When you design the customized itineraries you need to understand the people you have in front. Once you understand that, you need to know if what you recommend can match.
When recently our client from Australia specifically asked to have dinner in La Pergola, we have decided to taste this restaurant by ourselves. Not because we wanted to rate it, not because we are culinary experts, but because we wanted to understand if such restaurant can match our client’s preferences. Obtaining a reservation at “La Pergola” is quite difficult. For every single day there is a waiting list and unless you are a super celebrity or a guest of the penthouse suite of Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where the restaurant is located, you have to decide that you want this experience way in advance.
Why is that?
“La Pergola” is the only 3 star Michelin restaurant in Rome and one of the best restaurants in Italy (only eight restaurants in the country have this rating). Michelin decides to rate based on the food experience. Even if the Italy is the country of good food, according to Michelin, its capital Rome has only one temple of international gastronomy, historically the first and, still today, the only one. Beside the Michelin recommendation, other voices confirm that its chef, Heinz Beck, has become a celebrity …If you travel budget doesn’t allow the fine dining or it is impossible to have the reservation, the “Taste of Roma” is the yearly manifestation where you can taste, among other, the chef d’oeuvres of Heinz Beck. This German born chef lived in Italy for a long time but still make Italians a little jealous for being in charge of number 1 restaurant of the Eternal city.
So how was it?
We chose to do this “mystery shopping” incognito, with no special treatment as a simple but demanding customer who wanted to taste the best of Rome and was ready to pay for it. The paying part was important, since it gave us an objective perspective and made our judgement uninfluenced. We wanted to take the role of an international traveler, who is not really a foodie but a person who likes to eat and has established preferences and connaissances in food and wine.
The degustation menu had 7 dishes, mainly fish based and it was an absolute ball for our palate. The dishes were not the typical Roman (and we didn’t expect such approach of the menu), but had an important Mediterranean dimension. The presentation was fantastic and respected absolutely the Italian need for aesthetics. The service was impeccable, attention to the client was right, not overwhelming. We even had the privileged to talk to the chef and tell him what was our favorite dish… Not only the wine list was encyclopedic but the water menu was practically a book! The sommelier had the sensibility to understand that we wanted to taste New Zealand wine since we have the Italian every day and his advice was precious since our knowledge of this faraway territory was limited. It was fun to choose from while variety of salt, accompanied by a short and funny presentation of its origin and strength.
Beside the food, the restaurant has a stunning view of Rome. However consider that since it is located on the Monte Mario hill, Rome can be seen from far and the famous sites are not recognizable. In addition, the styling of the restaurant can be considered classical, but more out of date than vintage. Another negative aspect is obviously the astronomic price. Still, if you want to celebrate life and you can afford it, La Pergola has it all: food, vine, view, VIP treatment, celebrities around you, service and overall experience at the maximum. However, you better close your eyes so you don’t see the bill that hopefully will be paid by your significant other!
Degustation Menu 250 eur, no drinks included.