Restaurant Il San Lorenzo, Rome, 4/13/18

exterior
exterior

Il San Lorenzo is a larger place made up of several rooms.  Lots of modern art is on the walls and music plays in the background.  White tableclothes and napkins add to the brightness of the room which eliminates any chance of being cozy.  The menu contains one tasting menu as well as lots of a la carte items.  Their specialty is seafood and a bar with iced seafood greets you at the entry.   Service people speak good English but are arrogant and aloof.  After the first set of rapid fire courses they seemed to forget we were there.  Pacing was way off with plates being picked up prematurely and then the immediate arrival of the next course.  They really had no sense of timing.  Some of the food was really good but the setting was too uncomfortable to make the meal enjoyable.  They also tried the old scam used in tacky places on foreign tourists where the waiter who leaves the bill lets you know that no service charge was included.  This put the final nail in this place’s coffin, in my book.  A nice looking place but I couldn’t recommend going.

entrance
entrance
seafood bar
seafood bar
interior
interior
interior
interior
Frankie found some flowers
Frankie found some flowers
menu cover
menu cover
cover page
cover page
water menu
water menu
bread menu
bread listing
tasting menu
tasting menu
menu 1
menu 1
menu 2
menu 2
menu 3
menu 3
menu 4
menu 4
menu 5
menu 5
staff
staff

 

I started the evening with a martini that was okay but came with a lemon garnish rather than the requested olive.

Frankie was surprised to see a lemon in my martini
Frankie was surprised to see a lemon in my martini

 

Tables are set with house made hazelnut breadsticks.  They are crispy and nice but the hazelnut is a very mild taste.

hazelnut breadsticks
hazelnut breadsticks

 

The menu includes a listing of waters but we were simply asked whether we preferred still or sparkling.

Frankie wanted to pick from the water menu
Frankie wanted to pick from the water menu
wall art
wall art

 

An amuse bouche  of orange rice, cheese and salami fried into a ball.  It had a nice crisp exterior and a chewy, creamy inside.  It was served with a mustard sauce.

rice ball
rice ball
closer
closer
inside
inside
Frankie checked out some art
Frankie checked out some art

 

The bread basket contained a number of types of bread and they are listed in the menu.  None were outstanding and many seemed dry.

bread basket
bread basket
another angle
another angle
Frankie looked over the breads
Frankie looked over the breads

 

Red shrimp carpaccio was served with extra virgin olive oil and basil sprouts.  It was great and nicely seasoned.  It was an excellent rendition of this dish.

Red shrimp carpaccio
Red shrimp carpaccio
closer
closer
wine
wine
Frankie sniffed the breadsticks
Frankie sniffed the breadsticks

 

Deep fried baby calamari were served with mint flavored zucchini tempura.  They were lightly battered and not greasy.  Small dots of sauce were on the plate but had little flavor.  The calamari was nicely tender and crisp and the zucchini was outstanding.  A really good plate.

Deep fried baby calamari were served with mint flavored zucchini tempura
Deep fried baby calamari were served with mint flavored zucchini tempura
closer squid
closer squid
zucchini closer
zucchini closer
Frankie posed with a piece of art
Frankie posed with a piece of art

 

Spaghetti Vonsole was a special that night and it contained clams with the spaghetti.  The medium-sized clams were in the shell around the pile of spaghetti and smaller ones were mixed inside.  The pasta was cooked perfectly and the simple sauce had a hint of spiciness.  The clams only had a nice flavor, no strong essence.  It all worked well to yield an excellent dish.

Spaghetti Vonsole
Spaghetti Vonsole
closer
closer
detail
detail

 

Grilled filet of scorpion fish was served with a sauce of baby yellow tomatoes, Gaeta olives and caper leaves.   The tomatoes appeared to be the red variety rather than yellow listed in the menu, that evening.  The large flake fish was moist and worked well with the tasty sauce.  Olives and tomatoes were the dominant tastes in the dish.

Grilled filet of scorpion fish
Grilled filet of scorpion fish
closer
closer
another angle
another angle
another angle
another angle
Frankie checked out the candle
Frankie checked out the candle

 

The waiter recommended choosing “Sua Maestá O’ Baba, servito caldo caramellato con crema alla vecchia maniera, amarene e pistacchi” for dessert.  The babas were properly rum soaked and served alongside a slice of some brioche bread that had also been drizzled with something sweet.  A dollop of custard may have contained the caramel.  It was topped with 3 Amarena cherries.  It felt like an odd collection of okay things, none really reaching even good status.  It was an bizarre choice knowing that the final treats for the meal would include the same custard topped with a cherry.

dessert menu 1
dessert menu 1
dessert menu 2
dessert menu 2
Sua Maestá O' Baba, servito caldo caramellato con crema alla vecchia maniera, amarene e pistacchi
Sua Maestá O’ Baba, servito caldo caramellato con crema alla vecchia maniera, amarene e pistacchi
closer
closer
closer
closer
closer
closer
Frankie inspected
Frankie inspected
downstairs dining room
downstairs dining room
downstairs
downstairs
wine cellar
wine cellar
Frankie checked out the hand towels
Frankie checked out the hand towels

 

We enjoyed a glass of grappa more than the final treats that included a chocolate candy with a fudgy center and crispy flakey pastry filled with some kind of goo.  None were great.

grappa
grappa
last treats
last treats
closer
closer
inside
inside
inside
inside
inside
inside
Frankie's always making friends
Frankie’s always making friends

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