Davide Solari and Lorenzo Renzi, school friends from a very young age, conceived the idea of opening Il Marchese in Rome, the city where they grew up in. Il Marchese was inspired by the homonymous movie of Mario Monicelli which stars Alberto Sordi, Il Marchese del Grillo (The Marquis of Grillo). The elegant setting of the restaurant takes you back to the noble setting of the aristocratic world of the Roman tradition in the early 19th century. With a capacity of 110 seats, it is open to everyone who wants to have a genuine contemporary and traditional Roman experience at 360 degrees at a suggestive ambience. It is counterbalanced by the coal man, the other character in the movie who represents the common people of that epoch which inspires the culinary offerings of the kitchen and the simpleness of the Roman spirit.
Located at the beginning of Via di Ripetta in an 18th-century building at the center of Rome, it is just a few steps from the Ara Pacis and the Tiber River, which also leads to Piazza di Spagna in a short walk. Il Marchese captures two different atmospheres as soon as you enter the restaurant. On one side, one cannot miss the enchanting replication of the simple Roman courtyards in that era with wooden tables and chairs. While the general part of the restaurant portrays the noble side of Rome with elegant materials, stuccos and large brass chandeliers highlighted with the black and brass tables and the impressive marble-top bar counter. And from behind the counter, you can observe the chefs go about their cooking activities.
The main force in the kitchen is Daniele Roppo, a young Roman chef who approaches the kitchen with the successful results of his own experimentation from a young age, followed by studying the books of Joel Robuchon and other great French and Italian chefs. The core of his kitchen developed from his bond with his Roman and Apulian grandparents and learning the essence of genuine food in their family kitchen. After gaining experience at various restaurants, he finally formalized his culinary schooling when he went to A Tavola con lo Chef. More professional experience awaited him at Rome’s Caffè Propaganda with Arcangelo Dandini then at Stazione di Posta with Marco Martini before he took over the kitchen of Il Marchese.
At Il Marchese, he specializes in traditional cuisine with an innovative touch. His philosophy is to be hands-on like the Italian grandmothers. He continues to develop new recipes with the soul of the gastronomic culture he knows and loves: simple recipes that recount the strength of the ingredients from small producers of the territory. The soul of the coal maker leaves its mark in the kitchen where the product research is the priority, as in the old family-run taverns using the best genuine ingredients in attaining straightforward tastes of the old traditions of the Italian cuisine.
The menu represents the traditional cuisine, mainly Roman, as prepared by a chef like it was in the old times. Among the Appetizers (€9 to €13), there is the Beef Croquettes with Green Sauce (€9), a typical Roman dish. With this dish, Roppo used his grandmother’s recipe wherein he cooked the beef brisket and other cuts of meat for an extended time together with spices and aromatic herbs then used the broth to soften the croquettes. There are also the Codfish Croquettes Over Mashed Chickpeas and Rosemary (€9), another classic Roman made with a very delicate classic roux with milk and potatoes then breaded with breadcrumbs and panko crumbs.
Among the Pasta Dishes (€13 to €18), there are the Bread Dumplings with Wild Boar Ragù (€15), and the Classics (€13) like Carbonara, Amatriciana, Cacio & Pepe and Gricia. While for the Main Dishes (€18 to €22), there are the Fillet of Veal Saltimbocca (€22), a typical Italian dish of slow-cooked veal fillet, wrapped with prosciutto and sage then sautèed with wine. Beef Meatballs in Tomato Sauce and 30-Month Old Parmigiano Reggiano (€18) is not to be missed as another main dish in Roman cuisine wherein Roppo added a cloud of seasoned Parmigiano. A meat dish that stands out from the menu of Roppo is the Braised Beef Cheek Over Mashed Celeriac and Black Kale (€19). The Desserts (€8) are all made from scratch and they proposals are a mixture of classics like Tiramisù and another version made with pistachios, as well as the Ricotta and Sour Cherry Tart.
The bitter and cocktail bar of Il Marchese is a tribute to the elegance of the 19th-century French aristocracy, where the space is decorated with stuccos, wallpaper and velvet. The proposals are ideal for aperitif and after-dinner drinks in which each signature dish is created with a large selection of fine ingredients mixed with different extraordinary textures. Each cocktail, in fact, is not only alchemy but an experience which is always unique from each other that stimulates the palate. At the helm of the bitter and cocktail bar is Desire Verdicchia, a young barlady who has held important various roles like bar manager in other Roman structures like Salotto 42, Caffè Propaganda and Mamma.
Via di Ripetta, 162
00186 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 06 90218872
Open daily from 12:00 to 02:00
Aperitif served between 18:30 to 21:00