Its concept of contemporary seafood cuisine is atypical to an area best known for the famous porchetta and a myriad of fraschette (simple and rustic local restaurants) where they are consumed with quantities of the local Castelli Romani wines. With just 30 kilometers of distance from Rome, Ariccia is the destination to head to when the craving for spit-roasted boneless pork dictates someone’s appetite. But Sintesi has a lot to stand up proudly for, because its three owners, all young and passionate about their respective interests, went against the traditional gastronomic flow in Ariccia and opened their idea of a restaurant underlining the area’s small producers and the territory in a completely different format and angle.
Chefs Sara Scarsella and Matteo Compagnucci. Both in their late twenties, both took off to experience the world and enhance their knowledge from some of the finest of the culinary world. After some years, they went back to Ariccia where Sara grew up, with colorful resumes and clear perspectives of what their kitchen will be about. Exposure to various layers of culture and techniques gave them strong foundations in their cooking as they learn the fundamentals of aesthetics of preparation in Northern Europe and substance in Australia.
Sara Scarsella, a graduate of ALMA international culinary school in Colorno, Italy, worked as an intern at Ristorante Caino, 2 Michelin stars. Here she met Matteo Compagnucci, originally from the Italian region Marche and graduate of Cingoli Hotel Management Institute. At Caino, he was the head pastry chef. Both moved to Summertown in England and worked at the Michelin-starred Oxford Kitchen as sous chef for Sara and chef de partie for Matteo. Denmark became their next destination at the kitchen of Noma, 2 Michelin stars and a four-time winner as the Best Restaurant of the World. Remaining in Copenhagen, Sara moved to Geranium, 3 Michelin stars while Matteo moved to Brace as sous chef. Sydney, Australia went next. Sara worked at the kitchen of Neil Perry’s Rockpool Restaurant, one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants while Matteo worked at Bennelong in the Opera House of Sydney and lastly, Fish Butchery where he learned the proper techniques of working and enhancing fish as an ingredient.
Sommelier Carla Scarsella. Two years younger than Sara, Carla graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the university. Her love for wine and her natural inclination for hospitality took her to the handling of the dining room of Sintesi. Being a holder of a sommelier title with AIS (Associazione Italiana Sommelier), the selection of the wines in the menu is a product of her careful selection to complement the dishes of Sintesi. There are labels from well-known producers but there are also a number of small producers that produce natural wines that are waiting to be discovered paired with the food.
While its opening in March 2020 was put to an abrupt stop immediately because of the Covid-19 national lockdown, Sintesi pushed with the take-away and delivery of their food during the dark months, like all the restaurants in the country. They were able to establish their name and as soon as they opened their doors again three months later, a steady flow of clients booked. Romans, foreigners and locals themselves discovered an excellent kitchen that they have prepared. Captivating flavors to the palate with Northern European accent, minimalist in one sense yet so expressive and complex in the eyes and mouth. It’s the kind of kitchen that you can’t wait to see and taste what the next season would place in the next menu. The Swiss Chard Ravioli Filled with Pink Shrimp in Broth of Scampi from the summer 2020 menu is one of the dishes that completely stood out.
The menu, while comprising mostly of seafood-based proposals, also has meat options, the prices of which are determinate on the ingredients used. The Appetizers are between €13 to €20 with oysters at €4 each. Pasta and Risotto are between €14 to €25, Main Courses between €20 t0 €25, and Desserts between €7 to €9, plus a platter of Tasting Cheeses at €12.There are two Tasting Menus available: 7-Course Tasting Menu (dishes indicated in the menu) at €50 with an option of wine pairing at €25, or pairing with fruit juices and kombucha at €15. The 9-Course Tasting Menu (dishes chosen by the chefs) at €65 with an option of wine pairing at €35.
Viale dei Castani, 17
00074 Ariccia (RM), Italy
Tel: +39 06 45557597
Opening times: Thursdays to Mondays open for lunch / Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (check current opening times at their site)