It’s been a restyling of image and gastronomic offerings for Gola restaurant in the Parioli district of Rome. This location, which brims with delicious food and a welcoming atmosphere, is a restaurant managed by a brigade of young people under 30.
The idea behind the restaurant is that of Simone Segneri, a bright twenty-eight years old, who has always been passionate about catering, a sector in which his family has been working for a long time. But, Gola’s concept has recently undergone a renovation, starting with the shifting the meaning of Gola. Traditionally connected with gluttony, one of the seven deadly sins in Christian teachings, the word gola in Italian (literally meaning throat) is often linked to the saying ‘peccato di gola’ that translates into something akin to the ‘a sin of gluttony. In this case, Segneri decided to play on the word’s meaning, making eating not a sin but a pleasurable temptation for the palate and a chance to turn tradition just a bit on its head.
From the payoff “Senza Peccato” (Without Sin) Repubblica Gastronomica, the brand identity company specializing in food, has created a playful and colorful mood inside the restaurant (120 square meters for a total of forty seats inside and twenty outside), painting the walls with images depicting devils and seductive women, thus recreating a sort of Dante’s circle interpreted in a modern, fun and greedy way.
“I decided to give a stronger identity to the restaurant both in the external appearance and on the menu created by chef Simone Ballicu. We are a young team, under 30, and we work with passion to offer customers a moment of true pleasure,” says Simone Segneri.
The kitchen is helmed by the shining talent of the young chef, Simone Ballicu born in 1990. Ballicu arrived at Ristorante Gola after various professional experiences, including some at several prestigious locations, such as at Niko Romito’s three-starred restaurant Reale, at Riccardo di Giacinto’s All’Oro, and at Capo Faro.
“Here at Gola I offer traditional cuisine with a hint of innovation; I always try not to distort the raw material but to enhance its quality,” says the executive chef, who has created a menu designed to ‘take the customer by the throat.’
In fact, this restaurant differs from many typical Italian eateries, eliminating the classic division of the menu into appetizers, first and second courses, but rather creating offerings that make the menu is a sensory journey that is fun and delicious in both form and substance. Among the dishes not to be missed are Matrù, the archaic name for Amatrice, chosen for the steamed Chinese pepper buns with stewed pork all’amatriciana and pecorino cheese, and Bon Thon Ricordo di una Nizzarda, seared red tuna accompanied by a mousse of potatoes, tomato, candied onion, egg yolk, dried olives and powdered arugula.
The stars of the show are the Stradizionali, or un-traditional, pastas, reinterpretations of classic Roman first courses, including Amatriciana, homemade cappellaccio filled with amatriciana, pecorino cheese and crunchy pepper; Cacio e Pepe, homemade tortellini filled with cacio e pepe with artichokes, lemon and oregano; Carbonara, spaghetti Benedetto Cavalieri with organic eggs, crispy bacon and black truffle; and finally, Gricia, which at Gola becomes a Griciaburger, hamburger with aged pecorino cheese and crispy bacon accompanied by Amatriciana ketchup.
Those who prefer tasting menus can choose between Divino, a path composed of six meat dishes, and Gola, a menu based on fish, or opt for Caronte, a blind tasting.
Do not miss the desserts inspired by the seven deadly sins, including Lust, a creme brulée with matcha tea and passion fruit; Gola, a sweet bun with zabaione chantilly cream and peanuts; and Ira, a sphere of burnt meringue on lightly salted pastry to be broken with a firm blow to taste the delicious citrus cream inside.
In combination with the dishes, Simone Segneri, also a young sommelier, studied and drafted the wine list, structuring it as a tour of Italy in 34 labels, with small and big names, purists and innovators, a faithful reflection of the multifaceted wine scene of the Belpaese.
Finally, the Sunday Lunch is also worth mentioning, a formula based on warmth and family hospitality to be enjoyed while tasting dishes inspired by traditional recipes.