Le Carre Francais: French flavor in Rome
By SCOTT WYLAND | Stars and Stripes | Published: December 7, 2018
Great Italian food can be found everywhere in Rome, but restaurants offering fine French cuisine are much rarer.
Le Carre Francais serves French-style meals morning, noon and night, making it even more uncommon. Breakfast is not a staple in Italy like it is in northern Europe.
The restaurant and espresso bar are a few blocks from the Tiber River in the city’s downtown area, and prices are slightly higher than average for Rome.
The menus come in three languages — French, Italian and English — and the servers speak all three.
Aside from regular menu items, Le Carre has specials du jour. One evening I ordered the salmon quiche special for 17 euros ($19). I also tried chicken supreme with mushrooms and a puree for 20 euros ($22.50). I chose a glass of French cabernet called Chateau La Bergere, which was just dry enough for this meal.
I posted my meal on social media, using the fancy-sounding French — a friend teased that it translated to chicken and mashed potatoes along with whipped eggs, salmon and cheese (the quiche).
True, but how the food was prepared elevated it. The chicken was marinated, slow-cooked and so tender you barely had to chew it. The puree was not too sweet or sour, with a hint of berry. The quiche was light, with a fine blend of salmon and cheese. A flavorful herbal seasoning made the mashed potatoes the best I can recall eating.
The restaurant also has plenty to offer meat eaters, seafood lovers and vegetarians.
For example, there’s salt cod brandade for 17 euros, a minced sirloin steak called Carre’s Tartare for 20 euros and the gardener’s pan (19 euros) that has potatoes, beans, tomatoes and julienned zucchini.
The restaurant staff is helpful and friendly, except for one male barista who does his best to imitate a brusque Parisian. But that just adds to Le Carre’s ambiance.
Address: Via Vittoria Colonna 3, Rome, Italy
Hours: 7 a.m.–10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8 a.m.–11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 8 a.m.–10:30 p.m. Sunday
Parking: Available on the street.
Phone: +39 066476 0625
Website: www.cfr-international.fr/menu/ English menu option available on the website.