For a country that literally borders France, Italy does bread terribly.
It is as though this country focused all of its collective passion for carbs on pasta and forgot about bread entirely.
But even the perfect pizza can only get you so far, so I had to seek out Rome’s newish French bakery Le Levain.
Le Levain’s French trained Giuseppe Solfrizzi has packed the bakery with sweets and savories. Croissants, croque monsieurs, pain au chocolate…
I did not stay for lunch but the mix of seasonal and classic offerings looked fantastic.
Le Levain could also be a good choice for a cozy aperitivo. They have a selection of all natural wines and will slice up a croissant sandwich for you.
However, I had baked goods on my mind so I ordered a baguette (€1.60) and a few macarons (€1.20 each) and skeedattled.
As soon as I got outside and ripped the bag open, I knew that I had found it.
The Holy Grail.
Good bread in Rome.
I arrived triumphantly home to an equally-bread-loving and very excited Irish husband who had already called me en route to ensure the endeavor had been successful.
We had one of those silent marital standoffs, where you try not to care who really has the bigger half, but you definitely know the other person got more baguette and though you love them, you also cannot speak to them right now.
Instead of talking, we sliced the baguette and drizzled it with olive oil (new, naturally) and coarse sea salt.
It was delicious. We ate it all and momentarily banished any thoughts of a real dinner.
The only thing, I promised myself, is that I would still make dinner at some point.
I definitely would not eat the macarons for dinner.
I 100% ate those macarons for dinner.
I 0% regret it.
Via Luigi Santini, 22-23,
00153 Roma, Italy
Open: 8:00-20:30 Tuesday-Sunday.