Once the home of Gaetano Donizetti between 1828 to 1837, this place had an enchanting melodious air pervading the walls coming from the mind of one of the most significant Italian opera composers of all-time. Out of all his 75 operatic works, one of his most famous masterpieces is the opera buffa Don Pasquale which has been regarded as the highest point of the opera genre. In honor of the great composer’s masterpiece, the newly-opened restaurant in the same building is named Don Pasquale.
Don Pasquale opens directly from Via delle Muratte, one of the busiest pedestrian roads in the capital with the Trevi Fountain just a few meters away. Reliving the important history of the place, the restaurant was designed in a stylish way but decidedly unconventional. It gives an impression of a theatrical scene with a color palette of contrasting vibrant primary colors: peacock blue and carmine velvet sofas, English green tables, black and red accents. The atmosphere is colonial British with lots of wood, fabric and jute on the walls while on the ground, the oak parquet is in a warm honey tone. The protagonist of the dining hall is a spectacular two-meter central chandelier of black and gold with red lamp shades hanging from a skylight.
Dotting the walls are the Almost Classic works of Argentinian contemporary artist Stanley Gonczanski who has created creative contemporary interpretations by whimsically adapting great masterpieces between the 16th to the 19th centuries to the reality of modern society with his ironic art series. The gallery is emblematic with an apparent wall of 18th-century historical art masterpieces but only when you stand close do you understand the irony and quirkiness of the twists in the art pieces. The Renaissance-themed characters have strange added features like Marie Antoinette eating ice cream, a giant lobster as a turban on the head of lady, or the tattooed Fleming. From this, you will figure out the diverting twists that you can expect at Don Pasquale.
The format of Don Pasquale overturns the typical idea of a hotel restaurant, wherein a restaurant exists to cater to the hotel. On the contrary, the concept is a restaurant with a hotel around it, because it is the heart of the hotel. The restaurant can accommodate 60 between tables. Anywhere, you can drink coffee, have breakfast, stop for lunch, sip tea in the afternoon, have an aperitif, pull up to dinner or sip cocktails afterwards. The atmosphere is warm, elegant casual, and with a certain cosmopolitan and eccentric air typical of the places where travelers from all over the world pass by. In a very busy pedestrian street in the heart of Rome, this is the perfect place to break from the fast pace outside and find yourself in an eclectic ambience.
“The new Maalot Roma and its Don Pasquale restaurant,” says the General Manager Edoardo Officioso, “aims to become, in the heart of the most authentic Rome, the point of reference for non-conformist, young customers, lovers of beauty and good food. Our guests will be surrounded by a vibrant atmosphere made of colors, art, taste and attentive service, a friendly but discreet.”
The inspiration of Don Pasquale comes from Executive Chef Domenico Boschi, who has created a menu of local cuisine with a certain lightness and a full taste of Roman flavors making cod as one of his main dishes. There is the comfort food of an immediate kitchen, but there are also slight digressions of creativity always supported by a safe technique and lightness, typical of the bistrot where you can arrive at all hours. The restaurant proposes an all day dining (starting from breakfast until after dinner) even just for a dish or a sequence of whims. Accompanying the dishes are a selection of cocktails prepared at the bar or a list of wines from different parts of Italy plus a selection of champagne.
The menu is designed as if it were an opera program, punctuated in two acts preceded by a prelude, plus the interlude with a choice of three salads, scene change, scenery, and epilogue before the curtain closes. The appetizers are between €13 to €26 with choices of single pieces between €5 to €10; pasta and soup between €13 to €17 including classics of Cacio e Pepe, Carbonara and Amatriciana; main dishes are between €19 to €24; vegetable side dishes at €7; all-time sandwiches including Avocado Toast, Club Sandwich and Burger at €16; three options of salad between €14 to €28 for the lobster salad; and finally, the desserts between €8 to €9.
The architectural project of the entire building of the Hotel Maalot, developed on 4 floors for about 3000 square meters was projected by architect Roberto Antobenedetto of RPM Proget, fully reflects the heritage of the place albeit many contemporary design incursions. It was given a completely new identity between its past and its contemporary approach to step alongside modern designs. It has 30 rooms and suites, each with particular strong colors dark blue, bright red, yellow ochre and decors of different types of wood embellished with threads of gold leaf and completed with rich patterns of fabrics, used as wallpapers, drapes and upholstery. The bathrooms are clad in Arabescato Corchia marble characterized by pearl gray veins on a milky white background.
Newly-opened in October 2021, Hotel Maalot is the latest addition to the Shedir Collection’s portfolio, to which Capri Tiberio Palace in Capri Island and Hotel Vilòn, another luxury hotel in the capital are its first two hotels. The upcoming openings in the capital are Palazzo Umiltà with an expected opening in April 2022 and Palazzo Roma on the third quarter of 2022. Claudio Ceccherelli, CEO of Shedir Collection comments, “Our hotels allow customers to live an experience that combines hospitality, intimacy and authenticity. The contemporary architecture of quality and refined and residential interiors make the hotels of the Group extraordinarily elegant, able to in any case to offer a highly professional, but personalized, sincere and empathetic service.”