It’s winter now, so I am looking back with fondness to when Laura and I visited Il Pagliaccio. It was a few months ago in late summer. Our meal here was part our continuing quest to eat at all of Rome’s Michelin star restaurants — this one is the worthy recipient of two stars. We opted for the three course “Intermezzo” lunch menu (75 euros per person, excluding wine). This is a chef’s choice menu baed on your preference for fish or meat for the table. We opted for the latter.
The entire meal was a paragon of balance: rich and flavorful yet light, crispy with smooth, rustic while refined.
Following the Italian tradition of respecting the current season, the meal was wondrously full of late summer Italian flavors and textures. It started with a refreshing drink of green tea with summer fruit (balancing a starting sweet against the dessert finale?).
Then came three rounds of delightful amuse bouches. The mackerel with soy and miso in a tomato soup was elegant (pictured at the top of this post). The flavorful accompanying bread was a perfect balance of crust and doughiness.
Our first course was a summer pasta. Composed of fresh vegetables, this pasta carried a pleasantly varied texture. If this dish tasted like a color, it would definitely be green.
The main course was a delectable “young rooster.” This dish had a layered, savory, slightly gamey tang, which contrasted beautifully against the grilled corn and truffle. Not too heavy, but simply packed with flavor.
The rooster came with a crusty, not-too-hearty brown bread with an amazing green (!) butter. Once again, the flavors of late summer came through.
Dessert was a millefoglie. Very creamy but light, with a dash of gelato and a crisp sesame candy bit.
A few more goodies ended the lunch — again, not too rich, not too sweet.
There were few people at the restaurant that day, making it very quiet and relaxing. More on balance: belying the rather casual feel, the service was gracious and attentive. The staff’s elegance was balanced with the interior’s elegant and engaging design.
Lunch for two with four glasses of top notch wines chosen by the sommelier, plus a bottle of water, was roughly 270 euros.
We cannot wait to return to Il Pagliaccio. It might well be for another lovely and totally relaxing lunch …