Eating in the Rome just got a lot more epic.
Spending Christmas 2023 and New Year’s Eve 2024 in the Eternal City?
Is your contribution in the kitchen more dangerous than delicious?
A Culinary Countdown is truly upon us at this point in December, as any grand occasion demands a tasty spread around which friends and family can unite.
Yet, not all of us are blessed with the culinary brilliance to appease even the most bland of palates, or steely stomachs.
Avoid belly aches and keep your in-laws happy by checking out these 10 restaurants that are open during either Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or both!
1. Il Pagliaccio
In spite of its name (it translates into ‘clown’), those who share their skills at Il Pagliaccio don’t mess around. This prestigious restaurant
boasts the talents of Matteo Zappile, the manager, chef, and winner of sommelier of the year in Le Guide de L’Espresso Ristoranti d’Italia 2017 (which is a pretty big deal).
It will serve a New Year’s dinner, with specially curated menus for these festive occasions. If you’re a terrible chef and care for your family, treat them to selections such as Barbaresco wine Risotto snails and parsley, or Tortelli, capon, chestnuts, castelmagno and truffle.
Google Il Pagliaccio’s dedicated site for more details.
New Year’s Eve Dinner: €500 per person
Another high-end option, Life injects a dose of sophistication in your New Years taste buds.
Priding itself on its seasonal ingredients an freshly-made dishes, the Life kitchen is made up of a talented staff lead by executive chef Victor Norese, a familiar and respected name in culinary circles. He and his team of nine will be serving up a menu of fish or meat, each containing five indulgent courses. Sea bass carpaccio with black truffle and lime fruit or chianina beef tartare, quail egg, mustard, red onions, capers? What a hard choice!
Visit Life’s dedicated site to make a reservation and drool over the menu.
Tasting Menu for the 24th, 25th and New Year’s Eve
3. La Gensola
A destination for foodies in love with seafood and Sicily, La Gensola has long been considered one of the best Trastevere restaurants (and one of our fav!). They have a very curated selection with products like sea urchin and monkfish cheeks. No worries though: the place is just perfect as they also offer some meaty, Roman dishes (with suggest tagliolini with guanciale, cheese and onion and the tripe “Roman style”) , but it’s fish is what they are best and so they rock as Christmas choice! The athmosphere is more serene and relaxing than most typical bustling Trastevere restaurants. Captained by chef Claudio Dordei, menu bursts with some exquisite flavours from sea scallops, grilled calamari and swordfish rolls (yummie!) to the shrimp pasta. Prepare for the best seafood coma of your life after the experience.
Osteria La Gensola will also serve a Christmas menu “a la carta”. Swoon over the full details on its dedicated site.
4. Il Tempio di Iside
Speaking of seafood very near Colosseum, “Tempio di Iside” proffers a Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve menu.
The patron Francesco Tripodi has a very “peculiar” personal style, that said, the selection of raw and cooked appetizers is simply fantastic! Raw scampi, tuna tartare, prawns, prawns, scallops are constantly arriving.
First class courses, spaghetti with sea urchin, scialatielli with Sanpietro eggs and scampi. Second dishes are not less delicious: baked or grilled fish at will. At the end cassata and cannoli to put the icing on top of the cake.
With options including raw fish carpaccios, shrimps, langoustines, lobster pasta and locally sourced red shrimps, it is always hard to choose. Feasting will be rich, opulent, and leave your wallet emptier than your stomach. Or maybe not. Maybe you’re a millionaire and reading this.
Either way, explore their website and menu to treat yourself.
Courtesy of Tempio di iside
Christmas Eve Menu:€ New Year’s Eve Menu: € (all per person)
5. Il Margutta
Set in one of the most colorful streets of Rome (Via Margutta), the restaurant is simply a must for the veg lovers (romans and turists). Outstanding vegetarian restaurant with outstanding vegetarian and dishes vegan, just 5 minutes walk from Spanish Steps. Invites guests to a New Year’s Eve dinner in the swanky refinement of its “art gallery” space. The dishes are the manifestations of chef Mirko Moglioni and pastry chef Marco D’Addario, who claims that “my cousine is a vocation, like a religious one”.
