We slept in and barely made it out in time for a lunch reservation at Marzapane, a hot new restaurant with a fantastic 3-course 30eu lunch prix fixe menu.(Many thanks to Elizabeth Minchilli for the tip) you choose between fish and meat and the whole table has to agree.
The opener was Duck Royale, shredded duck mixed with dates and apricots in a foie gras ‘sauce’. Slightly sweet, the richness of the duck was absurdly complimented by the fruits.
A carbonara followed: deeply eggy and rich I was glad it was such a small portion.
Nomad beef was the main. The chef took a cut of beef, marinated it in in a piquant sauce, then smoked it overnight and finished it with a vinegar based (American) BBQ sauce. It was a complicated layering of flavors coming together in a gorgeously silky piece of meat.
Dessert felt like a bit much, but was also winderful. ‘Baked Apple’ came as a layered pastry of nutty mousse with an apply jelly as a base. Superb.
Thank goodness we had a nice long walk to the Diocletian Baths.
The Baths are massive buildings, recently further excavated and restored and opened to the public. Built in 298-305 AD, they held up to 3000 (yes, thousand) people in a variety of pools, gymnasiums, and patios. In the 1560s the buildings were turned into a basilica and Michelangelo designed a church using two of the pool structures.
After that we walked across the plaza to the Palazzo Massimo. This building houses a superb collection of Classical art and we loved it. There are a ton of exquisitely detailed and complicated mosaics.
including the incredible Villa of Livia
Also of note is the statue of Hermaphrodite
Dinner was a nice walk across the Tiber to L’Orso 80, a quirky tasty restaurant. The house wine is 2eu for a ‘heavy’ pour and the walls are decorated with artwork from a variety of past patrons. (No Dalis or Picassos, but I’ll bet a number of the artists went on to fame.) Here I had a lovely Taglioni with seafood and J. had the sliced beef.