Freshly re-opened after an exhaustive 18-month, roof to basement renovation, the iconic Hotel Eden has regained its crown as Rome’s best luxury hotel. All the food at the hotel is overseen by executive chef Fabio Ciervo. That includes two restaurants, the casual Il Giardino and the fine dining La Terrazza, food at the La Liberia bar, room service and the banquets, weddings and meetings they do.
Chef Ciervo is unique in that he comes to the world of fine dining from the world of sports as a competitive athlete. He continues to have an athlete’s focus on the quality and nutritional value of food, which now syncs with current food trends. His dedication to the science of food and nutrition led him to get his Master’s Degree in Nutrition during the hotel’s closure.
Chef Ciervo’s cooking and the hotel’s overall focus on luxury can be summed up in five words: innovation, well being, ingredients, flavor and art. It’s always wonderful to me to hear a chef speak about the artistic component to food. There are two restaurants at the Hotel Eden, Il Giardino (“the garden”) is the more casual of the two, with La Terrazza (“the terrace”) being a more fine dining experience. They share the same kitchen and the menus are similar. The food is a mix of classic Roman recipes from the Lazio region (the region including and around Rome) and Campania, where the chef grew up. Campania is the region in Southern Italy which includes Naples.
My foodie afternoon at the Hotel Eden started with a delicious lunch at Il Giardino. I loved the food, which was enhanced by the postcard-like views across Rome all the way to Vatican City. I went traditional and had the Margherita pizza and a Caesar salad, which were both amazing. The pizza is gluten-free, although you would never know it. Il Giardino has walls of plants and beautiful views of the Eternal City. There is a large outdoor terrace and it was wonderful to sit in the afternoon sunshine.
After lunch, I headed inside to meet up with Chef Ciervo, who gave me a tour of the new kitchen, redesigned and updated during the renovation. Ciervo designed the new kitchen himself, old-school style using hand-done drawings. Function is king here and everything is within arm’s reach from where the cooks and chefs stand. There are areas for each of the restaurants, a pastry area, prep areas and more in the expansive space. Unique to most hotel kitchens, there are sweeping horizontal windows offering beautiful views of Rome (the restaurants on the hotel’s roof level).
After my tour, I had a chance to chat with the chef about his philosophy around cooking and creating a menu for an international clientele used to the best.