On the 6th floor of the Hassler Hotel sits Imago, a Michelin Star restaurant that offers not only exquisite service, but also one of the best views of Rome. I find reviewing Michelin Star restaurants extremely difficult because it’s almost as if you’re getting dinner with a side of an art show. All of the dishes are truly pieces of art, you can tell that such detail is put into every element. It’s nothing like eating a normal 5 star restaurant because everything is elevated beyond belief, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t (in my opinion). In the case of Imago, I felt the dishes were too over the top.
As with every Michelin Star restaurant, once you order there are a few amuse-bouche that are brought to the table. There were 3 on this evening, plus a serving of bread. My partner dove into the first 2 before I was even able to attempt a photo! So we can blame him for that. One of them was what I would describe as a piece of fried cheese heaven, imagine warm silky cheese that is breaded and deep fried… this was 10x better. The other was a little pocket with ox tail, also very yummy.
The third dish was a puréed parsnip and cauliflower soup. I’m a huge fan of soups, and this soup was easily the best I’ve ever had. It was smoother than a glass of water, I’m not kidding! The crumble on the side of the dish was the only texture in the dish. I could have eaten 10 more portions of that soup. YUM!!
Now onto the dishes we ordered! For my appetizer I had the Buffalo Mozzarella, Cabbage and Pomegranate. It was beautifully presented, the colours really catch your eye. The buffalo mozzarella must have been hand made in house because it was unreal. That cheese ruined me for all other cheeses now. Buffalo mozzarella we get in Canada is nothing compared to this! It melted in your mouth, just incredible! The flavour combinations worked well, as did the textures.
For the pasta dish, I ordered the Risotto with Red Radicchio and Robiola Cheese. Again, this dish was plated well and the colour of the radicchio really came through. First bite was great, the risotto was cooked perfectly. Every bite after that became too much for me. I love radicchio, but it overpowered the rest of the dish and made it extremely bitter. If they made the portion smaller and served it with something else I think it would have been more enjoyable. I couldn’t finish this dish.
My partners pasta dish was the Fettuccine with a Quail Ragout, Pecorino Cheese and Caviar. If you want to feel like a million bucks then this dish is what you should order. As soon as it was placed on the table, my partner was taken with it. I mean, how often do you get to eat gold? He said it was one of the best pasta dishes he’s ever had, and that I had to put a picture of it on the blog, so here it is!
My main course I had the Grilled Pigeon of Mango and Lentils. I had never had pigeon before, but figured since they were out of the pork option I would risk it. I really wish I didn’t. First off, I had no idea that pigeon needs to be cooked very little so it was almost completely raw. I gave it a try and gagged. It was slimy, and had a gelatin texture. I had another small piece and then gave up. The server never came back to check in once the main dishes were dropped off, so they weren’t aware that I was not enjoying my meal until it was too late. I understand that this is how they like to prepare it, but a little warning would have been nice considering I told our server I’ve never had pigeon before. They were extremely apologetic and did offer to have something else made for me, but at that point I was turned off from their main dishes.
For dessert we ordered the Selection of Cheeses and Strawberry Sorbet. The cheese plate would have been enough for 4 people, but they had a great selection. The sorbet was really yummy, I loved the crumble they put underneath it.
Imago finishes your meal with a 3 tiered dessert experience. I have no idea what they were, but I do know they were all good! The bottom layer had dry ice in it so it added an elevated sensation for your eyes.
As I said in the beginning, the service at Imago was one of a kind, as were the wine selections. I think they have done a fantastic job at making Imago be more than simply a place to eat. It was one of the most creative places I’ve eaten. That being said, it was extraordinarily expensive. Is the cost worth the meal? I honestly don’t know. Maybe if I actually had a main course I would be more inclined to think it is. It is fine dining to the extreme. If I was rating based on my experience with their food, I would only give a 3/5 stars, but I’m going to rate Imago 4/5 stars overall.
Until next time,