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Longing for Marzapane


Have you ever thought: what am I going to eat for dinner tomorrow? –or- what will I be eating for lunch next Saturday? breakfast next Sunday? What will I order from the menu of a restaurant next time I go there?  Isn’t it bizarre how our love for food makes us think about our upcoming meals over time?

Ever since Marzapane opened in Rome -back in March 2013-, I was really curious to dine there. It had a tremendous buzz among the most popular/followed Italian blogs. It was mentioned here, and there, and also here, and in this one…and….last but not least….here.

As expected, getting a reservation was difficult since it was always packed (it only has 20 seats). If you called to make a booking, a table for two would be available for the next two or three weeks. So the mere thought of attempting to make reservations discouraged me. I realized that access to Marzapane came down to pure determination. Oh well, for some reasons that determination became procrastination.

One thing is true about newly opened and much buzzed about restaurants: before it can offer consistent high quality of food and service, a prudent period of time must pass to effectively establish its reputation. Therefore, I decided to wait before Marzapane got “tried and tested”.

This waiting turned into a state of gastronomic longing: a yearning desire to satisfy my gustative and visual senses in a place that I momentarily could not reach. Sounds exaggerated, doesn’t it? I mean, with so many options in Rome, why was I so infatuated about this place anyway? Well, maybe because:

  1. Chef Alba Esteve Ruiz , a native from Alicante, Spain, was Chief of Appetizers at Celler de Can Roca in Girona, which has been officially named the best restaurant in the world.
  2. La Guida del Gambero Rosso, one of the most renowned restaurants guides in Italy, recently granted Marzapane the award of Best Value for Quality of Food. A tasting menu of 5 courses costs 35 euros (this does not include wine).
  3. This cozy, small bistrot offers an interesting menu with the personal touch of the talented 23-year-old Spanish chef – a breath of fresh air in a city with deep rooted Roman traditional cuisine.

Need to add more? Come with me and see for yourselves …


Bread from Roscioli

Chocolate layered cakes


Cod mouse with caramelized red onions.

Anchovies with a parsley sauce, red peppers, toasted almonds and alioli




Scallop with crispy Guanciale from Lazio, green beans, confit tomatoe, and garlic sauce


Oyster with Vodka granita, and crumbled wafers.

Vanilla scented ravioli filled with foie gras and Sherry, smoked duck breast, peach foam and crumbled amaretti


Tagliolini with squid, tomatoes, and picadillo (bread crumbs, garlic and parsley)

Chef Alba Esteve Ruiz


Cod over burnt leeks, piquillo pepper sauce, basil sauce, Pecorino Aleatico cheese, and sweet paprika



Marzapane – Dolce e Cucina

Via Velletri 39 – 00198 Roma

Phone +39 06 6478 1692

13 Comments Post a comment
  1. You’ve done a fabulous reportage job and the restaurant looks to be a brilliant venue. Really wonderful. Sadly, I hate food served in that way but I’m sure the flavours were brilliant. Trying to make a plate into some kind of art doesn’t work for me. It’s like a frilly version of Prada rather than cool, unlabelled clothes and sneakers a la Lauren Hutton or the simplicity of the St,John. You know me, always bitching 🙂

    July 26, 2013
    • Hi Roger!! I love your bitching. But I would not call it bitching but honesty. See, I feel as comfortable eating a simple meal in a Trattoria, eating a pizza slice by the street, as eating in a place such as Marzapane. I enjoy this kind of plating because – to me – it gives me emotions, not only gustative, but visual. Some kind of interpretations, need to be plated like this, in order to understand the different and complex parings of ingredients (ex. cheese, paprika and fish). When I go to a place like this, is like a fun journey into the chef’s creative mind. I understand not everyone loves this kind of spots, but believe me Roger, I have been to places that “try” to be creative, and they end up being as fake as those Prada purses a street vendor offers you by the Roman Colosseum!!

      July 28, 2013
  2. Oh, Roger… Looks delicious to me, and glad it lived up to your expectation!

    July 26, 2013
    • Thank you Michelle! It lived up to my expectations. Next time I would love to see the Spanish touch of the Chef more present in the menu. Maybe a Salmorejo or Gazpacho on the menu?

      July 28, 2013
  3. Wait a minute! Those purses are fake? 🙂
    That looks like quite a meal, Ambrosiana, and I certainly would have enjoyed it. How nice to dine at a restaurant that lives up to the hype, something very rare these days.

    July 30, 2013
    • Not only it lived up to the hype John, it is very RARE to find a place where you eat like a Michelin starred restaurant but paying like a normal restaurant.

      August 12, 2013
  4. so much amazing stuff happening in Rome these days! I need to get there before year’s end. Great post! 🙂

    August 2, 2013
    • Incredible isn’t it. Rome is having a boost in the restaurant business despite the economic crisis that is going on in Italy….thanks for your kind comment!

      August 12, 2013
  5. Fantastic photos of very inventive sounding dishes. Were you there before it opened to get the interior shots of the restaurant?

    August 17, 2013
    • Hi Karen!! The restaurant opened at 7:30 p.m. and since it was July (the time of year when daylight lasts longer), I could get good shots. In Italy people starts to dine at around 8:30 in restaurants, therefor, I could not only get nice shots of the place without having to bother anyone, but I also got natural light to make good pics of food!!!

      September 9, 2013
      • Good idea…we try to do the same thing. You got great photos with the natural light. 🙂

        September 9, 2013
  6. We’ve to try Marzapane, it’s in my wishlist for next Roman week end!
    ps: what about wine list?

    September 18, 2013
    • Hi Vincenzo! They have an extensive wine list featuring an interesting variety of Sicilian wines. The sommelier is very friendly and competent too.

      September 18, 2013

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