Rovente Osteria: Discovering the Most Tender and Tastiest Grilled Beef in Rome

Chef Diego Beretta and his wife Rosa Di Pietro gave new life to a big space that used to house Il Barrocciaio Restaurant for years. Via Salentina 12 in Rome now has a new modern facade for a new beginning, thanks to the new proprietors. The district of San Lorenzo is linked to authentic Roman cuisine and at the same time, starting to open to new street style trends. Diego chose the location to launch his innovative dishes with his personal concept of meat cookery which is focused exclusively on fine cuts of the Spanish Galician vaca vieja.

Vaca vieja means old cow in English. The Rubria Gallega (also known as Galician Blond) cows are reared on the hills of Galicia, in Northern Spain. There, they graze freely on lush pastures for three to four years after serving most of their lives as dairy cows. These cows are left to mature until they reach the ages between 12 to 14 years old, having lived a full life. With the length of time spent out on pasture eating natural sources of food of grass and spontaneous herbs, the marbling matures which gives the beef an intense flavor.

“The vaca vieja is full of flavor and really tastes like meat! It is also very marbled, the result of the long life that the animal lived before being sacrificed. Its value lies in the muscles it has developed, grazing in the wild and always eating genuinely, with spontaneous herbs,” explains Diego.

Diego focuses on the use of this ethically raised high quality meat in his kitchen and his philosophy goes around it. Having developed excellent marbling and natural deep flavors during its long cycle of life, the meat doesn't need more intense flavors from dry-aging according to him. Instead, he wants to underline the genuine explosive tastes of the meat and to tenderize it ultrasonically before grilling on the coals. He uses ultrasonic treatment in which ultrasonic cavitation breaks the connective tissue and makes the structure tender and soft.

The proposals in Rovente's menu are the Fiorentina Style or the T-Bone Steak made up of fillet and sirloin with whole vertebra and a thickness of about 4 centimeters, the Ribeye or Vaca Vieja Clandestina beef steak without the bone and the Tataki di Vieja EntrecĂ´te in sliced Spanish Vaca Vieja seared on the charcoal grill, served with creamy bread, pumpkin cubes and candied citron.

Other than meat, the menu has a string of interesting proposals from appetizer to dessert. The prices in the menu are between €12 to €18 for the appetizers and first dishes of pasta and risotto, and between €18 to €26 for the meat proposals in the pan. The ideal dish to start with is the Tagliere Rovente which offers a selection of cold cuts such as Jamon de Vaca, a typical cured meat from the Iberian Peninsula, Speck Riserva Oro, Salame di Montisola, Culaccia di Soragna, Goose Porchetta, Mortadella La Favola, accompanied by fried dumplings and pearls of balsamic vinegar of Modena. Accompany it with the selection of cheeses from the cheese box with raw milk-based goat cheese aged for five months, Genussjager Swiss cheese made from cow's milk, pecorino from Amatrice, Bergenuss, blue grotto blue cheese, Langhe robiola, and taleggio DOP. There are also savory versions of the traditional baked sweets like the Krapfen Romano, a savory krapfen filled with picchiapò ragout and the Quail in Cannolo with salted cannoli, quail mousse, mock mayonnaise served on mixed salad and blackberries.

The game with the Roman tradition for Diego mainly develops in the first courses that he manages to elaborate with a solid basic technique but without the weight of the rules handed down in the customs and tastes of family recipes. For him, "The Bermuda triangle of the early Romans," as he calls the great classics of the city, "is a field of experimentation in which I move with the ease of someone who watched my grandmother prepare green risotto and never a cacio e pepe or a carbonara."

Carbonara, for example, Diego had the idea of transforming it into Carbonera, leaving the preparation of the cream of eggs and cheese and the bacon unchanged but replacing the very classic tonnarello with black pasta made with vegetable charcoal. The link behind the name of the dish is also a play on the imagination and on words because, as Diego hypothesizes, the pasta prepared with the dirty hands of the charcoal burners could easily turn into a black dish. Other iconic dishes on the menu are the Tortellone Carbonaro, a large egg pasta tortello filled with carbonara cream, Quasi Gricia, and Green Risotto made with baby spinach cream and wild herbs, a tribute to Diego's grandmother.

For those who don't love grilled meat, the menu also includes main courses such as the whole domestic double-cooked cockerel, browned in the oven and seared on the grill with leek straw and pak-choi, or the Rovente suckling pig browned in clarified butter, served with red onion sauce. Special mention is the bread basket that is completely done by Diego in the kitchen which is served with French butter.

Rosa completes and enriches the gastronomic experience with her energetic and attentive service. She is also in charge of the wine list, strong in refined labels but also with options of a range of interesting wines from smaller producers.

Rovente Osteria

Address: Via dei Salentini, 12 - 00185 San Lorenzo Rome (RM), Italy
Tel: +39 06490408
Website: www.roventeosteria.it
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/roventeosteria/
Opening hours: Tuesday/Saturday 19:30-23:00; Sunday 12:30-15:30