Campocori restaurant, the new gourmet dining experience at Chapter Rome Hotel, is one of the most exciting new restaurants in Rome.
With chef Alessandro Pietropaoli in the kitchen, Campocori digs into the traditions of Italian cuisine and serves them in an elegant yet irreverent way; transformed at times by flavours from Asia. The effect is neither gimmicky nor superficial.
By fishing ingredients from the Italian countryside and the Italian coast, while nodding to international experiences, Campocori Restaurant handles its influences with care, while having the guts to do something new.
The name, Campocori, is itself a gentle homage to the past. Chapter Hotel Rome, which hosts Campocori, stands on an ancient site in Rome’s Jewish Ghetto. Centuries ago, on this very plot, the bells of Santa Maria in Campo Cori once called the faithful to worship. Now, in neon lettering, Campocori summons curious diners into the newest wing of the Chapter Hotel.
Chef Pietropaoli, fresh from a spell at Villa Crespi on Lago d’Orta, has created a thoughtful and inclusive menu which also includes plenty of gluten and lactose-free dishes. Tasting menus start at €55, reaching €95 for the eight-course dinner I sampled (prices exclude wine). And what a journey that was!
Campocori restaurant review
Our dinner, in Campocori’s handsome dining room dressed with high-impact, contemporary art, started with a fun amuse-bouche selection, rich in flavourful vegetables.
We then moved on to the first antipasto, sweetbreads from Piedmontese cattle and king trumpet mushrooms, served with a mushroom foam cappuccino. This was both a nod to the rich cuisine of Lazio in the use of offal, and a fun, modern departure.
The next dish was a real crowd-pleaser: black garlic tagliolini with Mediterranean sea urchin and buffalo mozzarella. Striking and profound in flavour, it was one of the highlights of the night.
Just when we thought things couldn’t get much better, an incredible risotto arrived with a shocking flavour combination. Resinous, mountain pines combined with frogs legs and powdered spirulina was a beautiful layering of flavour that was an absolute delight.
The waiter dressed the next dish at the table with a dollop of a sauce inspired by Japanese cuisine, combining lemon and anchovies. The plate itself combined turbot in crepinette with courgette flowers, and fermented savoy cabbage.
The second, second course, “pigeon served twice”, pulled off a leg to charcoal roast it while the rest of the bird was moist and delicate.
After a fun ginger pre-dessert – that ruptured in the mouth like an oyster – we moved on to the first sweet course. This beetroot and sheep’s cheese delight combined natural acidities with natural sugar for a mature and delicate dish.
We end proceedings with petit fours, half concealed in a box, for a last, sweet surprise.
Campocori restaurant is a delightful modern European experience which reserves surprises at every course, but is relaxing and pleasurable all the same.
Testaccina was a guest of Campocori restaurant
Campocori Restaurant, Hotel Chapter | Via di S. Maria de’ Calderari, 47 | Rome | Tel 06 8993 5351