Ambiance - average, not at all in the range that the prices would suggest.
Service - very good, neither better nor worse than comparable restaurants.
Food - outstanding. We live in San Francisco (which has more than its share of fine restaurants), travel extensively, and are good cooks ourselves. As we walked away from La Rosetta last night we agreed it was the best seafood meal we have ever had.
My wife and I are spending the Christmas week in Rome with our children (20 & 17). I was looking for a restaurant to enjoy the traditional feast of the seven fishes on Christmas Eve, and came across La Rosetta. I was a bit put off by the requirement of paying a 400 euro deposit, but understand that some people are flakes. The place is small and was full, so a no-show would have mattered. The approach is inauspicious: a large neon sign reads "La Rosetta Trattoria." This place is as much a trattoria as St. Peter's is a country chapel.
I must admit that I only glanced at the menu, choosing instead to order the set menu and focus on my family. Appetizers appeared to be in the 20 euro range, pastas 40-60, and mains 50-70+. The set menu was 150 euros. Ordering that was absolutely the right call. We wanted 7 fishes, we got at least 22. The pacing was relaxed but not at all slow - 3 1/2 hours in total, with each delicious course following with perfect timing.
The wine list was extensive, and quite reasonably priced. The sommelier was not so impressive. He suggested one bottle as being perfect for the tasting menu. That seemed silly to me given the number and variety of courses expected, so I asked if he could recommend a less expensive bottle. He stumbled on that so I made some suggestions, which he simply validated. The bottles I selected were excellent (and less than half the cost of his recommendation), but I do have the sense that one could choose blind and get a decent pour.
The bill came in at 700 euros. As I often do when I don't expect to need cash I brought only my credit card and 20 euros. There was no facility to leave a tip on the credit card, so unfortunately I had to leave without one, but may stop back when they reopen after Christmas.
In sum, La Rosetta is expensive to be sure, but the extraordinary seafood justified the price.
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