Antico Arco, Rome, 12/15/15

exterior
exterior

The restaurant has a couple different small rooms for dining, all well adorned for the holidays.  They offer a la carte as well as a tasting menu, which we chose. There is a large wine list and the staff are most helpful in making choices. There is a casual vibe but the service pace is a bit on the fast side, but then they did turn the tables during the evening.

decorated for Christmas
decorated for Christmas
interior
interior
Christmas decorations
Christmas decorations
Frankie liked their busines card basket
Frankie liked their busines card basket
table set up
table set up
menu cover
menu cover
starters menu
starters menu
soup, pasta menu
soup, pasta menu
meat, fish menu
meat, fish menu
salad, cheese menu
salad, cheese menu
tasting menu
tasting menu
Frankie checked out the table decorations
Frankie checked out the table decorations
wine
wine

 

Everyone starts with an amuse bouche from the kitchen but it seemed to vary from table to table. We got a fried mozzarella which was hot and quite tasty but I wanted to try all the other good looking stuff coming out too.

Amuse bouche: Fried mozzarella with light tomato sauce.  Yum!
Amuse bouche: Fried mozzarella with light tomato sauce. Yum!

 

The tasting menu started with the amber jack tartare. It was great with a little crunch and tartness. Nice size chunks, good freshness and pretty presentation.

IMG_7414
Amber jack fish tartare, ginger and cucumbers. Great with a little crunch and tartness. Nice size chunks, good freshness and pretty presentation.

 

The pigeon was served very rare and thus was wonderfully juicy. It was very tender and the stuffing and sauce were to die for. The salad mixed well with it to make a perfect plate.

IMG_7427
Pigeon breast in a crust of pistachio crumbs, filled with caramelized figs and sprout salad

 

The chickpea soup and breadcrumbs were served separately. What a perfect idea! The crumbs stay crisp and you can add as much as you want, but they will thicken the soup if you add too many which is hard to resist doing. It was a mild tasting course but still quite nice.

Chick pea soup, chestnuts flavored with anis, crispy breadcrumbs and rosemary
Chick pea soup, chestnuts flavored with anis, crispy breadcrumbs and rosemary
extra crumbs
extra crumbs
with crumbs
with crumbs
Frankie tried to push the decoration out of the warm spot
Frankie tried to push the decoration out of the warm spot

 

The ravioli was served with a generous and tasty portion of artichokes. The pasta was a bit dull for me and the sauce seemed too similar to the one served on the fried mozzarella. This course paled in comparison to the previous ones.

Homemade ravioli of sea bass with shellfish bisque and artichokes
Homemade ravioli of sea bass with shellfish bisque and artichokes

 

The prawns were barely cooked and so exceptionally tender and juicy. Some of the vegetables were served cold which was  a fun surprise. A sauce was drizzled on and the remainder was left for you to add as needed. It had a strong flavor of shell reduction. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of it with the sauce but the appearance was similar to the previous course but tastier.

Bouillabaisse of roasted tiger prawns and sauteed vegetables
Bouillabaisse of roasted tiger prawns and sauteed vegetables

 

The burrata was odd in that it had a similar consistency throughout rather than being creamier in the middle. The tomato was tasty but overall I’d call this course a pass.

Puff pastry of burrata and tomatoes
Puff pastry with burrata and tomatoes

 

dessert menu
dessert menu

The pre-dessert mini cheesecake was tasty.

Mini cheesecake with raspberry sauce
Mini cheesecake with raspberry sauce
Frankie couldn't reach the grappa
Frankie couldn’t reach the grappa

 

IMG_7500
Walnut sponge cake and gelato, mascarpone cream, crystalized white chocolate and tangerine coulis
Frankie loves ice cream
Frankie loves ice cream
Molten chocolate souffle cake with almond waffle
Molten chocolate souffle cake with almond waffle

The sponge cake dessert was dull in comparison to the molten chocolate which was divine and the almond cookie was equally good.

Frankie peeked in their holiday bird house
Frankie peeked in their holiday bird house

 

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