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Luciano Monosilio's Follie in Rome: A Luxurious New 5-Star Dining Experience

Alessandra Meldolesi
copertina luciano monosilio

It's an evolving Roman cuisine that Luciano Monosilio serves at Villa Agrippina. Madness without extravagance, rather direct taste, the unwavering determination and striking thoughtfulness of regional classics, enclosed in the quotation marks of the author's interpretation.

Portraits of Albeto Blasetti- Dish photos by Cultivar

The restaurant 

Roman cuisine is in vogue: its direct flavors, relentless grit, and rapid reflexion, condensed into decisive gestures, hit the target of contemporaneity. Luciano Monosilio knows it well, counting among his sharp interpreters.

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Born in Albano Laziale thirty-nine years ago, after hotel management in Capannelle, he worked at Roscioli, Uliassi, and Enrico Crippa, before forming an historic partnership with Alessandro Pipero in his hometown, then in the capital at Rex and in Corso Vittorio Emanuele. But for two years, he also cooked in South Africa, where he still has a pasta bar in Cape Town.

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The marriage ended in 2018 when he opened Luciano Cucina Italiana, opting for an informal concept. "But it's no longer a trattoria, now it's a real restaurant. Three traditional dishes remain: carbonara, amatriciana, and cacio e pepe. For the rest, we work with many producers from Lazio, reinterpreting the flavors of the region in a way I would define as instinctive and intuitive. The focus is on the recognizability of what you eat, a continuously evolving, clean, and streamlined offering"

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In 2022, he seized the opportunity to lead the restaurant at Villa Agrippina, a splendid five-star hotel just steps from the center. "I wanted to get closer to fine dining again, to see if I still liked it. And it seemed like the right opportunity because we cater to the hotel clientele, although we would like to involve more and more Romans. So there are references to Roman tradition and Italian cuisine, but also to France, in the bases and presentations."

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With him are director Mario Garofalo, sommelier Marco Fantilli, managing a wine list of 280 labels, executive Andrea Zucchi, and his second Fabio Ciarparella. In fact, he is present at almost all five evening services, while in the morning, he usually stops by Luciano's.

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The dishes

The tasting menu consists of 6 courses at 150 euros, from which you can select 4 at 100. But there is also a menu with the famous carbonara, the signature dish of the Piperian era that even conquered The New York Times.

GranMeliaRomeVillaAgrippina Luciano Monosilo Chef Follie Restaurant

In fact, each dish takes inspiration from a traditional pairing, reinterpreted in a personal way. Starting with the "Mixed Appetizer" of appetizers: grilled eggplant aspic for pickles, vegan almond milk "ricotta" for cheese, house-smoked ham for cold cuts. In the bread basket, there are taralli, breadsticks, tumminia wheat loaf, chia seed wafer, and later, focaccia. Monosilio has Abruzzese blood. That's why he wanted to enclose a classic Lazio second course, lamb with artichokes, in the crepe of an appetizer.

Luciano Monosilio crespella d agnello carciofi menta e pecorino

A bit like the herds that go back and forth between the two regions during transhumance. So, stewed lamb seasoned with pan-fried artichokes, enclosed in the crepe, then gratinated under the salamander and finished with a burnt pecorino foam. Because bold toasting is a chef's signature. "Bitterness is fundamental because it aids digestion and the palate, but it must always be balanced." Another modern trend is vintage, if not downright kitsch, represented here by big penne with sea urchin, bacon and vodka.

Luciano Monosilio Pennone ai Ricci di Mare Guanciale e Vodka Cultivar 07

"I love the pink color of vodka penne, but I wanted a different taste, seas and mountains. So clarified shallot butter sauce emulsified with sea urchins, emulating cream and tomato; for the smoked ham, bacon marinated in vodka, which cleanses." To favor the fusion with the "zozzona," there's a base of toasted pork bones which, together with the creaminess of the sauce, reproduces the sensory profile.

Luciano Monosilio Gnocco di Semolino Scampi Limone e Kefir Cultivar 05

Monosilio looks to Romanity with semolina dumplings transported to the sea with langoustine, kefir, marinated lemon zest, a sauce similar to "cacciucco," and spinach leaves. Like the veal breast "alla fornara," a great classic approached with respect, where the meat is baked with celery, carrot, onion, and white wine, pressed, cut cold, and regenerated with steam. On the plate with three sauces (anchovy, carrot, and celery) and a veil of clear veal broth emulsified with butter and lemon, for a blanquette sensation. Next to it, the boiled veal meatball on a quail egg heart and salad.

Luciano Monosilio Petto di Vitella alla Fornara Cultivar 09

The mixed plate allows Monosilio to achieve zero waste, using the ingredient in its entirety. This also happens in the roasted turbot with potatoes, where the grilled fillet with beurre blanc and herring eggs accompanies the chicken mousse with potato cake and saffron sauce, obtained by simmering the fish's wings. After the burnt pink peppercorn and lemon marshmallow, he concludes with cacio e pere, a shepherding duo reproduced with Parmigiano and pecorino panna cotta, pear sorbet, toasted walnut wafer, and honey. In the small bowl, there are coconut lentils.

Luciano Monosilio Cioccolato e caramello menu bimbi Cultivar 53


Photo by Alberto Blasetti


Follie-Villa Agrippina Gran Melià

Via del Gianicolo, 3 -Rome

Phone: 0692590830 


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