Review of Valentyne Restaurant Rome at Hotel Valadier
You know you’re onto something special when a downtown hotel boasts one of the best cocktail bars in the centre of Rome and perhaps its most sensational rooftop restaurant.
Hotel Valadier in Rome is one of those iconic properties which has left an indelible mark on the city of Rome, but isn’t afraid of change.
While the hotel offers rooms from a very competitive €119 per night – just a five minute walk from the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo – its latest dining and drinking options plunge you into Dantean worlds of polar opposite: the dark and sexy lure of its basement cocktail bar and eatery, Valentyne, and the glass-walled halls of its lofty rooftop restaurant, Hi-Res.
Its latest offering, Valentyne Restaurant and Cocktails, the brainchild of owner Daniele Lassalandra, exudes an after-dark vibe of mystery and delight. It is, if I may say, Hotel Valadier’s Inferno: red-velvet-sexy, with a note of 1930s decadence and a tempting menu to match.
The bar, enriched with plush stools that recall a vintage cinema or theatre circle, is just made for pausing with a drink while you get all the heady gossip from the smart barmen in their 1930s-inspired suits. There are shades of Prohibition-era secrecy without the faff of a speakeasy.
Valentyne opens at 6.30 pm, so it’s great for an early evening drink but really comes into its own for dinner and late night cocktails. The food has a gourmet, international vibe, but manages to keep things casual with lots of tartares and even a superb club sandwich for those late-night munchies.
The dinner menu is in constant evolution, but characterised by the kind of details which show you are in safe hands. While Valentyne may be new, Hotel Valadier has been serving customers for decades and the polish and expertise shines through, even in the table service.
We were presented with freshly baked bread rolls in brass spirals, accompanied by rosettes of the best Italian butter.
Expect classics of international cuisine in the limited but mouthwatering menu. Dinner here is best approached as a series of tasting plates. This exceptional foie gras, served with fresh fig toast, proved an explosion of salty and sweet in the mouth.
I have a weakness for raw prawns and this sensational slab of Italian red prawns, dressed with dill, needed nothing else: the exquisite freshness carried the dish.
Fresh fish is one of the hallmarks of the menu at Valentyne, so I was delighted to try this light, crisp and fluffy tempura which comprises batter fried oysters, prawns, chunks of fresh fish and vegetables.
Light appetites will be delighted to sample the tris of burgers, club sandwich or lobster sandwich. This is luxury hotel in-between-dining at its best.
There is a sensational range of desserts on the menu and I struck gold with this sensational hazelnut creme brulee.
Cocktails or coffee are served with sensational petit fours – I loved these dark chocolates macarons dressed with gold leaf.
Even if you aren’t looking for a dining option in the hood, Valentyne hits all the right spots for after dinner cocktails. The service is sublime and the cocktail menu has a few original options. Expect international DJ sets late on and at weekends which attract a young, cool crowd.
Above all, come to Valentyne for the magic of its sexy, shadowy corners and a unique, vintage Rome vibe.
Testaccina was a guest of Valentyne Restaurant Rome
Valentyne Restaurant Rome | Hotel Valadier | Via della Fontanella 15 |+39 06 361 0880 | Open every day 6.30pm – 2.30 am, closed on Mondays