Trattoria Da Rosario
Restaurant review by Milan Sime Martinic in the B4D Magazin
If you are the type to enjoy the beauty and magnificent atmosphere of a Roman plaza filled with outdoor tables of wonderful restaurants, your first glance toward Trattoria da Rosario on Brasilia's south side will put a smile on your face and visions of sipping expresso and wine all afternoon. A sign says "Piazza Navona" over the figure of one of the allegorical statues in Rome's beautifully fountained and most charming square, the iconic Piazza Navona itself. Immediately past it, an outdoor veranda is lined with tableclothed tables and staff that pays attention to you as you come close, ready to accommodate you where you please.
You are entering Trattoria da Rosario, one of Brasilia's longtime powerplaces as much for the clientele it attracts as for the powerful pack of impeccable Italian dishes as varied as the food-loving country itself. Multi-million-dollar deals and political alliances are said to be regularly forged over its tables, power players from all corners of Brazil are often spotted commanding a table over wine and San Pellegrino. Italian tradition and flavors rule the ambiance, and the menu has plenty to seduce you from chef Rosario's Napolitan roots as from his well-developed culinary creations inspired by the diverse regions and islands of the peninsula.
There is a subtle excellence in the air. The hosts and waiters know their stuff. It is evident that they all know exactly what they’re doing. It is the sort of place where Chef Rosário Tessier can be seen personally seeing that his clients are satisfied. The menu itself is more sophisticated and exquisitely elaborated than in an old-school trattoria. Offerings range from appetizers to pastas, risottos, meats, game, seafood, and desserts, all with tangibly fresh ingredients. You would be forgiven for thinking you had just been transported to the Vesuvius apron and were suddenly going the wrong way down its medieval labyrinth of one-way streets and narrow alleys, past wrought-iron balconies, and the smell of pride in Neapolitan food and its glory on lunch tables. It is the flavor of Italian gastronomy at its best in Brazil; it is unmistakable, and in a short time it is on your fork and the plate in front of you.
The menu choices are a generous Italian feast: To start, Appetizer options include: Antipasto Italia- Parma ham, Italian mortadella, cheese Bel Paese, Grana Padano cheese and black olives; Bruschette al Pomodoro- Freshly baked toasted bread with Italian San Marzano tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella and Grana Padano; a Carpaccio di Carne con Carciofini Carpaccio of beef with mustard sauce, artichoke blades and Grana Padano; an Insalata del Golfo with mixed green leaves salad with shrimp to herb sauce, squid and octopus; a Chef's Salad which was delicious with a mustard-and-herbs dressing. There are more choices, but you will have to check those out when you visit.
Pasta choices include variously dressed fettuccines, linguines, pennes, raviolis, gnocchis, and spaghettis. My favorites are those with prawns and gorgonzola, but you can also get the classics alla carbonara, Bolognese, Vesuvio, and puttanesca. All 3 ofd its gnocchi offerings are straight out of some of the best Italian kitchens in flavor, though I did find the gnocchi with spinach and gorgonzola too heavy on the oils as was the case with the risottos.
The Saltimboca alla Romana was an exquisitely prepared filet mignon with Parma ham and sage, and a subtle Marsala wine sauce with fettuccine Alfredo; the Filetto Palio di Siena was delectable in an exotic Madeira sauce and red wine. It was served with cheese risotto, Grana Padano, and sun-dried tomatoes; and the Agnello Controfiletto was a perfectly cooked boneless, crusted loin of lamb in the Marsala wine sauce with reduced balsamic vinegar. It was served with a hearty Venetian black risotto, a classic with bountiful squid providing the moody ink that gives the dish its color. There are at least a half-a-dozen other fish dishes I have yet to try.
There is a suitable selection of "sobremesas" which include Creme Brule, and a Panna cotta con Crema di Frutti di Bosco, served with a red-fruit coulis. Of course, there is Tiramisu, but I enjoyed most a new addition to its menu, a green apple tart on a crisp cinnamon mille-feuille and served with a smooth vanilla ice cream.
There were no Vespas buzzing around and no layers of posters over graffiti and grime nearby, but in leaving the experience is notable for its authentic flavors, the elegant dishes, the upbeat staff with hints of that legendary Italian charm, and the feeling that you have just eaten at one of the best restaurants in Brasilia, that you have been served impeccable Italian classics delivered con brio.
Trattoria da Rosario is located at SHIS QI17 Bl.H Lj.215, South Lake in Fashion Park and is open for lunch and dinner from noon till midnight Tuesday through Saturday closing for an hour in the afternoon, and Sunday from noon till 5 pm.