After a long period of restyling by entrepreneur Giacomo Crisci, Palazzo Ripetta opens its doors again. The magnificent palace that was built in 1672 in Rome’s historical Tridente, is just a stone’s throw away from Piazza del Popolo and the famous shopping roads of Via del Babuino and Via del Corso. Its reopening bestows a wealth of promised flavors to the curious palates of the capital. The independent 5-star hotel of the Ginobbi Group hosts Piazzetta Ripetta, San Baylon Restaurant and San Baylon Cocktail Bar inside its beautiful structure creating a trio made for all gastronomes.
Behind Palazzo Ripetta is a story of a family that was started in the 1960s by a visionary entrepreneur, Alberto Ginobbi, the grandfather of the current Managing Director Giacomo Crisci. He understood the cultural value of the historical building, the principles of proper hospitality and an innovative vision. In keeping up with the times, the Ginobbi Group decided to relaunch the structure with an original concept of luxury hotel where contemporary design, art and gastronomical excellence intertwine with the cultural history of the city.
The impressive two-year restoration work of the whole structure has recreated a splendid luxury hotel with 78 rooms and refined suites that were curated by Fausta Gaetani Design and MOI Architetti Studios and enhanced by an all-day dining restaurant project conceived by Laurenzi Consulting Agency in collaboration with the architectural studio of Roberto Liorni in which three important spaces for food and beverage are designated inside: San Baylon Restaurant, Piazzetta Ripetta for its open-air kiosk, and Baylon Cocktail Bar. The doors of all three establishments are open to everyone, not only to the hotel guests. All three are entrusted to a team of young experts of gastronomy and mixology who are coordinated by Director of F&B Operations Alessia Meli. There is a team of professionals of great value to the food and beverage sector of Rome like Marco Ciccotelli, Giuliano Marzullo of Le Levain and Desirè Verdecchia of The Jerry Thomas Project. These talented professionals will be narrating an all-Italian food and drink excellence through proposals rooted to tradition but with an international flavor.
“In this major restoration and conversion operation of a 17th-century building into a modern temple of graceful luxury, catering could only have a fundamentally important place,” declares Giacomo Crisci. The guiding objective, carried forward between design, technology and craftsmanship, was to be able to embody an idea of 5-star hôtellerie that knows how to integrate the art, history and culture of our country into its spaces, of which food and wine excellence has always been a precious ambassador. This is why we have chosen to offer our guests the opportunity to come into contact with a restaurant of the highest quality but capable of speaking to all palates, contemporary but linked to tradition, surprising but always welcoming.”
In command of the kitchen is Executive Chef Marco Ciccotelli, a young chef from the Italian region of Abruzzo who has a long experience in starred restaurants namely Guardiagrele in the Villa Maiella (1 Michelin star) and Hotel Eden, a luxury hotel in Rome with a Michelin-starred restaurant. Here, he spent 12 years of working alongside Chef Fabio Ciervo where he was able to expand his preparation and cooking techniques and define his cooking philosophy with utmost respect for the ingredients. He brings to the table a cuisine anchored to old Italian recipes with an innovative approach in the techniques and tastes. He respects the seasonality of the ingredients, seeks to minimize waste, puts attention to the quality of the raw materials and to the small Italian producers with a focus on the region of Lazio.
Alongside him who’s handling the leavened products, pastries and savory snacks is Pastry Chef Giuliano Marzullo with the consultation of a former student of Alain Ducasse, Giuseppe Solfrizzi of Le Levain. Le Levain is an award-winning French bakery in Rome. With Marzullo, Solfrizzi also takes the recipes of his original desserts and single-portion formats that accompany the guests Piazzetta Ripetta from breakfast to aperitif starting from the croissants to the cropizza and cicchetti to go with the Baylon Cocktail Bar drink list.
Baylon Cocktail Bar opens at the internal garden of the hotel with a kiosk layout during the day where it offers a cocktail list focused on revisiting the great classics of the Italian aperitif. Whereas in the evening, the proposals are more intricate in mixology with the recipes of Bar Manager Desirè Verdecchia who has perfected more than 16 signature drinks together with the mixology masters of The Jerry Thomas Project, the legendary Secret Bar of the Rome which was included among the World’s 50 Best Bars six times.
The choice of naming the restaurant San Baylon was to pay homage to San Pasquale Baylon, a 16th-century Spanish Franciscan saint who is the protector of cooks and pastry chefs, and was the first one who came up with Cream of San Baylon, an egg cream dessert mixture of eggs and wine which later became zabaglione. Recipes have been created to in honor of the saint wherein the Italian egg cream zabaglione plays a role in all the menus, interestingly reinvented with innovations like the salty zabaglione of Executive Chef Marco Ciccotelli mixed with tarragon to flavor the beef tartare served with a puff pastry various seeds and aromatic herbs. Whereas at the counter of Baylon Cocktail Bar, the zabaglione is served in a glass with the name Baylon Flip, a signature cocktail wherein marsala, brandy, orange blossom water and coffee are mixed together.
The menu of San Baylon Restaurant is drawn from the old Italian flavors that are mixed with the innovative creations of Ciccotelli. You can find dishes with a selection of meat, seafood and vegetables with tokens of the chef’s origin, Abruzzo. To his roots he dedicates the Pallotte Cacio e Ova, a typical egg and bread dish of Abruzzo made with pecorino cheese, eggs and stale bread dipped in sautéed tomato sauce. Notable is the Fettucina with White Ragù and and King Trumpet Mushrooms. A more international option is the popular 20th-century meringue based cake from Australia which was dedicated to the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, the Pavlova filled with passion fruit ice cream with Chantilly cream. While the Profiterole are cream puffs filled with chocolate ganache, gruè praline, cocoa brittle and chocolate ice cream.