There’s a famous Roman pasta dish called cacio e pepe. It’s just Pecorino Romano, black pepper and sometimes butter – a simple, easy delight. And it’s a highlight of the menu at Marta, which specialises in Roman cuisine. Owner Flavio Carnevale (who also runs Popolo) uses pepper from North Queensland, Pepe Saya butter, DOP Pecorino and pasta made in house.
For something classic try the house-baked bread; pinza (a flatbread-like pizza made with a mixed-grain dough imported from Italy); a broad-bean, pea and zucchini-flower risotto; or a simple roast chicken (corn fed and juicy) with capsicum and a tomato salsa.
The drinks list has a similar balance. Many of the wines are from Lazio (the region Rome is in). And innovative biodynamic producers share the page with more classic bottles.
The cocktail list mixes the expected Italian range (Aperol spritz, Negronis etc.) with some fun tweaks, such as the Fatto a Amano done with a custom-made vermouth, Grand Marnier and aranciata (an Italian orange-based soft drink).
Although the space has a dark colour palette it’s well-lit, open-air and can provide different experiences; regular tables are complemented by a good amount of bar seating and outdoor dining.
A recipe from Marta is featured in The Broadsheet Italian Cookbook. Buy your copy at shop.broadsheet.com.au.