From that, be prepared for an interplay of the conventional with the creative. If you’ve never tried handmade tortelloni stuffed with chestnuts, ricotta and castelmagno or cavatelli with turnip tops with chopped capers, veg stracchino and candied tomatoes, now’s your chance. Visit Margutta’s dedicated site for more delicious information.
Open for lunch the 24th and 25th, with a Tasting Menu. New Year’s Eve Menu: around €80 per person
6. The Corner
While usually the designated space for misbehaved children or the socially awkward, The Corner in question is a Michelin star restaurant championed by chef Marco Martini.
Martini’s cuisine is inspired by childhood memories, his mother’s cooking, and traditional Roman fare. To sample the poetry of his food, explore his Dinner the 24th, Christmas Lunch or New Year’s Eve Dinner, which will dazzle you. A dish of Cuttlefish tagliatella, caviar, sour cream and lemon is one example of a rustic inspiration with a modern polish.
Courtesy of The Corner
Christmas Eve €240 (with selected Wines €370), Christmas Lunch: €200 (with selected Wines €330) New Year’s Eve Dinner: €380 (with selected Wines €580). All per person.
7. Per Me
Developed by head chef Giulio Terrinoni, Per Me prides itself on a cuisine built from its daily sourced, and raw ingredients. An understated elegance belies the assertive flavours of his seasonal creations, and the essence of the winter season can be captured in his Christmas Eve, Christmas Dinner, and New Year’s Eve menus.
Three meats cannelloni
broccoli, chestnuts, black truffle, Fettuccine yellow and green hare, juniper, smoked pecorino prove an alliance between the conventional and the creative. Pour through more tantalising choices on Per Me’s dedicated site.
Christmas Eve Menu: €220 plus 130 for wine. Check the website for more
8. Fernanda Osteria
Also known for its combination of innovative and traditional dishes, Fernanda Osteria offers a New Year’s Eve menu that will power up your Instagram Likes. Head chef Davide del Luca presents dishes of both aesthetic beauty and eye-rolling flavour in examples such as lobster lentils and foie gras, and lamb served with chestnuts.
Take a sneak peak at the menu before impressing your family and friends with your amazing taste in venues.
Courtesy of Fernanda Osteria
9. Glass Hostaria
Another New Year’s Eve option lies in the scrumptious renditions of chefs Cristina Bowerman (president of Ambassadors of Taste for Italy), and Fabio Spada. Together, they’ve created a taste experience that will make you greet the new year with a satisfied grin on your face. Indulge in Burnt lettuce, oyster, trout roe sauce and kefir, or liquid ravioli of 60 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano, white truffle. Basically, the stuff you can’t make at home.
Plan to start 2024 with a full belly and a happy heart by trolling the Glass’s menu.
New Year’s Eve Menu: €380 per person
If you’re torn as to whether you should eat out for Christmas Eve, Christmas Dinner, or New Year’s Eve, Marzapane just made everything more complicated.
This year it’s offering a festive menu for either one of those days, and each is as delicious as the other. While December offers a lot to be jolly and grateful for, our wallets and bank accounts usually take the brunt of the holiday’s increased prices, and our own laissez-faire vibes. Apart from delicious grub, Marzapane offers comparatively economic options for its Michelin star cuisine.
Sumptuous and quirky options include Risotto with buffalo stracchino, grilled mackerel, fennel flowersNo doubt its enigma adds to the flavour.
See which other Marzapane options tickle your delight and tastebuds.
Courtesy of Marzapane
Christmas Eve & Christmas Dinner Menus: €150 Christmas Lunch €150 New Year’s Eve Menu: €230 (all per person)
While you’re at the end of this blog post, you’re certainly not at the end of your Christmas and New Year’s adventures in Rome!
Prepare your stomach for the feasts ahead with any one of Joy of Rome’s Food Tours, and discover how and why Roman and Italian cuisine is both celebrated and emulated the world over.