Straight up: there are not many photos in this post.
You see, I was having such a good time chatting away to Arlene, that I didn’t really feel like getting my camera out.
Zuma pretty much makes you feel right at home, too. And I don’t take too many photos at home.
A chill, welcoming feel was not exactly what I was anticipating at Fendi’s very own bar and lounge in the center of Rome.
I expected nice, but stuffy.
But Zuma is simply well done.
The decor is minimal but not overly sleek and modern, with accents that reference the Japanese inspiration for the restaurant, without being tacky.
I have yet to try Zuma’s restaurant. The contemporary Japanese eatery which opened in 2016 still has a reservation waiting list – and I am rarely able to plan that far ahead.
But the bar and lounge? No reservations needed.
Arlene knows exactly what is up and ordered for us – amazingly crisped calamari and spicy edamame to nibble on while we sipped wine.
The bar is known for their inventive cocktails, but also has beer and wine.
I am cocktail-ed out for the time being, but will head back soon to check out the rumored amazing terrace in the warmer weather.
It is rare to find such a refined bar in the center of Rome that doesn’t try to repel you with its snooty exclusivity.
Somehow Fendi (of all places!) has managed to do it seamlessly.
Two glasses of wine each (what? I said we had a good time catching up), the calamari and the edamame came to less that €25 each. While not a budget option, Zuma’s bar is also not a bank breaker, and the happy medium is exactly what you need sometimes.
The lounge is located on the upper levels of Palazzo Fendi. When you walk in, tell the doorman you are going to the bar, and he will point you to the elevator. If you want a table without trouble, go earlier in the evening.
Via della Fontanella di Borghese, 48
00186, Roma (Centro Storico)
Sunday to Thursday: 6 pm to 1 am
Friday and Saturday: 6 pm to 2 am