Ad Hoc (Rome)

Location: Rome, Italty
Address: Via di Ripetta, 43
Type of Meal: Dinner

 Interior of Ad Hoc (1)

Due to the restaurant’s popularity on TripAdvisor, I suggest you make reservations as we heard many people being turned away as we visited that night. Ad Hoc is a quaint restaurant filled with bottles and crates of wine on every wall which is befitting of an Italian restaurant - if you're a wine connoisseur I'm sure you'll love it!

We were started off with a complimentary amuse bouche and basket of assorted bread. The amuse bouche consisted of bread topped with smoked salmon and cream cheese mixture, it tasted much like what you’d receive on finger food platters.  I liked the bread basket more; there were so many small bites to try flavoured with paprika, olives, walnut, pesto or nothing at all. The best ones were sticks of pesto bread with a crispy and salty top and bottom with a fluffy centre.

Bread basket (1)
My warning is do not fill up on bread as the portions are big!

When I saw they had pumpkin blossoms as an appetizer I was excited – I love these delicate flowers that are wonderfully crispy and light when done right.  Ad hoc’s version of the Pumpkin Blossoms (14.90€) were fried and then stuffed with three ricotta cheese fillings - black truffle, asparagus and honey mushrooms.  As you can already see in the picture of the dish below, the blossoms were anything but light and crispy.  The blossoms were enormous and overly battered and stuffed.  The ricotta fillings were bland, the only one which had even a hint of flavour was the black truffle.  All the delicateness of what could have been a crispy blossom was gone. Instead, I felt I was eating an unseasoned pumpkin burrito.

Pumpkin blossoms (1)

My husband had the Tasting of Salami (14.90€) which consisted of generous portions of salami done four ways – whole cured (?), spicy, blood (?), and the typical fashion. Accompanying the salami were two crostinis topped with a thin slices of melted fat.  Personally, I’m not a fan of salami as the fattiness tends to be over powering but, the spicy and whole cured ones were good.  I would have liked the spicy one to incorporate more heat.  My husband, a cured meat lover, really enjoyed the dish.

 Tasting of salami (1)

My main, not pictured as unfortunately it’s a seasonal dish, was gnocchi with prawns and black truffle.  This dish redeemed the restaurant as the gnocchi was cooked perfectly (not too soft with a hint of chewiness) and well-seasoned with the black truffle butter sauce.  It’s really hard to go wrong when you’re mixing butter and truffles!  The prawns were cooked well; the prawns were a good size, fresh and had a hint of sweetness. The gnocchi was topped with a generous helping of freshly shaved black truffle which added to its decadence.

My husband's main of sea bass (24.00€) was beautifully presented with two fare sized portions of sea bass were wrapped with zucchini ribbons. The honey mushrooms accompanying the dish were delights – tasting like straw mushrooms with hint of sweetness and complimented the light sea bass fittingly. The dish also came with average mashed potatoes which by itself were bland but with the honey mushrooms were great.

 Sea bass (1)

We were too full for dessert but they presented us with some petite fours – licorice candy and soft almond, orange and gingerbread cookies. The gingerbread cookie topped with a drizzle of chocolate was the highlight, in my opinion.

The service was good, but they could have been more attentive with the wine.  Since the wine was not left at the table on ice, there were times our glass was empty and we wouldn’t be served more until the following course. The bill took a long time to arrive, but this could have been due to us receiving a 10% discount for booking online (a pleasant surprise I didn’t know about).

The bill totaled 114€ with a bottle of wine and still water after receiving the discount, but before service charges.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

Gastro World's Grading System
  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!
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Photo Sources:

  1. All pictures - Trip Advisor (