The Gentile siblings Giulia, Cecilia and Alessandro, and Alessandro’s life partner Martina Eiko bring together the vibrant and warm ambience behind Roots, a signature restaurant that these four talented young people have created in 2019 in Rome.
Alessandro, the chef, was born in 1993 and had professional courses that brought a strong foundation to his career. He then amplified his culinary formation by working in various kitchens including Il Pagliaccio, a two Michelin-starred restaurant in Rome led by Anthony Genovese, where he did his internship. Then came the realization of his dream – opening his own restaurant. Alongside him in this adventure is Martina who takes care of the baked proposals and desserts. She was born with a great passion in baking bread and pizza. Having learned the secrets of bread making in Rome, she faced the transformation of yeast and flour with great talent. She creates an absolute divine bread basket at Roots filled with her baked products such as focaccia, multigrain breadsticks and a union between a variation of grains and seeds.
The kitchen is an expression of Alessandro’s vision where meat and seafood have their roles in the dishes but it’s the natural produce that gets a special attention in their transformation. He cultivates a vegetable garden in his house in Tivoli and from there, he harvests his best seasonal ingredients – the ones that he personally takes care of from the ground to the kitchen to the table. He has a zero waste principle wherein he focuses on waste prevention by the responsible reuse and recovery of products. He also aims to preserve the natural purity of the raw materials evading any alteration. This is why he prefers cooking on the grill because among most cooking techniques, it is the least invasive and the most sincere method than can preserve the qualities of the ingredients.
Cecilia and Giulia take up the management of the dining area, a room that sits 30 with a minimalist Nordic style while the outdoor setting can accommodate 20 among its tables surrounded by the trees of Via Rodi. It is a place created for clients who care about a natural and straightforward environment, where every element of the restaurant has a sincere approach, without artificial interference.
The menu has four proposals per course ranging from €12 to €15 for the appetizers, €16 to €17 for the first dishes of pasta and risotto, €17 to €20 for the main course and €7 to €9 for the dessert. There are two tasting menus to choose from: 5 courses at €48; and 7 courses at €68. They also have artisan Italian beers and around 30 labels of wines sourced from local natural producers. Expect some unexpected combinations like the: grilled king trumpet mushrooms with duxelles and white chocolate; or the cuttlefish with cauliflower foam and burnt lemon; and the dessert of maritozzo with nori gelato and puffed millet. But then there are dishes that are more familiar like the Piedmontese agnolotti pasta with roasted chicken, Pecorino sauce and chicken jus; or simply roasted squash with cream of roasted squash and rosemary oil. End your meal with an excellent dessert by Martina like the focaccia with cooked apples and vanilla gelato; or the pears with mascarpone mousse and white chocolate. Do note that the menus are seasonal so the entries change every season.
Some photos are credited to CoffeAndLucas/myMediStudio.