Favilla is a bright, modern pizzeria in the Re di Roma / San Giovanni area of Rome which serves Roman-style pizzas with classic and modern toppings.
Raising the restaurant’s game, an original antipasti selection and well-crafted non-pizza alternatives – including classic pasta dishes and burgers – make this a safe bet for a mixed party looking for a range of options.
Add in an excellent price-quality ratio and you have just the spot for a casual dinner in the San Giovanni neighbourhood. I went along to taste a range of dishes with some blogging pals, and this is how the night went!
We started with a selection of antipasti which I would describe as gourmet – although the prices were far from fancy. This is one occasion where you really don’t want to miss the starters as they were amongst my favourite dishes of the night.
They included this fluffy baccala served with sweet Tropea red onion rings, creamed pumpkin and amaretti crumbs (that’s right, the sweet almond biscuits! I don’t know how this worked but it did. Priced at €4.90, I should have had two). We also sensational deep-fried rice balls (suppli) with Amalfi lemon zest, which really raised the sweet and tangy notes of the tomato sauce. Truly excellent (€2.50).
A third successful dish combined tender veal meatballs with green parsley sauce and a crunchy vegetable selection. Again, beautifully balanced flavours that belied the price tag (€4.50).
Next up, we tried a burger from the trattoria menu – and weren’t disappointed. This burger with velvety slices of brisket was the designated ‘burger of the week’ and worked well served with homemade chips (€13). Other options included Roman pasta dishes (amatriciana, carbonara, gricia and cacio e pepe), all priced at €9.50.
It was time to move onto the pizzas, which are cooked in an electric oven, so expect an evenly baked dough without the blackened fringes associated with wood-fired ovens. We tried a classic margherita (always a useful base test) priced at €6.50; a ‘fish & chips’ pizza combining roast octopus and crunchy mashed potato, plus mild red peppers (€12.50).
We also tried a pizza called ‘Roma’ combining mozzarella, refried chicory greens, bufala, anchovies and Roman mint (€10).
All three were interesting although I liked the Roma pizza the best. I felt that the other two were a little mild on flavour, and although I tried not to be over-influenced by the oven, I discovered that I missed the wood-smoke aroma created in traditional wood-fired pizza houses.
Onto the dessert course, and here we tried a very competent tiramisu (€5), plus a house special which combined an almond pudding with persimmons and pomegranate (€5.50). I wanted to like this dish as the flavour combination was fresh and unusual, but I was a bit put off by the rice-pudding-like mouthfeel.
Overall, Favilla is a welcome addition to the San Giovanni dining scene and has some really original ideas executed at original prices. Look out for bottled artisan beers and artisan non-alcoholic drinks making a welcome change from the norm. When works complete on the park in front of the restaurant it will even offer some magical outdoor dining options in a perfectly green oasis.
Pizzeria Favilla | Via Urbino 35 | Rome | Tel +39 06 7049 3458
Testaccina was a guest of Favilla