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Antonio Ziantoni’s Zia Ristorante is Always Sold Out Thanks to Young, Dynamic Team

Bianca Tecchiati
copertina antonio ziantoni 2023

Antonio Ziantoni and his team of young professionals are in love with the craft that makes Zia Restaurant one of Rome's top-rated fine dining restaurants.

Zia Restaurant

"Do you mind if I call Biscotto?" Antonio Ziantoni asks us when we chat after lunch in the dining room at Zia's and the adorable poodle of the chef and partner Ida Proietti

It's a midweek day, and at the tables of the restaurant on Via Mameli, just outside the tangle of Trastevere's alleys; it's packed with young people, a small proportion of them tourists, visibly passionate about cooking, very interested in the waiters' answers to their questions. A provoking sign, all in a lively atmosphere; furnishings of refined sobriety, indulging in the quirk of some elegant eccentric notes of art and design, but always in a linear and clean mood.

Service in the dining room flows amiably; Ida, Antonio's partner of eleven years, opened Zia together with her partner chef, where she oversees hospitality.

Antonio Ziantoni e Ida Proietti

Management is entrusted to the competence and friendliness of Valentina Bivona, keeper of the cellar, which has about six hundred labels. 

Even after meeting them for just a few hours, we can tell that these young professionals exude a dynamic energy, one can sense their sense of belonging to this place, their bond, and the enthusiastic determination that unites them.

Thirty-six-year-old Antonio, from Vicovaro, a small town in the Roman countryside, not only received a MICHELIN star but was also awarded Best Young Chef 2021 by the Michelin Guide; despite this, he has not lost himself. On the contrary, he unceasingly continues his work of research, defining his own identity in the kitchen.

Through his wealth of experience that has taken him around the world – between George Blanc and Gordon Ramsey, then stopping four years at Anthony Genovese's, he has set a vision of authentic synthesis, a culinary language marked by cleanliness that leaves room for an almost archetypal purity of taste.


The dishes

A wicked crispness characterizes the cannoli: different scales of bitterness, as it is filled with bitter orange, chopped black olives, and marjoram.


What looks like a morsel of mozzarella emerging from its whey is actually a sphere of goat milk, which releases its liquid interior upon biting into it.



Piennolo datterini balance themselves out between sweetness and acidity: the red tomato version is served as a chutney while the yellow one is served as a cream inside a tartlet with extra virgin olive oil.



The kiwi is marinated in Benefort, a bitter digestif from Valle d'Aosta that encapsulates the aromaticity of about 20 herbs, roots, and flowers, complemented by a bergamot compote and a single sage leaf.



The pork belly - marinated fifteen days and slow cooked on the barbecue for eight hours - is the pure, naked image of stylish gluttony; It is almost the accomplished synthesis of Ziantoni's cooking concept. It is presented in perfect minimalism. It is rolled completely in the fork and enjoyed in one bite.



At this point, the red bell pepper and tarragon leaf aspic manages the palatal reboot, which produces a pleasant peak of sweet pungency.




The Po Delta oyster, beautifully fleshy and with a soothing saltiness, is served on a cream of savoy cabbage, shallot salad, and veal nervetti (meat, cartilage, and tendons) to invigorate the chewing experience. A grilled Romanesco leaf as well as the endive extract poured at the table, provide a refined bitter note in closing.




The sourdough bread has eight different seed types in its dough.

The sheep tartare is served inside a type of soy milk yuba taco, which coagulates on the surface as it boils, creating a thin membrane, which is then dried and passed through a blowtorch. A subtle, impalpable crunchiness, which along with the meat tartare, alternates the sour, bitter and savory nuances of the béarnaise sauce, pimpernel, pickled almonds, wild strawberries, and sheep bone jus.




The eel is marinated for five hours, smoked with apple and olive wood, then glazed with honey, Piennolo tomatoes, saba and herbs; finally, it is baked on a grill. The palate is stimulated by both the bitterness and sourness of tarragon extraction and by the lightness of red onion jam.


Elaborate with flavor, the scarlet ravioli, aptly named because of the color of its dough (color given to it by the use of red turnip powder), are filled with hare ragout, juniper oil, and then drizzled with the hare's cooking juices.

The guinea fowl breast served skin-on, is covered with a brine-preserved vine leaf, and is served with its cooking juices; it masterfully connects with its scorzonera and white turnip sauce, a treasure trove of bitter and earthy notes.




The polenta is served with fontina cheese, guinea fowl´s giblets, and select black truffle from Abruzzo.



The bread of dried fruit, apricots, figs, and raisins is also in harmonious tune with the guinea fowl and officially opens the parade of sweets and desserts, curated by the 29-year-old, (and award-winning) pastry chef Christian Marasca. He also worked at Pagliaccio after his schooling at Alma. The pre-dessert, conceived in an oxymoron mode, has no added sugar, except for the natural sugar contained in the pink grapefruit of the granita where champagne, bitter and tarragon are also present.





The babà, with its punctual fluffiness, is bathed in a rum, star anise, cinnamon, and vanilla syrup; served alongside a quenelle of Chantilly cream with Tahitian vanilla and Madagascar vanilla. The highly acidic finish of mini aspic of verjus is surprising – this is the unripe grape juice that Pliny the Elder already praised during his times for its digestive properties.





It´s safe to say that the Italian-style flaky brioche – with butter and Madagascar vanilla – has now become a ritual at Zia; refined, with an elegantly retro allure, as if it had just come out of tante Léonie’s pantry in Combray. To be enjoyed along the crème anglaise served on the side, but it could also be taken home and enjoyed for breakfast the next day.





The meal is concluded with the fiordilatte gelato, made with milk from the Salvaderi Farm in Lodi; it is lightly flavored with Madagascar vanilla.





Zia Restaurant

Via Goffredo Mameli n 45 – 00153 Roma

Tel. +39 06 23488093







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