The First ‘Gelato Restaurant’ is in Rome

Tue, 05/28/2019 - 03:00
A dish from the Gelato D’Essai bistrot in Rome

If you have a passion for gelato, then you may want to check Gelato D’Essai da Geppy Sferra, a new gelato bistro in Rome, in the outlying Centocelle neighborhood, where regular dishes are served with different gelato flavors.

The restaurant menu offers original combinations of meat, fish and vegetable dishes with selected gelato flavors meant to enhance the overall taste of the ingredients. So for example you’ll find chicken curry accompanied by coconut gelato, sesame mackerel with coffee gelato, grilled vegetables with yogurt gelato, or, in the summer menu, cod fillet spiced with cinnamon, paprika and kumquat, accompanied by passion fruit sorbet.

The idea behind Gelato D’Essai by Geppy Sferra is to create a savory dish starting from gelato, without altering its original characteristics, while achieving a balanced composition of flavors. In the words of owner Geppy Sferra, his goal is to find “a confluence between gastronomy and gelato, exploiting gelato’s qualities to present unusual dishes, which in turn enhance the gelato itself.”

The 140-sqm bistro is located in via Tor De ’Schiavi in ​​Centocelle, and is gelato parlor, cafeteria and restaurant at once. The restaurant has a 14-seat capacity, which, during the day, is used as a traditional café and gelato shop, to try regular gelato in cones and cups, while in the evening it transforms into the gelato restaurant.

The menu changes according to the availability of ingredients and seasonality. It features four main gastronomic areas: ‘Il Gelato e l'Orto’ (Gelato and Vegetable Garden), ‘Il Gelato e il Mare’ (Gelato and Seafood), ‘Il Gelato e la Fattoria’ (Gelato and the Farm), ‘Il Gelato e la Gola’ (Gelato and Dessert). The restaurant uses organic vegetables and fruit, and its gelato is free of thickeners, using instead a mix of vegetable fibers and rice proteins, which also reduces the amount of sugar.

Among the most popular gelato flavors, produced year-round, are Blueberry and Rosa Canina, Toritto Almond (a Slow Food presidium) and organic honey from a farm in Norcia, pure cocoa prepared using only high-quality, single-origin cocoa mass (no cocoa powder), Roman hazelnut, and Bronte Pistachio. So if you’re skeptical about the idea of combining savory and sweet, you may just stick with gelato alone.