One of our favorite places to eat is a small, family run restaurant: Ristorante Santa Cristina. I love making reservations for our guests here because the next morning they are always raving about their amazing meal. This is truly a family operation run by the Gagliarducci family. Cristina & Vincenzo, the mom and dad, run the kitchen while their adult children Enrico and Moreno wait on the tables. The pasta, bread and gelato are all homemade.
The dining rooms at Ristorante Santa Cristina are quiet and thoughtful. A conversation can easily take place without shouting over fellow patrons. Background music helps set the mood but is not overpowering. There are outdoor tables, weather permitting.
Every item on the menu is a winner (we’ve tried them all – the hard work we do to share this information with you!). It’s hard to recommend one item over another but here are some of our current favorites:
Appetizers: sea bass carpaccio, stuffed mushrooms with gruyere cheese and the selection of Italian and French cheeses
Pasta: The Santa Cristina delight – the house specialty featuring pasta with toasted zucchini flowers. This may not sound very exciting but it is ridiculously delicious. We also love the white lasagna with onions and greyere, the pastas with swordfish and tomato sauce, penne alla vodka – not to mention beetroot risotto!
Meat & fish dishes: Ristorante Santa Cristina serves only carefully chosen, high quality Danish beef – grilled, with honey and black peppercorns or in a mustard sauce are just a few of the styles. Ristorante Santa Cristina’s chicken breast with a gorgonzola sauce is also wonderful. Plus there is a nice selection of seafood including grilled sea bass, baked flounder and a mix of grilled fish. They will be happy to clean fish if you are not comfortable de-boning it.
Desserts: A meal is not complete without the apple pie served warm with or without vanilla gelato on top. An apple dessert is not exactly what you think of ordering in Italy but they knock this item out of the park. The exquisite tiramisu is always available along with items such as poached pair with chocolate sauce and cheesecake with fruit toppings of the season.
When I have dinner here I eat sparingly throughout the day and so that I have plenty of space to eat every single course available. In fact, I even wear loose fittingly clothing because I know I will not be able to stop eating after my stomach tells me I’m full. But that’s just what I do – there is no pressure to consume as many menu items as possible.
Ristorante Santa Christina can be little hard to find. It is located near Quirinale Palace, where the President of Italy resides. Via della Cordonata is a tiny little one block street that runs off of Via XXIV Maggio – it that looks more like an alley. From Via XXIV Maggio it appears that nothing is on this street but a few cars parallel parked but it opens up into a small courtyard. It’s worth the search!
Prices are roughly €10-15 for pasta/risotta and €12-25 for meat/fish. Credit cards only accepted for bills over €100.
Ristorante Santa Cristina
Via della Cordonata 21/22
Tel: +39.06.69925485 or +39.339.2508400
Open for lunch Monday-Friday, dinner Monday-Saturday. Closed Sunday. Reservations suggested for dinner.
Transportation: walking distance from Nicolas Inn; Bus 40, 64, H