Rome: Tricolore

The pulse of Rome in an upgraded panini sandwich

When in Rome, you'll find that Italians take their panini pretty seriously. Messing too much with what is already a successful local street-food can be a dangerous game. However, the owners behind the hip Tricolore eatery prove that even a classic can be messed with and upgraded to meet contemporary tastes. And we’re loving it.

In a straightforward manner, the guys behind Tricolore describe their signature panini as gourmet — high-quality fast-food. It reflects the taste of the times and accommodates contemporary preparation techniques. This means that what you get served is far from traditional: daring fillings and flavour combinations that turn a modest Italian sandwich into a real treat. If you're willing to pay a bit more for added value and taste, Tricolore is a reliable choice.

Nevertheless, the Tricolore panini remains in many ways... Italian. They take pride in baking their own bread everyday and they treat their ingredients with respect by giving them the attention and the time they need to get to their optimal stage. This may sound a bit pretentious for an Italian sandwich eatery, but it will become pretty obvious that they mean serious business as soon as you bite in their rich fillings such as slow-cooked octopus or beef cheek. We were also tempted by their latterini panini, with deep fried silver fish and homemade tartar.

A nice detail is given by the preparation of their bread. Although they follow the traditional look of a panini, their buns match their fillings. Baked with classic semolina flour or mashed potatoes and potatoes peel, the bread gets just as much attention as the fillings. Just like a good pizza, dough and toppings must be in tune for delivering a successful symbiosis of flavour.

Besides Panini, Tricolore also specializes in gourmet burgers. Their meat versions rely on local products such as Cinta Senese lard, Piedmont sirloin and Zackel lamb paired with homemade mayo, ketchup and eggs. If meat is not your thing, their less traditional green matcha burger with king crab and sriracha mayo is a good choice. There's also a vegan version with trendy black sesame dough, organic tofu and ginger dressing.

What you're eating:
Their beef cheek and octopus slowly cooked at low temperature are a real treat.
What you're drinking:
On a hot day, their local Lurisia sodas with Amalfi lemons or oranges are a reliable choice. They claim to be prepared following the artisan slow-food tradition.
The extra mile for:
Upgrading an Italian classic to meet 21st century taste buds.
“I'll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.”
- Mae West -