22 April 2011

n.d.p. in roma: roscioli bakery

A small addendum to Tuesday's post: Roscioli Bakery. Situated kind of catty-corner to the stunning restaurant / alimentari, Roscioli Bakery is a super-informal little bakery / antipasto deli, a fine perch for a snack and a Chinotto on a hot afternoon.

The Native Companion had the opportunity to stop by the bakery when we returned to Roscioli Restaurant the day after our visit to pick up a sack of wine, which, due to a new law that had gone into effect that very night stipulating that restaurants may not sell takeaway bottles after 23h, we had been obliged to leave behind after purchasing in a tipsy spree the night before.*

The thing I found odd about Roscioli Bakery was how strictly the owners have distinguished the concept from the nearby restaurant. At the restaurant I'd spied Lurisia's excellent Slow Food-endorsed Chinotto, whereas at the bakery they served Chin8 Neri**, a brand of Chinotto equally available at random supermarkets in Italy. Similarly, the wines visible at Roscioli Bakery's antipasto dining area were all fairly dull mass market tourist guzzlers - I didn't recognise a single quality-conscious producer in the line-up, which is fairly insensible considering the wealth of inexpensive glass-pour options available in the world of Italian wine.

The lasagne was fine, anyway, as was the lovely verdure misti. We actually wanted to order more, but gave up when it became clear there was no one to serve us. The fellow who had previously been manning the deli counter had gone over to join some other employees in the pastry / bread section of the place, and despite our significant looks and discreet waves he could not be induced to cross the room again to serve us some marinated artichokes.

I'm not a huge fan of Italian pastries in general. The croissant-like constructions you see everywhere are simplistic and proto-donut-like, while even the more culturally-resonant regional specialties like zeppole and panettone all seem to turn up in a cloud of baking sugar. Since I was still hungry, though, I wandered over to the pastry section, and chose what appeared to be the cheapest darkest least-sugary jerkface of a pastry, the name of which has escaped me - it had something to do with brownness, or burning.

I was relieved to note, sometime during the transaction, that prices had been listed in per kilo measurements, meaning I was thankfully not dropping a pint's worth of euros on Italian pastry ballast. It was tasty in the end - rather like a burnt meringue, with some nut involvement. I should've taken more notes on all this, but in the case of Roscioli Bakery - a cheap, eat-standing-up, grab-and-go sort of place - to do so may have contravened the spirit of the occasion.

Image swiped from redvisitor.com.
* It sounded like a roundabout tourist scam to me, too. If Roscioli hadn't been such an excellent restaurant, and if the staff hadn't been so nice, no chance I would have trusted them with this one. Anyway it turned out to be true, there was indeed a brand new law, intended to curb public drinking.

** Cultural differences, as measured in Chinotto: Chin8 Neri website proudly displays an ancient advertisement featuring dancers in full-on black face. 

Roscioli Bakery
34, Via del Chiavari
00186 ROME
Tel: +39 06 6875287

Related Links:

N.D.P. in Roma: Obikà
N.D.P. in Roma: Da Enzo
N.D.P. in Roma: Freni e Frizioni
N.D.P. in Roma: Roscioli Restaurant

A little note on Comptoir Gana, 75011, my favorite most conveniently located bakery in Paris


  1. great to stumble on your blog, aaron... via the clos rougeard page on facebook. i hope europe is treating you well, that you are writing and reading all the time, and eating and drinking well... it certainly appears that all of the above are true! best, anthony wilson

  2. hey anthony! great to hear from you! europe is indeed a wonderful place, paris in particular. hope we can catch drinks together when you next tour through! hope all's well in la in the meantime. thanks for reading!