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Francis Bown, Bown's Best

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See below for the latest February 2018 Reviews

La Pergola & Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Rome, Italy | Bown's Best


I am always thrilled to dine at La Pergola in Rome. For there I find one of the world’s greatest chefs, a restaurant manager constantly seeking perfection and a sommelier who presides over a cellar of surpassing magnificence. To sit and eat some of the finest food on the planet, surrounded by silver-gilt side plates originally made for George IV and with wine being poured into the very best Riedel glasses, is one of my deepest joys. I am therefore proud to present to you pictures of the magnificent gentlemen who have made this restaurant a place which everyone who cares about great gastronomic experiences longs to visit and re-visit. Chief among them, of course, is The Master himself – the acclaimed Chef Heinz Beck. Then, seen with your correspondent, are the Restaurant Manager, Simoni Pinoli, and the Sommelier Marco Reitano (who is on the right of the picture). Finally, also with me, is the remarkable Umberto Giraudo, Knight of the Italian Republic, who used to be the Restaurant Manager and is now the hotel’s Guest Relations Manager.

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Ristorante Pipero Roma, Rome, Italy | Bown's Best


The Ristorante Pipero is a haven of discreet sophistication in the heart of Rome. Its eponymous owner is the affable Alessandro Pipero – seen in the picture between the Chef, Luciano Monosilio, and the Maitre d’, Achille Sardiello – who clearly knows what it takes to run a fine restaurant. His establishment on the corso Vittorio Emanuele has a Michelin star. Such recognition is thoroughly deserved. Complex dishes which appeal both to the eye and to the palate are served with smooth efficiency in an atmosphere of quiet dignity and calm.

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Hotel Palazzo Manfredi, Rome, Italy | Bown's Best


A Relais & Chateaux property

The Colosseum in Rome is one of the most impressive buildings ever constructed. To stay in a 17th Century palazzo, built upon the site of the Roman gladiators’ barracks and looking directly upon this antique masterpiece, was a temptation I could not resist. The Hotel Palazzo Manfredi has just 13 rooms and 2 suites, together with a very highly regarded restaurant called Aroma. It is located on the side of the Colosseum away from most of the tourist activity – which is an advantage, given the huge number which daily arrives to visit the monument. Nevertheless, this is, of course, still a busy part of town. 

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Francis Bown 2003
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