La Pergola is the best restaurant in Rome and the only one to hold 3 Michelin stars. It also has one of the most spectacular views in the world. That’s because La Pergola has a privileged position above the city. It’s located on the top floor of Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria hotel on Monte Mario, the highest hill of Rome.
We have to confess that this impressive view and the Michelin stars status have made La Pergola an irresistible proposition for our honeymoon.
Responsible for the La Pergola experience, awarded 3 Michelin stars & 5 forks since 2005, is Heinz Beck. Surprisingly, the best restaurant in Rome and one of the best in Italy does not belong to an Italian, but a German chef. But his menu totally embraces the Italian cuisine. Heinz Beck holds a series of impressive awards and he is slowly building a culinary empire with restaurants in Tuscany, Portugal, Dubai, London and Tokyo. La Pergola remains the “jewel of the crown” and the kitchen where Beck spends most of his time.
The whole restaurant is designed and organized around the unique panorama it offers over Rome. And inline with the historic opulence of Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria hotel: floor to ceiling wide windows, imperial furniture, paintings, 18th century chandelier, vermeil flatware and precious chinaware.
The summer terrace is the main attraction point for couples seeking the ultimate romantic culinary experience. It’s decorated a bit more “modest”, on the background of amazing Rome seen from above, with excellent position to St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican. We were lucky (and quite persistent to be honest) and got a table right here in the front row. The result was one of the most romantic dinner we’ve ever enjoyed. We’ll let the pictures reveal more.
The meal experience at La Pergola inevitably begins with the water selection. They have a water menu with 55 options from around the world. From regular/common water – Aqua Pana/San Pellegrino to special/famous water – Voss or BLK – natural black water. At the staff recommendation we went with Lauretana, one of the lightest waters in Europe, with a dry residue of only 14 mg/l.
Then followed one of our favorite parts of all the meals in Italy: choosing the bread and presentation of the olive oil. The olive oil producer offered by La Pergola is Manni, considered to be one of the best in the world. This oil is developed by Armando Manni after a collaborative research project with the University in Florence.
There are 2 tasting menus to chose from at La Pergola: 7 dishes at 195 euro or an extended version of 10 dishes at 230 euro. We went for the longer option. Heinz Beck has as light way of cooking, so we enjoyed all the flavors of all the top quality ingredients combined until the end of the meal.
What we ate at La Pergola:
1. Amberjack tartare on strawberry ice crush, almond mousse and finger lime
Raw fish, strawberries, almonds, finger lime – 4 flavors, textures, 4 different temperatures. It is a tasty and interesting combination that awakens and numbs your whole palace at the same time. But somehow the kind dish not recommended for people with sensitive teeth 🙂
2. Marinated mackerel on Sicillian caponata
3. Seaweed, scampi and squid
Interesting mix of texture and color with a pronounced sea taste.
4. Fagottelli “La Pergola”
As the name suggests, this is “La Pergola” signature dish, a constant presence in the menu for a long time. At first, Fagottelli seems to be just some common filled pasta, but once they get into your mouth you feel a great buttery explosion of bacon, egg and pecorino flavors.
5. Composition of John Dory, squid and red shrimp in citrus fruit steam
The whole composition of fish and seafood made its “steam citrus bath” on our table, the dish being served over a ceramic infuser.
6. Sandwich of red mullet with pistachio, dried tomatoes and Balsamic Vinegar from Modena
7. Loin of lamb with wild fennel în cereal crust and goat chesse pearls
8. Cheese selection
The cheese selection is entirely Italian, as expected. We especially liked the 36 months aged Parmigiano Reggiano.
9. The sun
A visual combination with exotic fruit.
10. Iced sphere of red fruit on tea cream with crystallized raspberries
La Pergola is the winner of the “Grand Award” of the Wine Spectator since 2004. With over 60,000 bottles and 3,500 labels including wines from 19th century. And the sommelier Marco Reitano won the Oscar del Vino, best sommelier in Italy. So the wines are another reason for which La Pergola is a destination “by itself”.
We chose a bottle of white wine to go with most of the menu and a glass of red at the end, for the lamb and aged cheeses. Sommeliers Recommendation: Tramin Stoan 2014 (a rare combination of grape varieties Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Bianco and Gewurtztraminer).
It’s a wine produced in a limited edition of only 40,000 bottles. The name reflects the rocky soil (stone) area of origin, indicating the minerality of the wine.
The whole La Pergola experience awakens emotions. From the panoramic view of Rome as a backdrop for dinner, to the Italian spirit, the balance of flavors, colors and textures of each dish and the 3-star service. It all results in a tasty and romantic experience.As we said before, Heinz Beck spends most of his time in the kitchen of La Pergola, so we had the chance to thank him for our special La Pergola evening.
What else you should know:
- La Pergola is open only for dinner Tuesday to Saturday, from 17:30 to 23:30.
- You have to make the reservation 3 months in advance if you want to book a table with front row view
- The restaurant is closed every January and August