On my big family vacation to Italy last November, we ended with a bang by having a grand wine and food pairing dinner at the famous Roscioli on our last night! For those unfamiliar, Roscioli is a Roman restaurant group that is very, very popular. Roscioli has several spots in central Rome, including the famous Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina, Antico Forno, and Rimessa Roscioli, which is where we had our wine dinner. Rimessa Roscioli is the “food and wine experience” branch of the Roscioli family. Its located not far from Campo de’ Fiori and offers a la carte dining as well as a number of wine and food tasting experiences. We opted for their Wine and Food Pairing dinner, which is held daily at 17:00 and 20:00 daily. We made reservations online easily in advance and were pretty excited for our big last night out!
Since we were a group of eight, we dined in Rimessa’s basement wine cellar, which is a sizeable private wine cellar with a large table right in the middle. It was totally private. We were promptly seated on arrival and the table was all set for our tasting.
In addition to the wine glasses and menu, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, olives, and bread were on the table for our tasting. In standard Roscioli form, they were delicious and high quality. We also read through the menu and were pleased with the offerings. The first course was brought around shortly after we were seated, with each course being introduced by a Rimessa employee.
COURSE ONE – ITALIAN SOFT CHEESES.
The first course was a selection of three Italian cheeses with accoutrements: Buffalo ricotta with red onion chutney, Buffalo mozzarella with semi dry tomatoes, and Burrata with capuliato. The cheese was paired with sparkling wine from Lombardy. The cheeses tasted fantastic and bite sized. The Burrata was my personal favorite, but that is usually the case. The sparkling wine from Lombardy was also good and dry, always a plus in my book.
COURSE TWO – GOAT CHEESE, SALMON, & CAPERS.
The second course was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of food pairings: a trio of goat cheese with ashes Ma’Falda, smoked salmon sokeye, and capers and pesto. Like the initial cheeses, each dish was served in a small bite. The goat cheese was my favorite, followed by the pesto (but I am not a big salmon fan). This course was paired with a white wine from Campania, a 2019 InSumma, one of Roscioli’s big summer wine club offerings.
COURSE THREE – MORE ROMAN SMALL BITES.
The third course was the most surprising course to me, against consisting all of small bites: smoked Mackerel, Kaminwurzen, and Sicilian caponata. The smoked Mackerel was, well, smoked Mackerel. While popular in Italy, I am not a big fan of mackerel. Kaminwurzen is a cold beef sausage from the Tyrol region (Northern Italy just south of Germany). This was good and an interesting choice in Rome. Caponata is an eggplant dish, which I enjoy. These small bites were paired with a 2017 red wine from Sicily.
COURSE FOUR – ITALIAN CURED MEATS!
Course Four was one of our favorites – a selection of cold pork products! I cannot recall exactly each was, but it seemed like a proscuitto-style meat, a fatty lard style meat, and a hard salami/sausage. The middle, lard-style pork product was my favorite. These meats were paired with a 2016 Nobile di Montepulciano.
COURSE FIVE – PASTA!
The next course was one of Rome’s famous pastas, cacio e pepe! Cacio e pepe is one of Rome’s four pastas, and its made with pasta, Italian cheese and pepper. This dish is amazing, and Roscioli makes an excellent version. The pasta was paired with a 2019 Primitivo from Puglia, one of our favorite wines.
COURSE SIX – A REAL ITALIAN MEATBALL!
The sixth course was my absolute favorite – a real Roman meatball topped with aged Ricotta. The meatball was absolutely delicious and the perfect meat portion of the meal. This dish was paired with a 2020 wine from the Lazio region (a/k/a the region in which Rome sits).
COURSE SEVEN – HARD CHEESES & BALSAMIC
The seventh course was hard cheeses – one of my favorites. On this evening we sampled a French 10 month old Comtè de Jura and a thirty-six month old Italian Parmigiana Reggiano. Each were perfect with a dab of real Italian balsamic (we even brought some to take home to the US). This hard cheese course was paired with a 2017 Barolo, which we were familiar with from our time in Alba.
COURSE EIGHT – DESSERT!
Our final course was Roscioli’s famous tiramisu! Tiramisu is one of Roscioli’s well known desserts, and Dan’s favorite. Lucky for him! As always, it was delicious. The tiramisu was paired with a 2020 Asti from Piedmont – super fun since we were just in Piedmont!
In closing, the dinner was fantastic. It turned out to be more than enough food and plenty of wine (we were worried about both things previously). For anyone with dietary restrictions, Roscioli happily swapped out the pasta dish for fish for someone who did not eat pasta. Rimessa also sells wine to go and they offer a wine club. We purchased several bottles of Sagrantino to take home. I am also a member of Roscioli’s wine club. They offer sign up information there on the spot, but its just as easy to sign up from the US.
STEAL OUR DINNER
Roscioli Rimessa: Via del Conservatorio, 58, 00186 Roma RM, Italy. We did the Wine and Food Tasting Dinner for 75 euro per person. Reservations are necessary and can be made online. Rimessa also offers a small menu a la carte. If you are a member of Roscioli’s wine club, Rimessa comps the member’s dinner!
ON A BUDGET
Antico Forno Roscioli: Via dei Chiavari, 34, 00186 Roma RM, Italy. Open 7:30 – 20:00 except Sunday, 8:30 – 18:00. Join the line and order from the counter. This store can seem overwhelming, but the food is delicious and well worth the effort.