The New Chef to Watch Now at Italy's Park Hotel Villa Grazioli

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Head chef Fabio Lai honed his talent at such one and two Michelin-starred venues as Grand Hotel Palazzo Sasso and Cracco-Peck Restaurant. Although young, he possesses an exceptional passion and talent for fine dining and is definitely the new chef to watch now at Park Hotel Villa Grazioli - Relais Chateaux.

A masterpiece of 16th century architecture, the Park Hotel Villa Grazioli sits 270 meters above sea level in the hills of Grottaferrata high above Rome. In addition to its luxury accommodations and beautifully preserved frescoes, the hotel is famous for its magnificent rooftop terrace, the ultimate spot from which to enjoy spectacular views of the Eternal City, as well as superb cuisine at the hotel's Acquaviva restaurant.

Debra Levinson, Editor-in-Chief of Italy Luxury - Family Hotels & Resorts ( guidebooks, searches for Italy's best accommodations, food, and wine resulting in many meals at eminent ristorantes and trattorias, including those distinguished as Michelin-starred. She states, "Acquaviva is Roman cuisine elevated to a fine art."

Envision an al fresco candlelit dinner on a warm summer evening, the table set with exquisite china, crystal, and silverware, the service attentive yet discreet. The fruity bouquet of a glass of Prosecco prepares the palate for the first course - a delightful bowl of melon soup perfumed with Grand Marnier and complemented with crispy diced ham and delicately roasted king prawns.

Further down the terrace, a wedding party arrives to celebrate the joining of a young couple. As the bride and groom pledge their love, a fragrant serving of Spaghetti alla chitarra with squid and cougettes wrapped in swordfish Carpaccio woos the senses. Surely, there is no more perfect a spot to celebrate a union or to savor a fine meal than here under nature's canopy of stars while the lights of Rome twinkle like scattered jewels below.

Next, raise a glass of Grottaferrata's celebrated Castel de Paolis' red Campovecchio to salute both the newly wedded couple and next course, a mille-feuille of veal filet layered with fresh grilled vegetables and that oh-so-special white Colonnata bacon. The evening ends with a savory nest of kataifi dough topped with banana cream and wild berries and a glass of the area's famous dessert wine, Cannellino, along with select chocolates. Finally, bid a silent buona sera to the wedding party and retire to the quiet comfort of Villa Grazioli's rooms, satisfied not only with a meal to remember, but with the knowledge that here in this stylish retreat high above Rome's urban hustle and bustle, romance is always on the menu.


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Debra Levinson

Debra Levinson
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