Welcome to Ginger Corte Laica: An 18th-century palazzo in the heart of Rome’s Via del Corso welcomes healthy and tasty food with a deep green footprint.
On Rome’s bustling Via del Corso, the beating heart of Capitoline fashion, a majestic entrance opens onto an 18th-century palazzo that, after more than 20 years of closure, is coming back to life, opening to the public in all its imposing beauty.
An achievement achieved by the founders of Ginger, a restaurant reality present in Rome since 2012 with its two locations in Piazza Sant’Eustachio and Via Borgognona, thanks to a careful restoration that preserved the structure’s artistic and architectural heritage.
Palazzo Raggi is an imposing architectural complex that almost perimeterally embraces Via del Corso via Via della Vite, Via del Gambero and Via delle Convertite. Historically, the structure was also home to the archives of the Chamber of Deputies and an electronic business center before its 20-year closure.
Since August 2023, a new era has begun for Palazzo Raggi, becoming a place to indulge in a wonderful gourmet break on Via del Corso at any time of day. From breakfast to mid-morning aperitif through lunch, snack and evening aperitif to dinner.
Corte Laica: Ginger’s new spin-off
Here, at 173 Via del Corso, Corte Laica, the Spin-Off of Ginger, which in its 11 years of presence in Rome has won a wide audience, has come to life. In addition to its choice of locations, always in central areas – Ginger’s other two locations are in Piazza Sant’Eustachio and Via Borgognona. The restaurant has distinguished itself for its gastronomic offerings based on healthy, sustainable cuisine that winks at the Mediterranean diet by favoring organic products.
“The leitmotif is the same here at Corte Laica, where the spaces have allowed us to add to our usual offer, some proposals that are real novelties for our format: the pizzeria, a mouth-watering and healthy selection of fried food, and a curated mixology offer for the beverage part. – explains Dario Asara – Only the pizzeria was missing from our format, which we created with a Moretti oven, the Neapolis, specifically created for Neapolitan round pizza. We revised the whole menu, downsizing some courses such as salads, cutting boards and the section dedicated to smoothies.”
The basic concept, however, remains the same: scaling down food waste as much as possible through a kitchen whose work is marked by circularity, offering dishes that are tasty and healthy while at the same time having a deep vegetable footprint.
Chef Sharon Landersz’s gourmet menu
The kitchen at Ginger Corte Laica is headed by executive chef Sharon Landersz, as is that of the GINGER PANTHEON location.
“Here in Rome I took my first steps building piece by piece my profession,” explains Sharon Landersz, “In the restaurant ‘La Regola’ I became Sous Chef, at the Ferrara wine shop I learned the basics of Roman cuisine, and then in 2012 I landed at Ginger in Via Borgognona, where I had the opportunity to fuse the flavors and ingredients of my homeland with Mediterranean ones.”
Completing her educational excursus, before returning to Ginger, was an important experience at ‘Santi Sebastiano e Valentino,’ where the chef learned the complex art of whiteness. “This one at Corte Laica was a real challenge, both for me and for the team of chefs I direct, with whom we immediately found the right balance to work with grit and consistency,” she says.
Ginger’s philosophy is based on the seasonality of products ensuring nutritionally balanced, tasty and healthy dishes that are the result of meticulous study. “We change the menu every season. The dishes vary according to the calendar, which is anything but trivial work for our menu, which always requires that 70 percent of the products selected come from organic farming and have a strong green footprint.” In keeping with maximum waste containment, deep teamwork is essential in which not only the kitchen but also the pizzeria and the mixology offerings are involved.
“What we put in place every day is a true circular cuisine, in which most ingredients are used as much as possible in their entirety and in every part of our offerings. For example, I think of some spices,” says the chef, “that I use in the kitchen and at the same time our bartender Luca Dante uses them in his creations. The scraps of certain fruits, for example, are literally regenerated by his hands to give life to new preparations.”
Ample space is given to mouthwatering delicacies with fried foods, which through combinations and selected raw materials will be tasty and contextually healthy. “Here we had the opportunity to put a fryer and of course we didn’t miss it. There are classic Roman-style supplì with fior di latte and pecorino fiore sardo, but also orange-flavored potato croquettes and some dishes that are part of our tropical contamination such as fried plantain.”
The chef is committed to a scrupulous selection of raw materials, without setting herself a regional limit; the dry pasta, in fact, comes from Pastificio Felicetti in Predazzo, the cured meats are all supplied by Salumificio Pedrazzoli, while grains and dried fruits are strictly organic. Spices, such as some herbs, are carefully selected at the Spice Emporium. As for the extra-virgin olive oil, it comes from Ginger’s family-owned business: the Azienda Agricola Le Masciare in Avellino, which produces a selection of organic wines including Fiano, Greco and Falanghina but also an excellent Aglianico and a major Taurasi.
Chef Landersz also oversees the morning offerings, which include muffins, pancakes and homemade Ginger breads and a selection of tarts, cakes, cookies but also croissants selected from artisan bakeries and pastry shops to accompany coffee, cappuccinos and extracts.
Corte Laica: Luca Dante and his “circular” mixology
An interesting new feature of Corte Laica is the extensive section dedicated to the art of mixology. Curated personally by Luca Dante, a 31-year-old bartender with a long career in the industry, which has led him to work with some of the most important protagonists of contemporary mixology.
“Working at the W Rome Hotel has been a great honor for me as well as an immense personal and professional opportunity, which is why after a year in its team I accepted to undertake this new experience here in the Ginger team in Corte Laica,” explains Luca Dante, “It is a complex but absolutely stimulating challenge, which has allowed me to create new cocktails – side by side with the great classics – and which the clientele is particularly appreciating.
Prominent among his creations are “Mango & Roses,” made with the juice obtained from mango peel fermented with sugar and decorated with the dried peel itself. Other interesting cocktails include “Rosalia” made with tequila, grapefruit and tepache, a fermented pineapple peel. As a non-alcoholic offering, starting in the fall, Dante has designed some new drinks based on seedlip, a non-alcoholic distillate with herbaceous hints.
Corte Laica: the pizza of Ciro De Vincenzo
Despite his Neapolitan origins, pizzaiolo Ciro De Vincenzo’s proposal here at Ginger Corte Laica deviates from the classic Neapolitan pizza.
“Together with the owners, we chose to propose a pizza that was somewhere between Neapolitan and Italian tonda.” The dough, made with organic flours from Mulino Naldoni, is made with a double pre-ferment. Baking, unlike the Neapolitan, takes place in an electric oven at lower temperatures of about 430° and the cooking is therefore slower. The result is a round pizza with a rim that is present but not prominent.
The menu offers 20 variations, divided equally between classic, vegan, seafood and Ginger’s specialties. Prominent among the latter is the tasty Ortolana Autunnale with cream of cauliflower, Roman broccoli, repassed chicory and tomato confit.
Very intriguing and always in keeping with seasonality is the one with cream of Mantuan squash, black Lucanian pork belly, pecorino di Moliterno cheese and provolone. Also among the classic options always on the menu is the Vegetariana a Colori with cream of pumpkin, cardoncelli mushrooms, fresh spinach and crusco bell pepper. Finally, among the seafood options is the pizza with tuna Genovese: a reinterpretation of the famous Neapolitan stracotto made with beef and onions, in which the meat is replaced by tuna topped with basil pesto and pecorino di Moliterno cheese.
Ginger has big plans for the future. While it is true that a format that wins cannot be changed, it is equally true that it deserves to be replicated and expanded. In fact, Ginger is scheduled to reach Milan with a new restaurant in the city, and by spring 2024 the first Ginger is scheduled to open in New York.