One of latest fine dining excursions was Tordomatto, in an understated modern space just north of the Vatican. This was on a week night, and the place was very quiet. We were warmly welcomed, which helped make up for a very rainy evening.

Chef Adriano Baldassarre may be young, but he’s remarkably confident. He clearly enjoys spare yet strong visual elements as well as flavors. Things seem to be carefully chosen, pared down, and precise. It is also delicious (if not delicious, what would be the point of everything else?)

First, out came the lovely and delicate amuse-bouche: a black olive compote, a bite of panzanella, a beautiful flower-shaped cracker with mozzarella and anchovy (also pictured at the top of this post), and a concentrated little drop of liver. Everything was elegant and vibrant.

Four amuse bouche

Next we moved on to the egg “purgatorio,” which was warm and spicy, with a runny egg lurking just below the surface. Unexpected, soothing, and (forgive the pun) quite divine. Of the entire meal, this is the dish I wouldn’t hesitate to have again (and again, and again).

Egg “Purgatory”

I had the fish of the day, amberjack, initially hidden under Swiss chard. Simple food, carefully prepared. My poor photo, alas, does not capture the wonderful flavor!

Catch of the day

Laura’s lamb dish came “two ways” — both delicious. One serving was with a light cumin yoghurt sauce (perhaps influenced by the chef’s time in India) and Swiss chard (again, my photo does not do it justice).

Absolutely delicious lamb

The other serving was delicately grilled, tiny lamb ribs, which one must nibble.

… and more lamb.

We shared a lovely panna cotta for dessert. This was a fine balance of substance to flavor: a lightly tangy creaminess.

Panna cotta

And then two rounds of complimentary sweets arrived, tiny and elegant bite-sized goodies.

More sweets


… and more sweets

The entire experience is one of carefully edited, modern elegance. The atmosphere was quiet and relaxed, almost casual. The bread is excellent, and our wine pairings were wonderful. The final bill was quite reasonable for such high quality food and excellent service. Highly recommended.