s tastes.
Vegetarian dishes, fish, meat, sandwiches, pizza, gelato, desserts, and cocktails. Whatever time of the day, Palm Court has your hunger pangs covered with their mouthwatering food.
Dining at the Palm Court was an extremely delightful experience as I have gone through during a small press dinner. Being in a five-star hotel, the service was highly attentive and professional without being too intrusive nor stiff. The food is of exceptional quality and taste that when paired with the proper drink, be it a cocktail or wine, it becomes even more an agreeable adventure in discovering Italian and Roman flavors. The sommelier is always at your disposable when you are in doubt about the pairing.
You might want to start your dinner early with a glass of sparkling wine or cocktails. My suggestion: a light and refreshing glass of Veruschka (champagne and pomegranate juice) or Summer in Palm Court (vodka Belvedere, lime, pomegranate juice and cherry maraschino) along with a plate of Hassler fried finger food selection (pasta soffiata with sumac, potato croquette, arancino cacio e pepe) or the more traditional fried courgette blossoms with anchovies and croutons or better yet, a platter of assorted local cold cuts and cheeses.
If you want traditional Roman flavors to start your meal, go for the artichoke frittata with mixed salad and salty ricotta cheese or for something delectable from the sea, a plate of Luciana-style glazed octopus. Another must-try while in Rome is the traditional Roman pasta Mezzi Rigatoni all’Amatriciana or a simpler and lighter plate of another perennial Italian classic, the Spaghetti ai Tre Pomodori con Mozzarella e Basilico (spaghetti with three types of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil). The selection of fish and meat second courses use fresh and top quality ingredients like all the other entries in the menu. Whereas for the diners who want to keep the meals quick and good, there’s a wide selection of pizza and sandwiches, including optimum vegetarian choices.
Dessert. Now this is the fun part for the ones who have the sweet tooth. I tried the Sette Veli al Cioccolato (seven veils chocolate cake) and as you can imagine, it was truly an amazing version of chocolate cake. Another cake I can recommend is the Crostata di Ricotta e Visciola (ricotta cheese tart with sour cherries), a crostata combination that you will encounter in the Roman cuisine and of course, the Tiramisù Hassler which you will try in their version.