by Francesco Piccat
Caviar Kaspia, the famous franco-russian brand, has just opened in Italy and have chosen Rome as its first italian opening. Rhinoceros Palace is the location and the restaurant is located on the 5th and 6th floor of the edifice. It’s located between the Palatine and the Capitol, in the area which is traditionally known as the place where the mythical founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, arrived by the Tiber river.
Rhinoceros Palace is a multifunctional place: there is an exhibition centre (by Alda Fendi Foundation-Esperimenti that is also the owner), 24 luxury apartments “The Rooms of Rome“, managed by The Room Mate Hotels, and, for sure, the restaurant with its rooftop.
All the apartments have been designed by Jean Nouvel, a well-known french architect who mixed modernity and tradition. The customer can recognise the signature of the architect by noticing that every room has been created with a mixture of steel, modern design, wood and with the recovery of some parts of the old apartments, like old wallpaper and tiles.
In every door, totally made of steel, a little poem and the number of the apartment is carved. In addition, every apartment is equipped with a smart-home artificial intelligence which can easily help customer not to forget to turn the lights off when leaving. It’s true that due to the style and their relevant cost (from 250 to 800 euros per night), these apartments can be appreciated especially by like-minded architects or contemporary architecture lovers.
Nevertheless, most of their windows give to customers unique views on the ancient part of the eternal city. It isn’t a Hotel, “The Rooms of Rome” rather provide a sought luxury bed and breakfast services.
The Restaurant, characterized by the french brand Caviar Kaspia – which is also supplier of caviar and salmon – is led by Chef Giovanni Giammarino who tries to merge the russian and french obligation (for the policy of licensing) with italian gastronomy. Even if caviar is omnipresent in his proposals, a good example of his creations is the “Spaghettini freddi, limone, mandorle e caviale Selezione Oscietra” (photo in the lower right corner) which are cold spaghettis with lime, almond and, of course, caviar. This is also a tribute for the immortal italian Chef Gualtiero Marchesi, which for first imagined to serve cold pasta as the main course. The desert is probably the one that surprises most: a perfectly made fake egg with a black cherry sauce (in the lower left corner).
Despite the strong will of the direction to promote the italian culinary products and wines, the wine list – by Restaurant Manager and Sommelier Alessia Meli – is composed mostly by french and spanish bottles. Perhaps it’s due, as mentioned above, to the french and international style, for the place in which the restaurant stands and for the interest of many tourists towards Italian wines, some more italian étiquette would be desirable. The decision to leave the tables in bare marble without a mise en place was also questionable seen that the coldness clashes with the context.
The last point concerns the rooftop, for sure among the most beautiful of Rome. From there you can appreciate a clear 360° view in both Palatine and Capitol hills, the Tiber, the Vatican, and the Ghetto (the Jewish historical neighbourhood). A good reason to go there for a relaxing aperitif or after-dinner, with many cocktail signaturesz and, champagne, of course.