All great nights out should end or begin with getting lost in Rome’s crooked, cobble-covered streets. Just steps away from the bustle of Piazza Navona, there’s a timeless neighbourhood which still hits the spot in high season.
Turn the corner beyond the bustle of piazza del Fico and find Coromandel, a restaurant which has reigned supreme in this often touristy area for eight years now, offering the most intimate retreat behind its wood-panelled walls.
While Coromandel’s interiors are a charming mix of English whimsy and Parisian chic, expect a yummy, transatlantic mix of breakfast and brunch options, while the dinner menu has a wholly Italian spirit infused with European influence.
The brainchild of Katia Minniti, Coromandel Restaurant has rightly become a legend for its homemade brunch, featuring gooey eggs Benedict, pancakes with maple syrup and chocolate spread, omelettes and sausages and sides of avocado and fruit – plus much more.
Open from 8.30 am for breakfast which segues seamlessly into brunch, it’s a lovely choice for a hearty start to the day – perhaps with a laptop or paper – for a breakfast of champions.
While Coromandel Restaurant attracts a smart set of local business folk and travellers in the know at lunch, it is a rather different affair in the evenings, when the wood panelled dining room transforms into an intimate spot for a romantic dinner or refined family supper.
Chef Ornella De Felice reigns supreme at all hours of the day, preparing breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner with style and flair.
My dinner started with this exceptional dish of tongue, served with iceberg lettuce and a sour cream sauce.
We then tasted an exquisite polpetta di bollito, a meatball traditionally made from boiled meat and served with strips of celery and tomato sauce. The meat was delicate and tender, while the sweetness of the celery and tomato added wonderful balance.
Next up on the menu was an excellent baccalà, smoky and flavourful without excessive pungency. This was smoked with rosemary and served with hummus for a contemporary take on the classic ceci e baccalà combination.
Next up, this extraordinary spaghetti with seafood and beef sauce, combined with onion powder and black truffle. This was a real triumph of savoury flavours, topped off with seasonal truffle.
My tasting journey through Coromandel’s menu continued with a wonderful serving of braised beef cheek. Plated on a slice of roast celeriac, it was served with sweet and sour onions.
Do note, all of my dishes were slightly smaller than usual to enable me to explore a broader range of the menu. First courses are priced at around €13-€15, while you should expect to pay around €20 for second course dishes.
We closed by sharing a couple of dishes from the incredible dessert menu. Coromandel’s take on the classic dessert Mont Blanc is an absolute treat. The sweet combines meringue, chestnut and cocoa cream spaghetti and handmade marrons glaces.
We also tried a simply phenomenal souffle served with a boozy zabaglione cream. This is a dessert I find so infrequently in Rome, it was a real pleasure and deliciously prepared.
Overall, the Coromandel Restaurant experience made for a sensational night, weaving great food with the intimate magic of the location. I highly recommend the place and can’t wait to return – for brunch next time!