This is not your run-of-the-mill trattoria. L’Asino d’Oro, which means “Golden Donkey” in Italian, is gold in more ways than one; it stands out as one of the best places to sample incredible Italian cuisine in Rome. No small feat. Indeed, the restaurant serves delicious, playful dishes that quickly makes devotees of its diners. The deep-rooted influences on the menu are Umbrian, so there’s lashings of extra virgin olive oil, heaps of pulses, silky fresh pasta, and more on the menu, which changes regularly.
There might be fresh ravioli with ricotta, cinnamon and boar ragout. Or perhaps fettuccine with duck liver and vin santo sauce. Richly-stewed artichokes, or a chicory heart salad with an anchovy and garlic sauce. Salt cod with onions and raisins, served on an earthy chestnut cream, or stewed rabbit with hazelnuts. Combinations might be surprising on first glance, but utterly beguiling on first bite. And then there are the desserts. Chef Lucio Sforza’s tiramisu is a must for lovers of this traditional sweet, coffee-laced treat, but it’s by no means the only option, with everything from blue-veined Pecorino from San Magno with pears, castagnaccio (chestnut flour cake) and honey, to candied fruits and sweet wine.
Open for lunch and dinner – the former being perhaps one of the best lunch deals in the Roman capital – L’Asino d’Oro is an elegant addition to the Monti neighbourhood. While the interiors are simple, sleek, with crisp white tablecloths and rich red accents, it’s the tables outside that are the ones to grab when you can for a little dose of Roman sunshine and people watching with your meal.