Ornelli, a steakhouse near Termini station in Rome, has quickly established its reputation as the number one restaurant for eating Black Angus beef in Rome.
This elegant restaurant, which has a romantic and refined vibe, with cream walls, exposed brickwork and low lighting, is light-years from the aggressive and masculine steakhouses of yesteryear. And while Ornelli Black Angus Steakhouse has only been in business for just under two years, the restaurant represents the transformation of a well-established family-run eatery serving customers for over three decades.
Ornelli steakhouse near Termini: an overview
In early 2020, Nicola Ornelli decided to convert his established trattoria into a steakhouse specialising in the best cuts of beef, with a focus on Black Angus. While representing a bit of a gamble, Nicola knew his subject well. The depth of his knowledge is reflected in prints on the wall, displaying vintage photo material collected across America in his search for the best Black Angus in the world.
Ornelli imports the beef from the US, Canada, Argentina and Australia, currently the world’s most important territories for commercialising Black Angus beef. And the results he achieves with his secret ‘six step’ cooking procedure at this refined steakhouse near Termini are nothing short of miraculous.
Ornelli restaurant review
Black Angus beef dominates the menu at Ornelli Black Angus Steakhouse from start to finish, so it’s worth bearing this in mind if you have a mixed party with varied tastes.
For example, amongst the starters or antipasti, we tried crunchy tacos, topped with incredibly tender Black Angus beef navel, smoked and slow-cooked for hours. Two are priced at €8 and I would really recommend this to start (pictured above). The soft corn tacos were topped with slow-cooked barbeque pork in a Cochinita Pibil style, served with sour cream, and were equally delicious.
Look out for a good Black Angus tartare and a Black Angus croquette too on the Ornelli menu, priced at €12 and €8 respectively.
Although most people would move onto a steak after the starters, there are also a couple of pasta dishes available. These include pappardelle with a smoked Black Angus ragu (€16), and a dish of pici with roast Black Angus, butter infused with porcini mushrooms, and thyme croutons (€16).
We tried this latter dish, which wasn’t entirely successful, as the chunks of hand-cut meat were rather dry and didn’t really combine well with the butter, served in cold cubes on the plate to be stirred in by the diner. It might be an idea to offer pasta dishes which don’t religiously stick to the meat theme, in order to vary the dietary experience a little.
Moving onto the meat course or second course, and I am happy to announce that the steaks are delicious and succulently cooked, carving up like butter on the plate. As to the exact cooking method, Nicola plays his cards close to his chest. According to the restaurant owner, the steaks are subject to a 30 minute cooking time, involving six steps in total, which I am guessing alternates sous vide preparation with a final searing, perhaps in a Josper-style oven (this is me speculating, due to the lovely smoked aroma).
Whatever the method, the meat is tender, pink and sealed perfectly on the outside. We tried a corn-fed ribeye steak from Kentucky, which proved succulent and tasty. The prices range from €8-€9 per 100g, to steaks served in the New York, ribeye, Tomahawk and T-bone style, priced at between €38 and €75 for gold label cuts.
Of course, despite this being a Black Angus restaurant, steaks aren’t obligatory – look out for Black Angus burgers and pork ribs.
If you have room – I dare you to try the chocolate brownies, served with a choice between pistachio, salted caramel, cream and limoncello. Great value for €8, as I would designate this a sharing portion. Another hallmark of this great steakhouse near Termini.
And if you love steak but are situated in another zone of Rome, check out my reviews of Argentinian steakhouse El Porteno near the Pantheon, Meaters Brace Bar near Ponte Milvio, or Carpaccio in Prati.
Ornelli Black Angus Steakhouse | Via Merulana 224 | Rome | Tel 0039 06 487 2788
Testaccina was a guest of Ornelli Black Angus Steakhouse