ROME: Spazio Niko Romito has reopened its doors in downtown piazza Verdi after a brief hiatus. Awarded top scores during the interim incluidng the Illy Trophy for Coffee Bar of the Year by Gambero Rosso, it has changed its name to Spazio Niko Romito Bar e Cucina (bar and kitchen).
Spazio Niko Romito Bar e Cucina is the natural, contemporary incarnation of an Italian style cafe, Italy’s most popular business model in the restaurant sector thanks to its original concept as a meeting place for social interaction.
Chef Niko Romito, of restaurant Reale in Castel di Sangro said, “Daily life is my most powerful source of inspiration. The driving force behind Spazio Niko Romito Bar e Cucina was my incessant wish to explore and evolve – our work is constant evolution, as I like to say. What sparked the change was an intuition that we could combine Spazio’s restaurant format and the more informal one of Pane & Caffe, so that clients could have greater freedom and a wider choice of fare, with all of the products that represent my journey and philosophy: bread, bomba, home cooking, light dishes and unique ingredients, fried chicken, vegetables and cakes.”
The executive chef of the entire project Gaia Giordano is at the helm of Spazio Niko Romito Bar e Cucina.
Niko Romito said he wanted a place where the client was free to arrive at any time of the day for a coffee or even to come for a coffee and stay all day.
Ever since Spazio Niko Romito began, its goal has been that of assimilating Romito’s culinary research and insight, conveying them from the haute cuisine context of his Reale restaurant to the more accessible and everyday context of traditional, popular Italian eateries.
The current evolution of Spazio Niko Romito is the outcome of the circular nature of Romito’s research, where Niko has revisited certain culinary criteria and drawn from such recent experiences as ALT Stazione del Gusto in Castel di Sangro, on state highway SS 17 (an eatery specifically designed for travelers), while rethinking the fundamentals of his own and Italy’s gourmet heritage. Today, the brand consists of two distinct formats in the current three locations: Spazio Niko Romito Ristorante (Milan and Rivisondoli) and Spazio Niko Romito Bar e Cucina (“Café and Kitchen”, Rome).
Spazio Niko Romito Bar e Cucina is a unique blend of classic Italian café, tavern (“osteria”) serving home-cooked food, tea room and cocktail lounge. It showcases experiences and products that are emblematic of Niko Romito’s philosophy and heritage, and is set to become a new benchmark for urban food consumption in Italy.
Rome is the departure point for Niko Romito’s new model of hospitality: somewhere you can wander into at any time of day or simply hang out and relax for hours at a stretch; an informal ambience that makes you feel at home. It welcomes its guests from morning to night, turning into part of their daily routine. It supplies breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks as well as impromptu desserts, bakery products, cocktails and food to go. It’s the right place to set up a business lunch, an aperitif or kaffeeklatsch. A wide choice of fare, aligned with Romito’s exacting standards of quality, research and lightness: the crowning achievement to his philosophy and culinary exploration to date.
The new format showcases some of the finest ideas and most significant products Niko Romito has presented in the course of his two-decade career; ones that are emblematic of his research and philosophy.
The menu he has designed with Gaia Giordano is easy and straightforward, as befits an approach to food that is relaxed and accessible – organized so as to indulge clients’ whims at a moment’s notice, at any time of day; making it possible to taste, share, explore. Italian and contemporary, the choice goes from breakfast through lunch, afternoon snack and dinner, to after dinner, retail and food to go.
Flanking Romito classics like Bomba, in its sweet and savory versions, or the famous Fried Chicken and unique bread, is an array of vegetable dishes, soups and salads, as well as Abruzzi cheese and cold cuts. There is the homelike conviviality of shared antipasto, reminiscent of trattorias in the olden days. This is followed by a tour of Italy in all its flavors, aromas and craftsmanship, from the Alps to the sea – from bollito meatballs to marinated anchovies, from creamed codfish to Russian potato salad (aka Olivier salad), not forgetting tramezzini sandwiches from soft white bread, focaccia, sliced bread with an assortment of condiments directly from the counter, and a wide range of drinks.
The Spazio Niko Romito Bar e Cucina aperitif is an opportunity to meet with friends, a prelude to the evening, paired with the original cocktails designed by mixologist Mauro Cipollone. The wine list comprises 250 labels, and the entire menu is aligned with the fundamentals of Niko Romito philosophy.
A self-taught chef, Niko Romito started his career at Rivisondoli, on the former premises of the family bakery, later trattoria and has a close rapport with his native heritage and region Abruzzo. Niko and his sister Cristiana have been running the Reale restaurant since 2000. In seven years, they propelled the restaurant to three Michelin stars.
Spazio Niko Romito Bar e Cucina, Piazza Verdi, 6 Rome. Open Monday to Saturday from 7.30am to midnight. Closed on Sundays.