Breakfasts for champions
By Eleonora Baldwin
The cupcakes are decent, as are other classic overseas breakfast foods such as cinnamon rolls, scones and English muffins. All are well-crafted with no industrial or artificial ingredients. The homemade granola is good too. Available iPads and free Wi-Fi make the stay even sweeter. Breakfast is served from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Corso Trieste, 157. Tel. +39.06.9437.7841. Closed Monday.
Awash in trendy young intellectuals and hip celebrities, Necci dal 1924 (dal means founded in) is the Pigneto neighborhood's most famous hangout. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, aperitivo and dinner (until 1 a.m.), Necci provides a relaxing all-year ambiance. There's a shady tree-lined garden or a funky 1970s retro interior. Breakfast goodies include homemade flaky croissants and pastries, bread and cakes. The deli counter sells all manner of organic specialties, plus wines, cheeses and salumi. ¶ Via Fanfulla da Lodi, 68. Tel. +39.06.9760.1552.
Opened in summer 2012, Baccano immediately promised good things. When I went there recently and dug deeper than the aperitivo (for which this Trevi Fountain bistro is famous), I was pleasantly surprised by the democratic breakfast selection.
Italians can enjoy their frugal cappuccino and cornetto arrangement, while more Anglo Saxon-inclined palates can enjoy a continental breakfast with muffins, juice, caffè Americano and toast (or free range eggs and pork sausages to boot). The salmon, spinach and Parmesan Eggs Benedict are inviting, but at €14 perhaps a little too pricey. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. ¶ Via delle Muratte, 23. Tel. +39.06.6994.1166.
Do well-crafted, homemade croissants and breakfast pastries sound good with your frothy cappuccino? Then please visit artisan baker and chef patissier Andreotti dal 1931 in the up-and-coming Ostiense "foodie-hood." If you drooled over the cakes and artistic baked goods featured in director Ferzan Ozpetek's 2009 film "La Finestra di Fronte," all of them were made fresh in the downstairs pastry workroom by the Andreotti resident staff. My favorite is the seasonal fruit crostata, finished with a dribbly apricot glaze. Gelato is homemade too, and quite good. Open daily 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. ¶ Via Ostiense, 54/b. Tel. +39.06.575.0773.
For those determined to find something heartier and more savory than a sweet breakfast, I recommend a visit to the newly inaugurated Romeo. The Roscioli brothers — famed bread bakers and delicatessen gurus — have paired with Michelin-star hip chef Cristina Bowerman of Trastevere's Glass Hostaria in what amounts to a glutton's paradise. They've transformed an ex-Alfa Romeo car dealership into a contemporary food hub that churns gourmet sandwiches, meals and superb aperitivo grub, all of it made only the best regional specialties. This happens all day long, along with proper lunch and dinner meals during designated service hours. ¶ Via Silla, 26/a. Tel. +39.06.3211.0120.
The sign outside may advertise it too loudly, but Gigi Santoro might make the best cappuccino in town. World-famous for his signature beverage — it was entered into international cappuccino championships — Santoro has perfected his milk pitcher technique over the decades and every cup at Bar del Cappuccino comes served with a different decoration.
Flavor, voluptuous texture and caffeinated aroma come in a warm €1 demitasse, and can be paired with anything from artisan croissants, kosher pastries (the Jewish quarter is 1/2 block away), to great pastrami sandwiches served in pizza Bianca — yes! — and fabulous fruit and vegetable juices. ¶ Via Arenula, 50. Tel. +39.06.6880.6042.
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