I was very lucky to have dinner in this restaurant as it was officially closed for holidays in mid September. I had resigned myself to eating in the downstairs taverna (where, I'm sure, the food is also good, but much simpler), when the padrone suggested I could join a small private party (at a separate table, of course) if I was prepared to eat their set menu. I didn't hesitate to grasp this opportunity, as eating at Righi was one of the main reasons for coming to San Marino.
I had a first rate prosecco as an aperitif, accompanied by some beautiful bread and rolls ( the rosemary and coarse salt was particularly nice), The meal that followed was more than excellent. We started with some Cassoncini, delicious samosa like triangles filled with herbs and cheese. A small cup of tomato essence with liquorice and mint was a revelation, and a risotto with aged Fossa cheese and a red wine sauce was divine! Rabbit in a ginger sauce with pancetta and bean shoots was almost as good. The accompanying Pinot Noir from the Aosta valley was perfect. I finished with a surprisingly good lentil ice cream with fresh nectarines and a raspberry coulis, that went extremely well with a sweet dessert wine from the Veneto region. No need to mention that the espresso was excellent, too.
As the restaurant was officially closed, service was the maitre d' , Giacomo Paganelli, himself, and it was perfect! Polite,accomplished, friendly without being too familiar, with a lot of aplomb! Of course he speaks very good English, too. What an evening- a great meal after the initial disappointment of not being able to eat at Righi. I'd definitely love to come back sometime and try their a la carte or their tasting menus. And of course the location in one one of San Marino's oldest buildings in the square next to the palazzo communale is fabulous, as is the decor.