Raphael Hotel Roma, Rome, Italy
Raphael Hotel Roma is an intimate bio hotel located steps away from the pantheon in Rome, Italy.
This charming hotel occupies an ancient building lovingly covered in lush ivy. The staff are warm, helpful, and professional, our room was immaculate, and the vegan food was a pleasure to experience.
After learning that we were upgraded to an executive suite, Cody and I were escorted to our simple but elegant room that afforded us a restful sleep.
Our suite was spacious and comfortable with a great view of the vibrant Italian life outside. Not 10 minutes after closing the door behind us, I answered a knock from a staff member who presented me with a welcome note from Roberto Vannoni, (manager of Raphael Hotel), attached to a bottle of prosecco on ice. It was a lovely way to unwind and enjoy our stay at this 5 star hotel.
As the sun set, the 2 of us prepared for dinner on the rooftop terrace overlooking the Roman skyline. Hotel Raphael invited Cody and I to a vegan tasting menu created by Fabrizio Marino, former head chef of Joia-the only vegetarian restaurant with a Michelin star rating in Italy. Fabrizio now graces the guests at Hotel Raphael with his fabulous dishes.
We felt extremely fortunate for the opportunity to try chef Fabrizio’s creations, and we enjoyed our time immensely. The menu at Hotel Raphael is organic vegan and vegetarian. You can also find clearly labelled vegan options in the wine menu.
To start off the night, we were served an amuse bouche of watermelon sashimi. The watermelon is baked which takes on the texture and appearance of raw fish, right down to the white lines through the sliced watermelon. Amazing.
This particular dish was marinated with seaweed to give it the familiar flavours of the sea.
We were really impressed with this vegan sashimi. It was sweet and the flavours were not over powering.
Hummus towers with roasted sweet peppers, raspberry coulis, sprouts, golden raisins, and edible charcoal.
We were a bit surprised by the choice of hummus as a starter, but we loved this lite appetizer just the same. The hummus and sweet roasted pepper are a natural combination, and the charcoal added an interesting and unique touch.
Saffron risotto with smoked carrots, and black truffles.
This was our first time trying truffles. We have tasted flavoured oils in the past, but nothing compares to an actual truffle. Truffles have a mysterious flavour, and can be described as a gourmet mushroom. These fungi are grown in fields, but are also foraged in the wild making them an extremely expensive product.
They grow on the roots of trees like beeches and oakes which give them a musky flavour. We also found they had a rich fatty taste as well.
They were quite a treat. The risotto itself was cooked to a perfect al dente texture, and the subtle flavours of the saffron matched the bold earthy flavours of the truffles.
An incredible dish.
Baked vegetables with beetroot carpaccio.
Zucchini, beets, and potatoes baked for 5 hours on a bed of beetroot carpaccio. A simple and delicious rustic meal that simply pays homage to the natural flavours of vegetables. A wonderful non-pretentious dish. Also, Cody’s favourite.
Peach cake with basil cashew ice-cream, berries, and aquafaba meringue.
We’re not sure why every gelateria in Italy isn’t serving basil ice-cream, but we were extremely happy to try this creamy vegan cashew based dessert. One would expect that a basil based ice cream would be overpowering, but it was quite subtle and well paired with berries and the peach cake. I’ll be trying my hand at basil ice-cream once we return home.
Our experience at Raphael Hotel was nothing short of extravagant.
From the kind and attentive staff, to the incredibly creative and delicious food, we were privileged to be invited to experience Raphael Hotel.
*You don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to enjoy a vegan meal on the terrace, but make sure to make reservations ahead of time*
*Our stay was courtesy of Raphael Hotel Roma but these opinions are our own*