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04 March 2019

Behind the Bright Red Door of Ristorante 1978 in Rome, Italy


There's a bright red door at Via Zara, 27 that opens to an enchanting room. With just 7 small tables that seat 20 guests at a time, an enogastronomic journey at Ristorante 1978 is one that can't easily be forgotten. 


Ring the doorbell and Restaurant Manger Gabriella Forte opens the door welcoming guests inside an elegantly-furnished room. Green and ecru velvet chairs, brick walls, dark wooden tables, lamps, tall shelves of wine bottles, and a glass-enclosed open kitchen. The expanse is enough for a small number of people to completely enjoy an intimate dinner with enough privacy and space from each table. 


Ristorante 1978 gets a second breath of life as Executive Chef Eros Bruno took over the kitchen in September of 2018. Passionate about his cuisine, Eros directs a kitchen staff to his simple philosophy in cooking. "I try to put together three ingredients and a garnish," he explains. Prior to Ristorante 1978, Eros has had extensive international experience filling up a baggage of flavors and knowledge in his cooking. His culinary journey began at a very young age in a restaurant in Piedmont more than thirty years ago, followed by a transfer to a Michelin starred restaurant in Monte Carlo in 1985. He also gained fundamental experiences in luxury cruise ships where he met diverse culinary cultures from around the globe. After his last experience in a 5-star resort in the Maldives, he chose to amplify his skills at Ristorante 1978.


With simplicity in his dishes, he uses a few selected raw materials of optimum quality which grant clean and essential flavors with twists of complexity in the palate. Eros' menu reflects his Piedmontese origin influenced by modern techniques. The entries are refined with determined flavors, a much positive indicator of fluidity in his cuisine.


The menu offers tasting menus of 5 to 7 courses per tasting itinerary as well as the possibility to order individual entries in the à la carte menu from appetizers to desserts. Being attentive to the seasonality of the fresh ingredients, the menu follows the trend of the availability of what are used in the kitchen. Everything is homemade in the kitchen of Ristorante 1978, from bread to the pasta, jams, creams, yogurt, gelato. There is no trademark conditioning and each process is conducted by the kitchen brogade. Exclusive to Ristorante 1978 is the Vicciola, one of the best and unique meats in the world. It is a Piedmontese Fassona beef breed that is raised solely with hazelnut feed, which come from the Pino Puglisi butcher.


Aligned with the chef's philosophy, Laura Paone, Sommelier of Ristorante 1978, believes that the fundamental parameter to create a good wine cellar is to communicate with the kitchen. Coming from a couple of Michelin starred restaurants, Oliver Glowing and Enoteca al Parlamento, she herself has taken a strong baggage of knowledge from her experience as Head Sommelier. There is a very interesting selection of local and international labels influenced by her personal preferences of French bubbles and a small selection of Riesling, the king of the white grapes in her expert opinion. 


The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner with diverse menus. The lunch menu is lighter and more economical at €35 with a choice of three courses from the list of appetizers, first dishes of pasta, main courses and desserts. Whereas the dinner menu is more elaborate which needs more time and deliberation in perceiving the concept of the kitchen. The proposed tasting dishes of 5 courses is at €65 while the 7 courses is at €80. The appetizers range from €16 to €25, the first dishes of pasta and risotto at €20 to €25, the second courses of meat and fish at €28 to €38, and desserts at €10


Like most menus, it is usually difficult to decide which dishes to choose. The Tuna Ceviche with Cold Pineapple and Fennel Broth, and Sauces of Sweet Pepper, Sesame and Red Spring Onions (€20) is a diverting experience itself in the proposed style of eating with mini kitchen thongs as you dip the tuna in the citrus sauce. Whereas the Vicciola Veal Cube with Root Vegetables (€38) represents the specialty of Eros' kitchen with a strong parallel to his Piedmontese origin. For dessert, the Mountain Pine Mousse with a Licorice Core and Chocolate Ground (€10) by Pastry Chef Roberta La Piana is an artistic masterpiece, which plays on the delicious combination of the mountain pine, a not so common ingredient from a native pine tree living in elevated areas of Europe and dark chocolate with licorice in the middle. Do have the tisane of flowers and spices prepared right on your table with a captivating vacuum brewer. Not only is it an eyepiece as you wait for the tisane to be ready but it's also a beneficial way to end an excellent dinner.


Ristorante 1978

Via Zara, 27
00198 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 06 69335743
Open from Wednesdays to Saturdays for lunch and dinner / Sunday lunch
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays / Sunday dinner