An Elegant Evening at Zia

After two years of the pandemic, Rome is pretty much back to normal, and we are happily back to eating our way through the city’s Michelin star restaurants. When we went to dinner at Zia, the restaurant was fully booked up and people trying to get a table were turned away — on a Thursday night in March!

After taking a quick taxi ride across the river to Trastevere, we were promptly ushered into a calming, spare-yet-elegant space decorated in soft shades of grey. The restaurant is small, the interior intimate. Jazz was playing softly in the background. The calm and elegant tone was echoed in both the service and the food.

As is often the case with high-end restaurants, a series of amuse bouche promptly arrived.

A “cigar,” well, a delicious tiny cannolo

 

More amuse bouche

 

A lovely bite of a tomato aspic

 

Raw (and delicious) pork belly

 

Indeed, the generous number of complimentary bites from the chef meant we did not need much more food. Having walked (or rather, rolled) out of some Michelin star restaurants after too much food, we’ve learned to avoid tasting menus and pace ourselves with a few careful selections. After all, you can always order more — though being mindful of the restaurant’s need to turn over the table. The number of amuse bouche, as well as the wonderful bread, was quite filling. We knew we’d been wise to choose just a few a la carte dishes for the rest of the meal.

We each had a pasta course — and they were beautiful both to the eye and the palate.

Beautiful hare, beetroot, and juniper ravioli

 

Anolini, beef shank in broth (with gold leaf)

For our entree, we shared a main course of guinea fowl — definitely not your normal presentation!

Guinea fowl, grape leaf and roots, with a side of elegant whipped potatoes

We shared the chef’s signature dessert, the gorgeous (and delicious) Torbillon with frangipane and almond flour crust.

Tourbillon

But of course, there were more treats to come. 

Grapefruit with frozen champagne

 

The final treats

The service was friendly, well paced, and refined. The food was elegant, playful, and delicious. We had two cocktails, three glasses of wine, sparkling water, two teas, two pastas, one main, and one dessert. The entire bill was approximately 165 euros. Money well spent for a soothing, lovely experience. And, thanks to our careful ordering, we didn’t leave with the gluttonous groaning of over-stuffed bellies.