Reserva is clearly a passion project for its Italian owners. Earthy colours such as turquoise, stone gray and brick red feature in this city- center restaurant that was designed to stimulate the appetite and the senses.
The interior of this new spot may be all about elegance, but the cocktail menu is refreshingly modern. The aromatic concoction “Messico e Nuvole” (€10) featuring Patron silver tequila, chile-infused Ancho Reyes, and ginger beer might seem a little hardcore at first, but once the oversized ice cubes start melting, it goes down pretty easy.
A Latin fusion menu offers dishes from Argentina to Peru, with some sticking to tradition and others with an Italian twist. Chef Paulo Aires injects a whirlwind of flavors into a Peruvian ceviche (€18) with bites of sweet corn tossed through diced kingfish and sweet potato cream. It’s a combination that works to create a light, summery starter.
The Banderillas main course (€22) is a steak lover’s dream. Skewers of Argentine Angus become decidedly tender in a street- food style Anticuchos marinade. One plate is enough for two, with its accompanying side of fried plantains.
An assortment of pastas have punchy titles, from “Un Romano in Sud America” to “Heroic Lobster,” and are made to be shared as much as the shrimp tapas. Ask the barman Maurizio Musu for pairing suggestions - he is so knowledgable that he will turn your dinner into an experience.
With Latin music pumping through the speakers, and a ceiling of tropical hanging plants, Reserva feels fun. The impeccable services makes it special, and a great way to be introduced to the flavors of South America, whether you’re there for dinner or just a cocktail at the bar.
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Reserva, the South American restaurant in Rome
Via del Pellegrino, 163, 00186 Roma RM, Italy