Bistrot64 built a name amongst restaurants in Rome as the cheapest Michelin star restaurant in Italy with 5-course set menus starting at €50 a head.
But after losing its Michelin star in April 2023, Bistrot64 is on a journey of discovery to establish its new place in the restaurant firmament in Rome.
Following the exit of Japanese chef, Kotaro Noda, the new chef at the helm of Bistrot64 is Noda’s former sous chef, Giacomo Zezza. The new operation also sees the return of restaurant entreprenuer Emanuele Cozzo, following a number of other successful food and hotel projects.
But is Bistrot64 ready to vie for Michelin-starred greatness again, or it is seeking a new direction in north Rome?
With these questions in mind and my appetite at the ready, I headed to via Guglielmo Calderini, 64, the North Rome home of Bistrot64, marked by blink-and-you’ll-miss-it unassuming exteriors on a quiet street.
Inside, clean minimalist lines and spotless and modern furniture provided a hint of the restaurant’s renaissance. The menu is a pleasing mix of innovation and classics from the Roman and Italian traditions, but I’m ready to be surprised, so I ask Zezza and team to serve a selection of their new hits. Interestingly, touches of Japanese influence remain. Before the food arrives, freshly baked bread reaches the table, combining softness and crunch.
The Bistrot64 experience
Dinner started with rolls of beef served with a strongly savoury earth of crumbled black olives. This was followed by our first taste of pasta, a flavourful dish of pici combining butter and lemon katsobushi with a streak of spicy ‘nduja. This was a successful and tasty combination.
Next, Zezza sent us a masterful carbonara, rich with creamed egg yolks and cheese, topped with crisp guanciale. Just as before, Bistrot64 offers all three of the classic Roman pasta dishes, so you can also try Zezza’s cacio e pepe and amatriciana. We tried a third pasta dish too, a filled ravioli combining robiola cheese with a striking beetroot sauce, poured at the table.
The main course was tender pigeon, served with figs and nuts, with a generous foam of truffle eggnog added at the table. Dessert was a sweet but well compiled dish of strawberries with meringue and ice-cream.
As another innovative twist, instead of a cheese course, the chef served cacio e pepe pasta after dessert. This was a nice touch.
Bistrot64 menus and dining options
The dinner was expertly paired with crisp white wines, with a red for the pigeon, complementing the food perfectly. Dining options at Bistrot64 include the regular a la carte menu plus tasting menus, one of which features ‘greatest hits’ from the restaurant’s last few years.
Bistrot64 may no longer be the cheapest Michelin-star restaurant in Rome or Italy, but this interesting and original restaurant in Rome is still very much worth your time.
Testaccina was a guest of Bistrot64
Bistrot64 | Via Guglielmo Calderini, 64 | Rome | Tel +39 06 323 5531