Antico Arco, up on the Janiculum Hill, is a quite a way out from the city centre of Rome. It wasn’t really worth the journey. The food wasn’t bad, but it was a wholly unmemorable meal that never remotely threatened to display the culinary creativity the restaurant is supposedly known for. I had the “Italian Highlights” tasting menu which consisted of:
Amber jack fish tartare with ginger, lime and “puntarelle” salad
Poached egg, asparagus mousse and black truffle
Cannellini beans soup with baby pork meatballs and ginger
Risotto with Castelmagno cheese and nebbiol0 sauce
Lamb chop in a crust of nuts and breadcrumbs with stewed artichokes pickled in oil
Selection of cheeses, compotes and warm bread
Dessert of your choice
The amber jack fish tartare was light and appetising, but quite common. The poached egg was the best dish of the menu - a good combination of textures and flavours, lifted nicely by the black truffle. The soup was, well, bean soup, and there is only so much that can be done with that, even if this one was mercifully light. The risotto was not good at all – heavy, bland, and thoroughly unexciting, it paled badly in comparison to the superb version I had recently at Gauthier Soho in London. The lamb chop was very dry, and the presence of a sorbet on the plate weird and completely incomprehensible.
For dessert, I opted for the Molten chocolate soufflé cake with vanilla & rhum ice cream, supposedly a speciality – I couldn’t see how this was any better than the dozens of run-of-the-mill chocolate fondants I’ve had before.
The service had been fine, if rather sterile, up to this point but we had to wait 20 minutes, and ask three times, before we received our bill.
In a nutshell…
Distinctly average. Nothing really to recommend it.
Piazzale Aurelio, 7 - 00152, Roma
+39 06 5815274
Average price: €60-€80