When I said I was going to Rome, Ad Hoc restaurant was one of the first recommendations to come along. You only have to glance at their online reviews to see hundreds of people from around the world think the same. As well as their fantastic service and food, Ad Hoc is also known for its specialism in truffles, hosting special tasting sessions and a small tartufo shop. We booked a table online weeks in advance, looking forward to trying their Roman inspired tasting menu, which is €79 a head with accompanying wine.
The restaurant is sophisticated and smart, with nods to traditional Rome. The walls were lined with local Italian wines; something to suit every dish.
Their truffle menu featured the likes of bianco pregiato, scorzone, marzuolo and nero liscio. The truffle specialities on the a la carte range from truffle brioche to beef fillet tartar with truffle oil and duck breast glazed in honeyed truffles to prawn gnocchi with black truffle. Or you can go for the tasting menu, at €120 with wine, which showcases them all.
We were seated by candlelight and poured a complimentary glass of cold Prosecco. With the weather hitting 30 degrees in the evening, this special start was more than welcomed.
An array of innovative breads were soon brought out, with the likes of basil focaccia, poppy seed sticks and olive bread. Alongside this was olive oil and balsamic, which of course were both fantastic. Being in Italy, I would have been worried if they weren't. With such an extensive tasting menu coming out way, I'd usually be wary of eating too much bread. But we just couldn't help ourselves.
Out came a little amuse bouche whilst we waiting for the main event. This was in the form of a posh bacon and egg roll - like a little luxury bitesize breakfast.
The tasting menu begun with a trio of Pumpkin flower stuffed with ricotta cheese and basil, Artichoke and buffalo mozzarella filo roulade and Codfish balls with chickpea and rosemary cream. To accompany, we enjoyed a glass of Paolo e Noemia d'Amico Seiano Rosso Lazio, an Italian red made from a mix of Merlot and Sangiovese grapes.
This probably ended up being my favourite course, with lots of deliciously fresh cheese and meats alongside crunchy textures. The lightly fried pumpkin flower was a particular stand out dish, which came alongside the best ricotta I've ever tasted and flecks of fresh basil.
The second course was all about the pasta, carbonara to be precise. This was a tasting of three different kinds of carbonara; classic with bacon, parmesan, pecorino cheese and egg, one with seasonal mushrooms and of course one with with black truffle.
Even those these were just little twizzled tasters, the flavours were so strong and filling. I was glad just to have a taste of such a classic dish done well. This was the perfect way in indulge in truffles as part of a delicious fresh pasta dish. With this, we enjoyed another red from the Western Italian region of Lazio; a well rounded Nasyr Syrah with a slight aniseed taste.
For mains, the course featured a Lamb medallion glazed with chestnut honey served with wilted spinach and a Minted cod confit served on cream of potatoes and croutons with black olives. By this time, I have to admit I was starting to get full. However the meat was just fall-apart delicious, sweet alongside the earthy spinach, and the fish was well seasoned and light against the slightly salted olives. We enjoyed this with a full Merlot again from the Lazio region, a ruby red wine with hints of hints of plum, cherry and sweet vanilla.
Before our actual dessert, we were served a small pre-dessert. This was in the form of a small apple pastry, encased in light puff pastry and topped with tart berries and a citrus topping. This fruity dessert didn't appeal to me, and I instead saved myself for the special I'd ordered. Meanwhile my boyfriend who loves apple pie (and seemingly has a bottomlesss stomach) happily devoured both.
For desserts we could choose from the menu. My boyfriend went for a trio of creme brûlées whilst I opted for the coconut ice cream coated in chocolate and further coconut sprinkles. Divine.
As you can see, the presentation was once again delightful. With a satisfying tap, the coconut and chocolate coating cracked open to to expose the creamy gelato beneath. The dessert was floating in a lake of white chocolate cream and topped with beautiful spun sugar. We were both served with different dessert wines to harmonise with our choices.
As if we hadn't eaten enough, the friendly waitress brought us out more Italian treats to try. I admitted defeat and she had no problem wrapping up the sweets for us to take home. Alongside this, we were gifted a jar of truffle butter from their shop. I'd read on the online reviews that they often gift guests with their truffle delights - such a lovely touch.
The whole evening was a memorable experience with an inviting menu and well thought out wine choices to match. I can see why such a brilliant place was recommended to me, and there's no doubt to recommend to others. At €79, or around £58, you really couldn't fault the quality of service and food. Remember that's with four generous glasses of wine too. It was lovely to take a piece of Rome home with us too, something I used to make my wild mushroom and truffle trofie.
Have you ever been to Ad Hoc restaurant? What do you think is the best restaurant in Rome?
ristorante ad hoc
43 via di ripetta
Note: We paid for our meals in full and the restaurant did not know I was blogging the meal.