Retrobottega

During my second trip to Rome, I decided to try to venture out of the normal Roman trattoria. I read a review about Retrobottega, new innovative food for casual dining. Ingredients are touted as fresh and the chefs who started the restaurant are both from Michelin kitchens. I found the food beautifully presented and the atmosphere refreshing.

Dim lighting and nice ambience.

Dim lighting and nice ambience.

Where to Sit

There is a first come first serve policy, and the high top tables hold their own cutlery. During May, we arrived on a weekday around 5 pm and there was no one else inside the restaurant. During our meal, we saw approximately two other couples seated, both tourists. It did not seem too busy. (Locals also eat much later.) There is presumably not a bad seat in this restaurant as it is newly renovated and sitting at their modern tables is exciting in and of itself.

Rye read with butter & mixed seeds.

Rye read with butter & mixed seeds.

Retrobottega: The loaf of bread was quite hard, but the grissini (long breadsticks) were addicting.

Retrobottega: The loaf of bread was quite hard, but the grissini (long breadsticks) were addicting.

Another course, very light..

Another course, very light..

Positives

Ambience.

Well designed dining room.

The chef makes your meal in front of you.

Proximity to: Piazza Navona, Pantheon, and Spanish Steps.

Pigeon course - very tender

Pigeon course - very tender

 
Tables with cutlery drawers for each diner.

Tables with cutlery drawers for each diner.

What to Order

We ordered the Formula Retrobottega which came with several small portioned courses (55 euros per person). Bread is an extra fee which is somewhat disappointing. However we were offered refills multiple times. Service was efficient and polite.

Small window to observe passerbys

Small window to observe passerbys

The swiss chard with parmesan (one of the courses).

The swiss chard with parmesan (one of the courses).

Criticism

I found certain dishes delicious (poultry) while others somewhat bland and lacking (swiss chard). If you are well traveled and would like an authentic Italian food experience — this is not. If you are tired of Italian food, want something a little different, do not feel like traveling too far out of Rome historic center, this may be the restaurant for you. My brother who is currently living in San Francisco said it best “it tastes like any other nice semi-upscale restaurant in SF”. I failed to identify the individuality in any of the courses. Rather disappointed in this meal but they did recommend a nice bottle of wine.

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The pasta course (tortellini)

The pasta course (tortellini)

Dessert

Dessert

Conclusion

Recommend: …If the shoe fits. (3/5)

Contact

Retrobottega
Via della Stelletta, 4, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
M (18:30 - 23:30); Tu-Sun (12:00 - 23:30)
Website