A Roman Osteria with a Modern Take

In the historic neighbourhood of Campo Mazio, just across the road from Richard Meier’s Ara Pacis lies Il Marchese, a Roman Osteria loosely based on Alberto Sordi’s acclaimed film, “Il Marchese del Grillo”. Though when one steps inside the association to the film is quite hard to distinguish. 

The interior mixes warm wood with long marble counters and a graphic black and white floor, giving you a sense of trendy Milan as opposed to historic Rome. An open space kitchen with only glass separating the cooks busy at work, from customers at their tables enjoying typical Roman dishes. Their menu is available online and includes some unusual takes on restaurant dining such as poached egg with parmesan cheese and grilled bread or octopus “mortazza” and “bagna cuada” sause. The first courses are what you would expect from a Roman Osteria, though their choice of serving dishes are quite unusual, with the Amatriciana being served in small frying pans, though there is nothing unusual about the taste, cooked al dente with crunchy bacon it would make the town of Amatrice proud. 

After our desert, Pistacchio Tiramisu we were approached by the Amaro bar barman. Il Marchese boasts a huge collection of “Amari”, the Italian digestif herbal liquor, and claim to have the first Amaro bar in Europe. With something to please all tastes from very amaro (bitter) to something a little sweeter, all ingredients are natural and quality controlled. Be warned though that even a small taste will impact your final bill.

The lively and casual environment, interesting retro come modern décor and friendly staff, make this a nice spot to lunch or dine with friends.

Two association members had Sunday lunch at Il Marchese in February 2020.