SPAZIO NIKO ROMITO is a culinary project that aims to convey haute cuisine expertise and insight beyond the confines of Reale, and is based on a contemporary revisitation of classic Italian fare. Everything about SPAZIO – the kitchen, the interior design and the convivial experience – is pure Italian style.
SPAZIO NIKO ROMITO was launched in 2013, initially as a spinoff of the Niko Romito Academy, my professional cooking school and restaurant/workshop, where graduates put teachings into practice both in the kitchen and the dining room. It was not long, however, before SPAZIO took on its own identity, independent of existing formulas: since the Roman and Milanese venues opened their doors, SPAZIO has effectively become a contemporary urban restaurant that showcases our culinary style and hospitality. If our concepts and techniques appear to be heightened and intensified – almost abstract – in their Reale context, SPAZIO translates them into a more accessible language for the new medium.
The nature of the SPAZIO NIKO ROMITO project has always been, ever since its inception, one of bending genres and blending with other projects within the Group: for this reason, it has come to integrate the results of my research, inaugurating such new formats as PANE and Bomba. In Rome, SPAZIO takes on a multifunctional identity flanking the classic one of restaurant, and comprising breakfast place, cocktail lounge, deli and takeout bakery.
2019 sees further evolution of the SPAZIO concept, which becomes two distinct formats: SPAZIO NIKO ROMITO Ristorante and SPAZIO NIKO ROMITO Bar e Cucina. Both bear my name because they represent me across the board: from dishware to service, materials and furnishings, every detail spells constant research and the pursuit of quality, simplicity and beauty. I am committed to creating a truly new and unique experience where customers’ well-being is the ultimate goal. After all, over and beyond the actual food, what people cannot forget is how a restaurant makes them feel.
My Executive Chef for SPAZIO NIKO ROMITO is Gaia Giordano, who’s been with me from day one and now presides over the SPAZIO kitchen.
From 2013 to date, SPAZIO has represented a new way of being restaurateurs in Italy. There is one word I like to use in defining our work, and that is “evolution”. I like to think of cooking as an open field, a potentially infinite realm of possibility that changes with changing realities. My dream for the SPAZIO project is to continue to develop ideas that were first experimented at the Reale restaurant, transferring them into new contexts and creating new experiences.
SPAZIO NIKO ROMITO RISTORANTE
SPAZIO NIKO ROMITO RISTORANTE is a contemporary Italian restaurant. Here, creative energy and ideas circulate and form the lifeblood of the entire system: the culinary compositions conceived in the workshop, at REALE, are fine-tuned in the SPAZIO kitchen.
SPAZIO supplies a fresh, innovative approach to contemporary Italian cuisine: its culinary identity is aligned with my philosophy yet wholly original, with special focus on ingredients and lightness in preparation. Lightness, to me, is preserving the individual ingredients’ distinctive aromas and nutritional properties as pristine and featherlight as possible; and above all, enhancing the quality and in-depth perception of flavor. Lightness and flavor are therefore the overarching theme in any dish, be it pasta or meat and fish, where we have both Italian classics – the ones we’ll never grow tired of –, such as “Cappelletti di scampi, brodo di crostacei e dragoncello”, and innovative recipes from unexpected combinations of familiar ingredients – the ones that take our palate by surprise, like “Radicchio tardivo e mandorla“.
SPAZIO NIKO ROMITO is a new culinary concept, rooted in haute cuisine and my experience with Reale, and constantly evolving around what I consider our key tenets and strengths: quality, research and innovation.
SPAZIO NIKO ROMITO RISTORANTE has its own style in the kitchen: the goal is getting ingredients to express their essence and energy, focusing on clarity and beauty of details. The result is fare that is both inspirational and familiar. By the same token, SPAZIO has a distinctive style in interior design: we aim to promote a new awareness of materials, objects, furniture and craftsmanship as a resource in the contemporary context. Thus, SPAZIO has a well-defined personality both in terms of menu and decor. Its elegance is an exact formula that consists in a careful balance of elements: simple, essential mise en place, warm, welcoming ambience and attentive service. The wine list of 250 labels is designed to match the freshness and lightness of SPAZIO cuisine, and all wines are characterized by appealing, fresh acidity and forward charm.
SPAZIO NIKO ROMITO RISTORANTE speaks of how we view Italy’s great culinary heritage: not as a memory bank of past glories but as the lifeblood of contemporary cuisine, where innovation hones and heightens a proudly Italian heritage.
SPAZIO BAR E CUCINA
SPAZIO NIKO ROMITO BAR E CUCINA is an Italian-style bar equipped with a restaurant-scale kitchen.
It incarnates my concept of the great Italian tradition in hospitality, which is at its simplest, most informal and relaxed in cafés all’italiana. SPAZIO NIKO ROMITO BAR E CUCINA is a blend of Italian café, osteria serving home-cooked food, tea room, deli and cocktail lounge, showcasing a range of products and experiences that are emblematic of my research and vision. It is just as I imagined it: laid-back and flexible; somewhere you can wander into at any time of day, set up a business lunch or aperitif or snack, do your gourmet grocery shopping and come back to for a soirée with friends.
Choice of fare is ample, and quality and simplicity are paramount. Flanking some of my most popular items – BOMBA in its sweet and savory versions, Fried Chicken, PANE (our signature bread) and sliced bread with a variety of condiments – is an array of vegetable dishes, soups and salads, as well as Abruzzi cheese and cold cuts. On the restaurant front, the menu revisits traditional Italian dishes with an eye on precision and lightness and a fresh, contemporary feel.
There is the homelike conviviality of shared antipasto, reminiscent of trattorias in the olden days. This is followed by a tour of Italy through its flavors, aromas and craftsmanship, from the Alps to the sea – from bollito meatballs to marinated anchovies, creamed codfish to Russian potato salad (aka Olivier salad), not forgetting tramezzini sandwiches from soft white bread, focaccia, sliced bread with an assortment of condiments directly from the counter, and a wide range of drinks. The SPAZIO NIKO ROMITO Bar e Cucina aperitif is an opportunity to meet with friends and a prelude to the evening, paired with original cocktails that have been expressly designed to showcase boutique producers.
We have carefully selected dishware and furnishings to illustrate the history of Italian craftsmanship and design, while providing a familiar ambience that brings to mind finely appointed home decors and features contemporary materials, collectibles and iconic pieces in a subtle mix of edgy and soft.
SPAZIO NIKO ROMITO BAR E CUCINA is also a deli where you can purchase bakery products freshly made at the PANE (“bread”) workshop in Castel di Sangro; as well as a takeout service for subs, tramezzini sandwiches, toasts, Bomba, buns and slices of sweet bread to go.
SPAZIO NIKO ROMITO BAR E CUCINA is the home of Italian-style hospitality, which takes on many forms throughout the day; an original locale that reflects the Zeitgeist and responds to guests’ needs – somewhere they can be free to suit their own fancy or discover something new and delicious.