La Moderna

Laine Doss
From the get-go, La Moderna has offered a different kind of Italian -- not pizza or pasta, but the florally, astringent cocktails becoming increasingly popular in Rome. Smartly mixed libations hide behind kitschy names like Thelma & Louise and Dr. Strangelove. The former blends hibiscus-infused Aperol with smoky Brugal rum, fresh strawberries, coconut soda water, and just the right amount of prosecco to brighten up what would otherwise be an overly assertive tumbler. The latter is a perfect hot-weather drink, with eucalyptus, St-Germain's perfume, and absinthe's anise to enliven Martin Miller's gin. They pair perfectly with a panzanella salad featuring more than a half-dozen plump shrimp tangled among frisella bread — twice-baked loaves from Naples that are soaked in vinegar and tossed with tomato and celery curls. The foot-wide Neapolitan pies can also hold their own. Dough is proofed for 70 hours, kneaded on a slab of Carrara marble, and plunged into a 900-degree Stefano Ferrara brick oven. One pie is layered with a gossamer tissue of San Daniele prosciutto that salts and slightly sweetens a deeply tangy, acidic tomato sauce that also includes streaks of creamy buffalo mozzarella.Read our full review.