Roscioli is a good sized place that even has a level below the street. Where you enter is a large counter that sells meats, cheese and other high quality ingredients. The tables are small and closely spaced and it’s filled to capacity. Pop music plays in the background but that competes with the lively crowd noise. Cloth mats and napkins are set at the table and service is friendly and efficient but they do expect to turn the tables. They also have a bakery a few doors down that bakes the breads for the restaurant but also sells to the public. The place started as a shop and the restaurant started 15-20 years ago. It is an institution and you will find some local folks here but also lots of tourists.
The bread basket is large and contains a number of very different breads. It included focaccia, brown, white, walnut and seedy breads as well as others. They varied in taste but there’s something for everyone in this basket. They were all fresh.
Mortadella Fatta a Mano is handmade “Mortadella” with parmesan curls from Red Cows 36 months and crispy pastry bread. It is a large serving of thinly sliced delicious mortadella. The pastry bread was nicely crisp and was a perfect vehicle to pair with the meat and cheese, however some of the pieces in the bread basket also worked well. The shavings of parmesan added a nice flavor to this fantastic version of a traditional meat.
La Burrata Pugliese con Pomodorini is “Burrata” cheese with black pepper from Malaysia with double sundried cherry tomatoes in the traditioanl way and scented with basil. It was a large serving of creamy burrata and a generous supply of sweet and tart cherry tomatoes to mix with it. The tomatoes really sang with flavor. The cheese was soft and silky with a ball of mozzarella on the top. This was perfect to pair with any number of the breads. I particularly liked the puffy focaccia with it. It is plenty to share.
“La Gricia” di Stefano was a short “rigatone” with pork cheek, Roman cheese and Sarawak Malaysian black pepper, however we substitued the fresh pasta for the listed one. It was a lighter pasta, a bit thinner. The crispy pork cheek is worth getting the dish for. Each piece bursts with flavor and texture. The dish was nicely seasoned and a total winner. The Sarawak pepper was strongly flavored and made the version distintive and amazing.
La Carbonara was large spaghetti tossed with crispy pork cheek, Malaysian black pepper, Paolo Parisi eggs and Roman “Pecorino” cheese. This was a much heavier dish with the same incredible crispy pork pieces. The egg and cheese coated the pasta perfectly and made it rich and heavy. It also had the tasty pepper that added a bit of spice. As good as it was, I’d take the Gricia with either pasta cause you get the great pork and pepper but not the heavy ‘gut punch.’
We were too stuffed to order dessert but each table gets complimentary crispy cookies with a dish of dipping chocolate. It was nice to nibble on with a cup of coffee.