I may have found my all time favorite celiac safe restaurant…Traveling to Rome and have celiac? I cannot recommend La Soffitta Renovatio enough! This restaurant was originally recommended to me by Gluten Free Suitcase (@theglutenfreesuitcase) on Instagram and I am eternally grateful for her suggestion. THANK YOU!
To preface this review, I visited this restaurant 3 times in the short 7 days I was there. Truthfully, I would have visited even more if it was closer to the apartment and if I didn’t feel guilty about not trying other places….instead, I fantasized about this restaurant and its safe food wherever I went. Shout out to my mom for being so willing to eat at the same place multiple times!
Now..before I get into the food..let’s talk about the safety of this place for those with celiac. In Italy, there is AiC (Italian Celiac Association), which is a group that has very strict standards for gluten free. To be recognized by AiC, you must trained and monitored in order to ensure safe gluten free meals. Italians take celiac seriously! I am happy to say that Soffitta Renovatio is one of the Roman restaurants with this certification! They have a separate gluten free kitchen–yay for not having flour flying around. Yes, separate kitchens & knowledgable staff….the perfect combination to reduce any risk of cross contamination or mix ups!
Location: Piazza del Risorgimento, 46/a, RIGHT by the Vatican! If you are visiting this beautiful museum and its churches, you must stop here for a bite to eat. Be careful looking for it as it is a bit hidden. You enter from street level and go down a short flight of stairs.
Price: On the cheaper side/midrange considering the large portions. 🙂
Now, where do I begin? I was warmly greeted by Ms Maria, the most lovely woman I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She gleefully floats around her restaurant proudly,
checking on each and every customer. She made my experience so special. The wait staff was phenomenal and attentive. Our waiter, Eddy, was hilarious and kept making jokes throughout the lunch.
The entire menu could be made gluten free. I kid you not. SO MANY OPTIONS. All gluten free dishes were marked with flags from various countries so it was super easy to tell.
Interestingly, I was seated next to a young woman who was an American celiac too! She raved about the ravioli and although I already had my heart set on the calzone, I couldn’t say no to the homemade ravioli….so…..I ordered both! Because calories don’t count on vacation, right? No, they don’t. I’m 100% sure of that.
I ATE BOTH FULL ENTREES. Maybe a mistake because I felt like I ate my weight in food–the portions are huge..BUT I REGRET NOTHING! The ravioli reminded me of the homemade pasta that my Italian grandmother made for me growing up. The texture was not mushy at all and the flavor of the sauce was fantastic.
As for the calzone, YES I FINALLY FOUND A GLUTEN FREE ONE THAT I LOVE! The bread wasn’t thin or crunchy. It was soft and fluffy–just like the glutenous ones I enjoyed growing up. I ordered mine with proscuitto (duh, when in Rome!) and cheese. The portion was huge and the toppings filled the calzone to the brim. PS, when I went back to La Soffitta, I ordered this every single time. I still dream of these calzones.
I may have just said that I ate two entrees…but I couldn’t help but order a dessert…A GLUTEN FREE HOMEMADE CANNOLI! YES THEY EXIST! YES THEY ARE INCREDIBLE! The main chef was off that first day I went but Maria made me one herself. Maria went out of her way to make sure I could enjoy my first cannoli ever. She even added decorations to make it pretty. Every time I came in afterwards, she made me one too! My heart was bursting with joy from the kindness she showed me and the happiness she shared with me, the way too overly excited American celiac girl.
After dessert, knowing it was my first time in Italy, Maria brought me out delicious
GLUTEN FREE biscotti (my first ever!!) and limoncello. I had to fight my mom for the biscotti—but don’t worry, she was very generous and sent us home with even more!
Would I return? YES YES YES YES! If I ever get the opportunity to go back to Rome, I would come here every single day. I loved having the options. I loved having SAFE options. I loved not feeling like an outcast as a celiac having to order gluten free. This place made me feel like home. I actually teared up saying goodbye to Maria and the staff who got to know my mom and I during our long meals there.
If Maria and the staff (especially our waiter, Eddy!!!) at la Soffitta Renovatio read this, I want to thank you for giving me an incredible taste of Italy three times in the week I visited. Thank you for caring about celiac and offering such amazing safe gluten free food. I promise to visit every time I am in Rome.
**Please note that this review solely reflects my own honest opinion. I was neither paid nor compensated for my visit here. Also, kitchen protocols and menus can change at any time. Make sure to speak to the staff at any restaurant before eating to make sure that they can accommodate your dietary restriction.**