Pesciolino is a bijoux fish restaurant in the heart of old Rome, serving fresh and raw fish with a modern, Mediterranean twist. Just a short walk from the Spanish Steps, it’s in the prettiest part of old Rome and oozes intimate charm.
The brainchild of owner Dario Asara who also own nearby bright-and-healthy Ginger, Pesciolino (whose name means ‘little fish’) is an upmarket yet youthful spot with a dozen tables under a duck-egg blue ceiling, printed with darting fish.
There are half a dozen seats at the well-stocked bar, ideal for a quick oyster and cocktail aperitif, a bowl of mussels at lunch, or a plate of pasta.
Even better, for summer 2020, Pesciolino has introduced a great aperitivo formula where you pay just €15 for a signature cocktail and some freshly prepared seafood nibbles. Another great reason to check this place out!
At the end of the artfully designed dining room, a bright and pleasant open kitchen really inspires you to sit down and taste this well-thought out menu. Here, chef Fabio Pecelli dreams up stunning and original fish dishes that focus on seasonal catches and ingredients.
I dined at Pesciolino in March 2020. Our dinner started with these crisp cones of fried squid, served with a sumptuous guacamole dip. Perfect!
Next up, these rice crackers with sea lettuce, topped with butter and anchovies, were not only beautifully served – they were also delicious.
Pesciolino sources its raw fish with care from the French coast, with these oysters served with lemon foam and black pepper to sensational effect.
Next up, I tried another mouth-watering starter from Pesciolino – this fried brioche bun paired with tomato confit, raw pink prawns and peanut butter for an unexpected but successful flavour combination.
It was on with the first course dishes, and this striking bowl tasted as good as it looked: ribbons of fresh cuttlefish served in tomato sauce with onion, olives, potato and capers.
The out-of-the-ordinary flavours continued with these cappelletti pasta shapes, filled with cream of scampi, smoked ricotta and hazelnuts.
This dish combined deep aromas of the sea with tart and fresh flavours, matching smoked anchovy with spaghetti and olive powder, onion, capers, garlic, lemon and parsley.
It was time to dip into Pesciolino’s second course menu, and this was an absolute triumph: turbot wrapped in roast pork, with truffle sauce and potato crisps. The fish was robust enough to emerge in this flavour combination, creating an absolute winner.
To close, the chef’s iconic tiramisu in a fine, sugar-crisp shell: perfectly executed with a rich mascarpone and egg cream sauce.
All in all, Pesciolino is a charming, cosy spot minutes from the Spanish Steps and just off designer shopping street Via dei Condotti, which absolutely deserves your attention when in Rome. This fish menu is interesting, modern and full of brilliant ideas to inspire the perfect (romantic) night out!
Testaccina was a guest of Pesciolino
Pesciolino Restaurant | Via Belsiana 30 | Rome | Tel 0039 06 6979 7843