“Kitsch” does not begin to adequately describe the design choices that are being made inside Gino Al Parlamento. The restaurant is covered in charmingly bad hand-painted vines and faux exposed brick.
Luckily, even in a town as worried about la bella figura as Rome, food still counts more than decor choices when it comes to restaurant supremacy, and traditional Roman dishes are where Gino shines.
The restaurant takes its name from its vicinity to Rome’s parliamentary building. This means that Gino al Parlamento lies somewhere between the Pantheon and Piazza del Popolo just off Via del Corso (one of Rome’s main shopping streets).
For such a central location, the prices at Gino’s are beyond fair. Most of the first courses (like rigatoni alla gricia and carbonara) come in at under €10.
But my litmus test for any real Roman restaurant is always the cacio e pepe.
With fresh tonnarelli and plenty of extra cheese added on top, Trattoria Dal Cavalier Gino (the restaurant’s official but less used name) passes with flying colors.
The simple secondi (meat courses) are also delicious.
We dug into pollo alla romana – a Roman dish usually served at summer time that is made with chicken and peppers.
It is hard to find reliably good traditional food at fair prices in the center of Rome, which is one of the reasons I love Gino al Parlamento.
In addition to the fairly amusing interior design, the service is also pretty entertaining. The waiters love to banter, joking with dinners about their food choices and habits.
All of this makes the restaurant popular with locals (and politicians), as well as visitors hanging out in the centro storico, so booking is essential. In the evenings, there are two seatings at 8 pm and 10 pm.
Gino al Parlamento (Trattoria dal Cavalier Gino)
Vicolo Rosini, 4
Rome, Italy (Centro Storico)
Phone: +39 06 6873434
Open Monday – Saturday for lunch and dinner. Closed Sunday.