Okay so I may have fibbed a little when I said my birthday meal was at City Social. That was the weekend before to celebrate with friends before jetting off to Rome.
Now on my birthday, I wanted to make the day special and we ventured to Aroma, a Michelin star restaurant overlooking the Colosseum.
Instead of prosecco, we ordered the ever-popular Aperol spritz which is the most commonly drunk aperitif in Italy. It was a little too strong for me, especially in the 34° heat, but my sister nearly downed hers. Each to their own.
We decided to order the 7 course tasting menu which was set at a reasonable €140 (around £100), with the wine paring costing €210 (around £150) but we decided against the wine pairing in the scorching heat.
After finishing our spritz, we asked the sommelier to suggest a white wine to not only match our food, but also for something light and refreshing.
We were incredibly impressed with the sommelier’s choice as the wine couldn’t have been anymore perfect; crisp, a slight hint of fruity-ness and a little dry. Now I’m not a wine expert and would never pretend to be, but I know a good wine when I taste one.
Starting off with some delicious bread with the most exquisite olive oil to dip, we were then giving some herbs to add to our olive oil, choosing between thyme or rosemary.
Some amuse bouche of salmon swiftly arrived which was exactly the right dish to wet our appetite with the salmon being incredibly soft and tender.
The first starter was salmon cooked at a low temperature served with fennel purée, and red onion. The salmon flaked beautifully and the fennel puree added a touch of bitterness with the onion balancing the sweet and sour notes.
A delightful, light dish that was welcomed with open arms.
The most disappointing dish of the day was the veal which had a bread crust exterior, served with artichokes and horseradish sauce.
The veal was overcooked leaving it chewy and tough and the bread crust had been slightly burnt. A Michelin restaurant should not be making such simple mistakes. The overall flavours were also a little off the mark and I felt there should have been more on the plate to balance the meat.
Next to arrive was the ravioli. With a salty pungent flavour, mixed with creamy burrata and chicory pesto, it was a dish I shall not be forgetting anytime soon.
I’m a huge gnocchi fan and surprisingly for a tasting menu, the portion was generous.
Although the dish had a beautiful broccoli puree that complimented the fluffy, light potato gnocchi, the meagre scattering of black truffle meant that the flavour was lost.
An un-memorable dish of perfectly cooked scallops were next to arrive.
Followed by another main course which at this point, we were desperately trying to make extra room without having to say no to dessert.
That being said we still managed to finish the dish which consisted of perfectly cooked pigeon with a sour undertone.
For dessert we were brought a coconut tartelette. with some sweet and sour notes however, was almost ruined by the mint chlorophyll. The mint overpowered everything on the plate and although looked impressive, it was an unnecessary component.
After staring out at the beautiful city of Rome, I turned around to find a birthday surprise with miniature pastries and sweets all lit up by a sparkling flame. A nice gesture and one that truly rounded off our lunch.
Dining at Aroma restaurant was an afternoon I shall never forget. There were certainly mishaps with the food and I personally felt the dishes were not Michelin worthy but it didn’t stop the day from being magical. Wonderful service, a great view, beautiful wine all topped off with a backdrop of the Colosseum, how could anyone ever want to forget that?
– Aroma Restaurant, Rome
NB – If you are visiting on a summer lunch, be prepared to sit for 2-3 hours in the heat. You will be in the shade and there will be fans, but the sun can still zap the energy out of you! (lesson learnt…).