Introduction to a European Birthday Adventure
New Delhi to Abu Dhabi (Jet Airways First Class 777-300ER)
Abu Dhabi to London (Etihad First Class A380)
London to Rome (British Airways Business Class A319)
Hotel Boutique Nazional (Rome 1)
Mainson Tofani Guesthouse (Sorrento)
Best Western Plus Hotel Milton (Rome 2)
Hotel Palazzo Manfredi – Relais & Chateaux (Rome 3)
Aroma Restaurant (Rome Michelin Star Restaurant)
Rome to Paris (Air France Business Class A321)
Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (Paris)
Paris to Doha (Qatar Airways First Class A380)
Al Safwa First Class Lounge (Doha)
Doha to New Delhi (Qatar Airways Business Class 787-8)
I've never been to a Michelin Star Restaurant before, not because I haven't wanted to, but because all the usual places I've lived have never had Michelin Star Restaurants to try before, whether it be Australia (who use some off Hat Style rating system), or Malaysia or India. So when the opportunity presented itself, where I was looking for a place to celebrate my birthday, I certainly took the opportunity to do so. One of the other reasons was convenience - the Aroma Restaurant was located 3 stories above the hotel we were staying at - Palazzo Manfredi, and honestly it just made sense, even though there are so many choices in Rome.
So with that in mind, we had the on-duty manager book us a table for 9:30pm, as the earlier 7:30pm slots were entirely full. It's also worth noting that they only have around 10-12 tables, so the operations are rather small. It also has a stunning view of the Colosseum at night, which really is the main point of the restaurant.
Obviously, they close the windows so the lights do reflect on the glass/plastic which doesn't give it the greatest picture (ala above), however, it doesn't detract from the view while eating dinner. I didn't take any pictures of the interior because all the tables were full and I really didn't want to disrupt the classy crowd. Like seriously, everyone looked like they were supermodels or models, and were extremely well dressed. I'm just glad I decided to come dressed in my best jacket and shoes, to not feel out of place. There were two families as well, so it's not that everyone was a model, but it was close. The one disappointing thing was that the chairs were exactly the same as used at breakfast - so the place was simply converted to a restaurant at nice, with a few flowers and placements put on - there was nothing unique or amazing about the restaurant itself.
Once seated (instantly), the Manager introduced himself and explained the menu, the choices and told us if we wanted a wine pairing, they had a sommelier who could help us with that. Service from the start wasn't what you would call friendly - but they were very professional and attentive, so no complaints there I suppose. We decided to stick for the ala carte menu, rather than the 5 course meal, as we had a late-ish lunch. Aroma features a Italian/Mediterranean style mix of cuisine, which worked for me.
We decided to stick with White Wine, a main, and a dessert to keep it simple. They started out with a Amuse-bouche, which was vegetables with some sort of cream on top (I can't recall the exact name of the dish), but it was nice enough. Followed by warm bread and breadsticks (bread quality was very nice).
The main course followed, and I opted for Veal (Veal filet in a crust of aromatic herbs and pink pepper with artichokes), which was very tender and well made. Of course, as per usual high-end restaurants - portions were tiny, but every bite was savored. I had asked for medium, and it was cooked to perfection there. We took our time with the main courses over a couple of wine glasses - and although red meat should be eaten with red win (apparently), I wasn't in the mood for a red. The dry-ish wine pairing made for a good combination however.
I followed up with a 'Cuore Liquido' for dessert, a White chocolate ball with coffee and raspberry filling on the inside - with an odd plating finish which had a 'splattered' look to it. Definitely gave it a unique look, but it didn't count for much with me. I rather enjoyed the dessert as well, though it was again - quite light.
Now it's worth noting that once dessert was finished, they brought our a special treat to celebrate my birthday, since apparently someone from my family had informed them beforehand - but it was still a nice surprise. Of course, I was one of 4 birthday's that night, so the restaurant was certainly having it's share of celebrators that night.
I have no idea what exactly this dish was called since I didn't order it, but it had a chocolate coating with some vanilla filling, and while it was a little too sweet for me, it wasn't bad at all. Along with this dish, they also served the same sweet platter they had originally served in the room with a few additions - so it was a double helping kind of day.
By this time, they had given us enough sweets to fill us up, so we weren't hungry any longer - though I would recommend a starter on normal occasion just in case. We took one last look at the Colosseum and it's view and head below to turn in for the night, as I had a flight to catch in the morning.
We paid our bill and bid good night to the helpful staff, and they were happy enough not to charge for the Birthday dessert and sweet platter, which was a nice touch as we were certainly not against paying for those since we had requested for them - but it was a good gesture nevertheless.