More and more visitors to Rome are keen to explore the real city neighborhoods and authentic Roman fare, which can be difficult to find in the historical center.
Pepper Restaurant is located in the old working communist class neighborhood of Pigneto. Located a short 15- to 20-minute drive from the center of Rome, this migrant melting pot and gentrified neighborhood has become a hub of great food and cocktail bars. But Pepper stands out from the crowd.
Opened in July by Chiara Solfizi in collaboration with foodie-obsessed and super talented chef Angelo Preziosi, Pepper is already just about packed out every night!
Pepper Restaurant's local wine and divine homemade bread — Photo courtesy of HeartRome
And it's not just because the place is welcoming, with a side of modern style that makes you feel right at home. But because the staff and management simply know their stuff! They are all about the food, and you can rest assured that an unforgettable meal is in the cards here.
Preziosi is a Roman, and a proud one at that. So all the produce – from the wine right through to the ricotta – is locally sourced and for the most part, it comes with the DOP Lazio tick of approval.
The restaurant is a beautiful ode to Roman cuisine, with a cheeky modern twist. The menu is wholesome and features some adventurous flavour combinations, which more than just work. It's quality and more quality, but not at all pretentious.
Impressively, the kitchen pumps out its own fresh bread daily, and we'll let you in on a little secret: the focaccina is amazing.
What comes next is an amuse bouch, compliments of the chef. It changes daily, depending on what’s fresh and in season. So you could get a roast tomato filled with rice or perhaps a very Roman artichoke or baccalà (salt cod) dish.
Entrée highlights include a mixed board of cheese and locally sourced salumi (cold meats), accompanied by a delicious selection of condiments, including honey and a blood orange reduction; salad topped with tongue; and fried anchovies with pecorino cheese.
And, yes, fish and cheese can be eaten together if it's Preziosi and the team cookin'!
Tortellone with porchetta — Photo courtesy of HeartRome
All your classic Roman pasta dishes make the cut for first course, including cacio e pepe (pecorino and pepper sauce) and amatriciana and carbonara. But this carbonara comes with a twist, in that a seasonal vegetable rotates through as the secret ingredient.
A white lamb ragu and tortellone filled with porchetta (spiced rolled pork) are the absolute kings on this part of the menu.
Main courses include Roman tripe rolls, coda alla vaccinara (oxtail stew) – cooked with an old-school recipe – and a pork fillet that is perfectly balanced in flavor with apple.
Then come the desserts. Like the rest of the menu: delicious, understated and all made in house. Think peaches in white wine, the ever classic tiramisu cutely served up in a glass jar and a caramelized pear and ricotta tart.
The only problem you'll face at Pepper Restaurant is choosing what to eat – a fine problem to have when it comes to dining!