burgers + martinis @ rosso {rome}

Rosso in Rome www.ElizabethMinchilliinRome.com
The newest trend in Rome these days is American style restaurants. And by American style I mean not only the design of the places, but also the menu.

What this means, of course, is that hamburgers are all the rage these days in Rome. In fact, there must be a new law that says that unless you have at least three kinds of hamburger on your menu, then you can’t open.

This is actually ok with me because I figure that the more places that start doing hamburgers, the better they will get, right?

One of the newest of these arrivals is Rosso. Located in the up and coming area of Viale Aventino, Rosso has taken over a large, loft-like, space which used to sell motorbikes. It says a lot about the state of the economy that a motorbike place would fail in Rome, yet a sleek, casual  vaguely American looking, restaurant would appear to be a good investment.

And, in fact, it’s always full.

On a recent night we started out with icy cold vodka martinis, which were done just right (not always a given in Rome). Before we got to the main event – the burgers – we decided to try a few of the antipasti. The fritto misto, something that i usually avoid since it can often be insipid and greasy, was done just right. The meatball, bacala‘ and suppli were crisp, crunchy and boiling hot.

We all really loved the tasconi, which are basically little mini calzone. Ours were stuffed with a mixture of escarole, pine nuts, olives and capers, and topped with a big, fat anchovy. And the sprouts on the plate, which could have just been sad garnish, were actually spicy and crisp and a good contrast to the tascone.

We all split an order of panzanella which turned out to be the biggest surprise of the evening. Big chunks of toasted Lariano bread were tossed in a tomato and red pepper puree, and topped with a wedge of mozzarella di buffala. We were all fighting over the last, tasty bits.

The burgers: actually pretty good. I opted for the avocado and bacon version, while Gillian and Domenico went for the cheese burger. All were perfectly cooked, medium rare, and the beef was fatty enough to make the burger tender. Even the bun, topped with sesame seeds, worked.

The massive mounds of french fries were crisp and crunchy and basically what you want with the burger.

Mark, who had already been here several times since he works across the street, knew just what he wanted: cacio e pepe. Done pitch perfectly, it made him very happy.

We ended up lingering for a long time. The space is very comfortable and relaxed, with mismatched chairs, low lighting and soft music.

By the way, Rosso does have a full menu, it’s not just burgers. And they also have a lunch time buffet that runs from 7 to 11 Euros, depending on the size of your plate. You can also come by for breakfast, since they open at 7am.

Although I don’t think they’re serving burgers that early.
Rosso in Rome www.ElizabethMinchilliinRome.com

Rosso in Rome www.ElizabethMinchilliinRome.com

Rosso in Rome www.ElizabethMinchilliinRome.com

Rosso in Rome www.ElizabethMinchilliinRome.com

Rosso in Rome www.ElizabethMinchilliinRome.com

Rosso in Rome www.ElizabethMinchilliinRome.com

Rosso in Rome www.ElizabethMinchilliinRome.com

Rosso in Rome www.ElizabethMinchilliinRome.com

Rosso in Rome www.ElizabethMinchilliinRome.com

Viale Aventino 32, Rome
Open daily, 7am – 1am.
Closed Sunday. 

For more on eating in Rome download my app EAT ROME, available on iTunes and Android.  



  1. says

    Funnily enough, about five years ago, when we briefly lived in the neighborhood with our two daughters, we were in that spot in its previous incarnation–buying Vespa paraphernalia for our motorini-obsessed children….looks like it cleaned up well! And bravi to all the new and yummy food venues in the viale Aventino area–they were much needed. Can’t wait to check this out when we’re back in December!

  2. Ron B says

    America is taking overEurope and the dumbing-down of Italy has begun. When will they start showing movies at the Colosseum – or maybe even rock concerts. How ’bout “Jesus Christ Superstar” in St. Peter’s Square?

    Che tragedia!

    • says

      I don’t think a restaurant or two that serves burgers qualifies as a tragedia. Also, Americans have certainly co-opted pizza – for better or worse – in the States. Why can’t the Italians try their hand at burgers? And, by the way, there have been concerts in historic amphitheaters for a long time now – so that horse long ago left the barn.

  3. says

    Burgermania has also arrived in France and I don’t mind in the least. While I don’t eat beef often (after major scary reactions to beef in the States), I do like a good burger and find that they are usually a sound bet in restaurants here. The beef is of good quality and it is something I would never make at home for myself!

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