So now you’ve splurged at Massimo Melis’s fabulous jewelry shop and you wouldn’t mind wearing your new purchase out to dinner. (See previous post “Modern Bling in Ancient Settings”) Where do you go to eat where the food rises to the artistry of the gold craftsmanship? For me, the only place is Il Convivio Troiani located around the corner on the Vicolo dei Soldati, No. 31. The Troiani brothers first opened their restaurant a few doors down from the Melis shop and it was in the original location that I first tasted their cucina creativa almost two decades ago. One of the brothers, another Massimo, with an encyclopedic knowledge of wines served me a Tuscan red to complement the meal that was enough to make you weep. It started me down the misbegotten path of wine collecting and I’ve never looked back.
It was in the original location that Il Convivio earned a well deserved Michelin star. As an increasing crowd of loyal fans insisted on a table, however, the brothers moved around the corner to the Vicolo dei Soldati with two spacious rooms and a third very intimate dining area that provide for an elegant evening of exquisitely prepared food. They carried the well polished star with them where it remains.
Choices abound even down to the breads and varieties of bottled waters, but the expert wait staff guides you through the process with humor and no fussiness. The carta dei vini would break your foot if it fell from your hands, but I’ve found it best to let Massimo select the bottle that best fit our meal selections and since the first visit in 1997, this method has worked seamlessly.
Massimo Troiani and a happy guest
Below are screenshots grabbed from the restaurant’s website. Frankly, my own photos couldn’t quite do it justice, and even these pictures can only hint at the artistry and inviting presentation of the dishes. Every one is a feast for the eyes and the palate and from New Year’s Eve dinners to a mid week drop in, I’ve never had a meal that was less than exceptional.
The poet Martial recounts how in the ancient Campus Martius a hungry citizen named Selius went from one public square to the next seeking out friends to invite him home for supper. After trying many of the well known porticos and theaters he dejectedly heads back to his starting point with no offers. Had he wandered through the same space today, Selius would have sought a very kind and generous acquaintance to take him to Il Convivio Troiani. That meal would have pleased him above all others.
 Mart. Ep. 2.14. See P. Jacobs and D. Conlin, Campus Martius – The Field of Rome in the Life of Ancient Rome, 110 (Cambridge University Press 2015).