photo credit: Ed Anderson
Rossoblu is a big-deal restaurant and that’s apparent the moment you walk in. Yes, this Italian spot’s massive industrial dining room, all-gold bar, and floor-to-ceiling mural are all visually impressive. But Rossoblu pulls you in with more than just the aesthetic—it’s warm and welcoming, and feels like you’re dining in a wealthy Italian family’s Roman loft. There’s always a celebration happening, and photos of someone’s grandma (whose, we still don’t know) sit proudly on the bar. This place is certainly high-end, but nothing feels stuffy or predictable: the waitstaff is energetic and knowledgeable, the wine list is surprisingly affordable, and when it comes to the food, you can have any type of meal you want.
The star of the show here is the minestra nel sacco, a traditional Bolognese dumpling dish made with parmesan and a light broth. Flour is mixed with eggs, cheese, and a bit of butter, then is chopped into tiny, uniform cubes. The result is a delightful soup filled with half-bread, half-parmesan squares that sort of look like gooey croutons. It’s a dish we’d happily eat whenever it gets unbearably cold (or below 70 degrees) out.
But you don’t come to a Big Deal restaurant like Rossoblu for just soups. If you’re looking for something green-ish, start with the Valbruna’s eggplant, a savory appetizer that comes shaped like cannoli with a dollop of red sauce. Then head straight for the pastas. There are usually about six on the menu, ranging from risotto with kabocha squash to irregularly shaped maltagliati topped with dandelion greens and piopinni mushrooms. In a town full of stellar pasta, these aren’t quite as revolutionary as they were before, but it’s still a fantastic line-up, filled with unique ingredients and thick, fluffy noodles. There’s a choice for every mood and whim your mind could possibly conjure, our favorite being the tortelloni—a plump, stuffed version of its cousin, the tortellini—which arrives in a sea of rich, red butter sauce and filled with ricotta and swiss chard.
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Basically, a caprese plus eggplant. It’s a nice, light appetizer, perfect for the start of a meal.
Olimpia’s Tagliatelle Al Ragu
Served a bit drier than we’re used to, this pasta understands an essential truth: less (sauce) is sometimes more. This way, the long al dente pasta has more room to shine, and you can focus on every chunk of ground beef.
A pile of pasta sits on a bed of ricotta and is topped with sausage ragu and broccoli. You’re going to be thinking about this one in the morning.
Minestra Nel Sacco
Literally translated as “soup in the sack” (our new Twitter name?), this traditional dumpling dish might just be our favorite thing at Rossoblu. The clear broth works wonderfully with the parmesan cheese cubes—every spoonful is salty and satisfying.
Heavy, dense, and folded up like a fortune cookie, eating this stuffed pasta is definitely an undertaking. Be prepared to spill some red sauce on your shirt.
Don’t leave Rossoblu without ordering this. Housemade sausage and a belly-on pork chop that could feed a family of four. Or you for an entire week in your bed.
You definitely don’t have room for this, but we don’t care. Cacao cake, strawberry torta, and maple hazelnuts sprinkled on top. Even if you manage one bite and then collapse, it’ll be worth it.