At the ritzy Cavalieri Hotel situated high above Rome is La Pergola, a three Michelin star gem with views of St. Peters, the Vatican and Rome that make one feel they are floating above the venerable city.
Come with a battalion of credit cards and a sense of humor (the water menu, there is a water menu, lists a bottle that is 200 Euro) to eat artistically prepared presentations with refined and elegant service in a beautiful setting either on the terrace or in the beautiful main dining room.
La Pergola has on offer a menu of appetizers, first courses and main courses that start at 42 Euro for an appetizer. It’s impossible to get out of here cheaply nor would you want to.
Upon arrival you are showered with bread choices, pizza bread and a buttered roll along with a poppy seed choice and breadsticks and thin breadlettes. New and unique breads are rolled out throughout dinner along with an assortment of salts, butters and oils.
On this evening there is an amuse bouche of bruschetta with clams and sea foam. It’s a light and airy start to the meal as the sun goes down and Rome begins to twinkle. It’s as if the chef times the amuse bouche to the city and evening itself.
We decide on the scallops, beans and cotiche “La Pergola”; emince’ of John Dory on spinach puree with asparagus vinaigrette; composition of fish on a salt brick with vegetables and salad, lemon perfume and spicy foam.
Each is a work of art from an accomplished chef. This is however food, not redacted and reconstituted presentations meant to ogle and not consume.
That being said, portions are small and prices are sky high so one will appreciate the bread servings all the more.
For dessert we order a spherical serving of raspberry ice over chocolate. It’s refreshing and delicious and again shows the balance here between accessible and digestible that is appreciated.
Two different complimentary dessert courses are then brought forth. One a tower of chocolates, fruits and sweets in a jewel box is an amazing presentation and wonderful bites. That alone would have been plenty.
The second is two ice cream cones dipped in a hard casing that lacks imagination but is tasty and perhaps a good way to ground the meal as a whole.
Service is spot on and someone is always there to replace a napkin, clean the table, refill water and pour more wine.
So why not five stars like La Terrazza dell’Eden? Food is ultimately most about taste to The Monster and while La Pergola wins on style points by a wide margin, La Terrazza wins on the delicious factor.
Why go? Someone else is paying.
Monster rating: 4 1/2/5 Mostros
Hotel Cavalieri, Rome, Italy