Bakers for four generations, the Roscioli family's latest venture is a combined café, pasticceria and wine bar with a difference.
The basalt-cobbled streets between Campo de' Fiori and Largo Argentina in central Rome have been Roscioli home turf for generations. The family's first venture here, Antico Forno Roscioli, which opened on Via dei Chiavari in 1972, still sells traditional breads and pizza by the slice for prices anyone can afford.
Salumeria Roscioli opened nearby in 2002, and is decidedly more exclusive. The front counter is crammed with Italy's most sought-after cheeses and cured meats, which are sold over the counter or plated to enjoy on the spot. As well as antipasti, there are fresh takes on traditional pasta dishes and a world-class - and pleasantly affordable - wine list focused on Italy and France.
Run by brothers Alessandro and Pierluigi Roscioli, the family's expanding empire has grown to include a wine-tasting studio, Rimessa Roscioli, opened in 2011, and Roscioli Caffè e Pasticceria, a coffee and pastry shop with a difference that opened in the historic Pasticceria Bernasconi site in January. The front of the café is dedicated to pour-over coffee - the first serious attempt in Rome at this long-established brewing technique - as well as espresso. The beans for the pour-overs come from Coffeel in Ventimiglia, while arabica for the espresso is from Verona's Torrefazione Giamaica Caffè, Italy's premier artisanal roaster.
A long glass case displays cornetti filled to order, maritozzi (yeasted sweet buns filled with whipped cream) made with an antique press, luscious puff pastries, and tramezzini, all made on site. Like Antico Forno Roscioli, the café draws on local traditions and is intended for patrons of all means.
The back room, on the other hand, departs from the classic Roman café model, serving top-notch sandwiches throughout the day and Champagne, cocktails, cheese plates, and oysters at aperitivo hour. It's an experimental format for Rome, though the crowded layout and menu channel elements of the already successful Salumeria Roscioli.
Open daily 7am-9pm. Piazza Benedetto Cairoli 16, rosciolicaffe.it