Even though I love going out to dinner, sometimes I get lazy and it seems like work. Because, well, it so often is. That’s why I love it when I get invited to a dinner party. This way I just show up and someone else has already made all the decisions: what, where, when. I just get to enjoy myself.
Last week I had the rare opportunity that combined the idea of going for dinner at a restaurant (fun) with the comfort and warmth of eating in someone’s home (easy).
With so many new restaurant openings in Rome recently, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to do a pop-up. Already a trend in cities like Paris, New York and LA, Rome took it’s own time. But it was worth the wait.
Domenico and Sophie have opened their home in the Monteverde neighborhood to serve some seriously delicious food. Domenico is currently the sous chef at the American Academy in Rome’s Rome Sustainable Food Program and Sophie has a long and storied career as a professional pastry chef.
When we arrived the table was beautifully set in a minimal, but stylish way, that certainly reflected Sofie’s Danish aesthetics. Crisp white linen table cloth, white candles and bright flowers with pieces of Royal Copenhagen china thrown in for good measure.
The communal table seats 12 and Domenico and I were part of a lively and mixed crowd. Danes, Americans and Italians, we were all soon part of one big merry group.
Dinner started with a few amuse bouches: pickled carrots from the farmers market, rye crackers topped with pumpkin puree, pancetta and sage, and wheat wafers topped with gorgonzola dolce and guanciale.
While Domenico worked away in the kitchen, Sofie began to serve the meal. A perfect salad came next: mixed greens topped with ricotta and toasted grano saraceno. At this point Sophie’s extraordinary home made sour bread came out, which made me hope that she will soon open her own bakery. It was seriously some of the best bread I’ve had in a long time in Rome.
Our primo were light as air gnocchi made with nettles and slathered lavishly with brown butter. I loved the crispy shards of toasted parmigiano on top. The main course were tender slices of galetto stuffed with pistachios and lemon, served with lentils and a colorful tangle of spicy, crunchy sprouts.
I forgot to mention that the wines, all natural, were chosen by a sommelier who was also at our table, ready to tell us all about them. I particularly loved the Boveri Derthona, a Timorasso from Piemonte.
The final sweet ending to the meal was Sophie’s work, a Gateau Marcel, which I am pretty sure must mean chocolate orgy in French. It was served with Carmenos, an extraordinary dessert wine from La Cappuccina. A natural organic wine, if you can find it, buy it. You’ll thank me.
We left very happy, not only with a bag full of buttery cookies but also a few slices of Sofie’s bread which we toasted the next day for breakfast.
As we said our goodbyes to Sofie and Domenico, it was hard to think that we had just eaten at a ‘‘restaurant.’ But I guess that is the charm of a pop up, the pairing not only of good food and great company, but also of ease and warmth. Thank you Sofie and Domenico for bringing this trend to Rome. I sure hope it catches on.
to find out about upcoming dinners and book your place write to Sophie at