Everything revolves around a fountain in Rome for Emanuele Paoloni, a young chef who lives in the capital’s Prati district. The Fountain of Caryatids, built in 1928 by Attilo Serva, stands in the middle of Piazza dei Quiriti. It is here where Emanuele grew up as a boy, and met his wife Alessandra with the fountain as the backdrop to his personal and professional story. And it is also here where he decided to realize his other dream, the place where he opened his first restaurant.
In homage to the magical moment when the moon touches the flowing water of the Fountain of Caryatids, he named it Aqualunae.
Aqualunae Bistrot is set in an 80-square meter space which accommodates 26. It is a cozy restaurant furnished with wood and tuff stone and colored with shades of blue, a color that epitomizes water and the lunar sky which characterizes the restaurant. Open from morning until night time, Emanuele and his staff welcome their patrons with a rich number of proposals for breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner.
The gastronomic proposal of Emanuele is reminiscent of his childhood, influences from his parents’ origins.
His father is from a small fishing village in the Italian region of Marche, hence the partiality for seafood. On the other hand, his mother originated from Austria, a country known for its meat dishes, bread and desserts. Professional experiences in France, United States and of course, Italy with Massimo Sola at Eataly, Ginger and at La Pergola of Heinz Beck where strengthened Emanuele’s processing techniques and philosophy in the kitchen.
“I like to take various ingredients and combine them, remix them to create unusual flavors that can immediately win the palate,” says Emanuele.
For BREAKFAST, expect a number of delectable sweet and salty entries to start the day with energy that Emanuele himself takes care of. Homemade “Buondì” brioche, muffins, bagels, pancakes, bread, jams, bowls of acai and goiaba, different versions of egg dishes and club sandwiches. Quick and light meals are prepared in the kitchen for LUNCH like salads, platters of cold cuts and cheeses and pinsa (€9), as well as warm dishes of pasta and risotto both of the Roman classics and with more creative combinations (€10), seafood and meat main dishes (€15), and desserts (€5).
AFTERNOON teas are available in twenty four flavors which the bistrot proposes to combine with their small pastries. APERITIF is another time of the day when bubbly wines are opened and cocktails are mixed. The Anteprime menu for this time offers a wide selection of finger food appetizers (€3 to 4) to accompany the drinks.
The most elaborate selection is the DINNER menu wherein Emanuele proposes four Tasting Menus with options of wine pairing: Assagi at €38 (+€19 for wine pairing); Diana at €58 (+€27 for wine pairing); Nettuno at €59 (+€27 for wine pairing); and Come Me Pare a Me at €67 (+€28 for wine pairing). In addition to the tasting menus, the à la carte menu also has ample proposals for appetizers (€13 – 15) like the Parmigiano Foundue with Poached Egg, Peperone Crusco (dried and fried red pepper), and Rocket Gel, as well as the Scallops with Agretti, Mango, Mortadella, American Chips and Verduzzo Passito. The first dishes of pasta and risotto (€14 – 18) can be an interesting dish of Onion Stuffed with Farro, Toma Cheese and Apple, or Spaghettone with Finely Chopped Black Pork with Syrah, Parmigiano Cream, Passion Fruit and Peperone Crusco. Some of the proposals for the main courses of fish and meat (€18 – 24) are Rosti with Asparagus, Lentils, Sweet Potatoes, Cream of Parmigiano with Saffron and Sprouts. Not to be missed is the Brodetto di Pesce (Fish Soup) from his father’s native region. And to finish the meal, the selection of desserts (€8) is also ample.
Accompanying the chef’s proposals, the wine selection is substantial and interesting, with a number coming from France and the majority from the different regions of Italy.
Piazza dei Quiriti, 19/20
00192 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 06 31076456
Open daily from 8:00 to 23:00