La Ciambella

Tucked away on a tiny back street just a few steps from the Pantheon, this brand-new restaurant is one of Rome’s best-kept secrets, but probably not for long. The charming restaurant, which finds the perfect meeting-point between traditional and modern décor, takes its name from the ruins of the ancient Baths of Agrippa that stood on this site 2,000 years ago. The distinctive brick arc-shape that remains of the central apse reminded medieval Romans of a doughnut and they named the street to what translates to “Doughnut Arch Street,” a name it still retains today. The surprisingly spacious and airy interior boasts an ancient fountain that was part of the bathhouse and an open kitchen where mouthwatering traditional Roman cuisine is prepared. Food consultant Roberto Bertipaglia has a passion for high-quality ingredients and personally selects all the produce, meats, cheeses and wines that are served in his restaurant. Start with Nogara prosciutto and Morolo mozzarella, or cicchetti, individual tastings served in miniature pans. Primi include bucatini all’amatriciana with Nogara guanciale, tonnarelli cacio e pepe, and pennoni with tomato and basil. Follow with cotoletta alla milanese, Oste meatballs or citrus chicken. Desserts include cheesecake with strawberries, tiramisù served in a jam jar, and Marsala zabaione.

Via dell’Arco della Ciambella, 20. Tel 066832930. Open daily. www.laciambellaroma.com