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BEST PLACES TO EAT IN SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE

ANTIGUA TRATTORIA ROMANA

Authentic Roman Cuisine In El Codo

Antigua Trattoria Romana | D Best Places To Eat In San Miguel de Allende | Article and photographs by Onyx and Alexa

Posted: December 2, 2017

Article & Photographs by Siblings

Dear Legend,

A restaurant's success depends on the vision of its owner and those who help him execute it.

The Antigua Trattoria Romana was founded in 1989, and it has had three owners — Andrea, Luciano, and Fernando, who has run the business the past 10 years.

Fernando Hernández' story is one of hard work, perseverance, passion for Italian cuisine, and a vision of great customer service.

"The Antigua Trattoria Romana, is my passion, my life, and my death."
— Fernando Hernández, owner.

Tiramisu and vegetarian pizza at the Antigua Trattoria Romana | Onyx And Alexa Best Places to Eat in San Miguel de Allende

Pictured above: Tiramisu and vegetarian pizza

What's in a name? Antigua Trattoria Romana | D Best Places To Eat in San Miguel de Allende | Onyx and Alexa
Owner's Experience | Antigua Trattoria Romana | D Best Places To Eat in San Miguel de Allende | Onyx and Alexa
High level of customer service | Antigua Trattoria Romana | D Best Places To Eat in San Miguel de Allende | Onyx and Alexa
Top Picks | Antigua Trattoria Romana | D Best Places To Eat in San Miguel de Allende | Onyx and Alexa
Plan your visit to the Antigua Trattoria Romana | D Best Places To Eat in San Miguel de Allende | Onyx and Alexa
What will be next?

Trattorias are popular restaurants in Italy, the kinds of places that are packed with people enjoying good conversation and a warm atmosphere. Such is Hernández' vision for the Antigua Trattoria Romana, with one difference — music.

Music is an inherent part of Mexican culture. When musicians and bands started showing up at the trattoria's door, wanting to play tunes inside, it was natural to let them in. Bands of musicians often line up in the street, taking turns to entertain diners.

At the Antigua Trattoria Romana, which seats 34, you can order from 40 different dishes. Choose from salads, pizza, pastas, seafood, fish, meats and poultry.

— D BEST OF SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE —
BY ONYX AND ALEXA

EXPERIENCE

Antigua Trattoria Romana, San Miguel de Allende | Onyx and Alexa Best Places to Eat in San Miguel de Allende

Pictured above: Fernando Hernández, owner of the Antigua Trattoria Romana.

After 20 years' experience working in an Italian restaurant, and almost another two decades running his own Italian restaurants, he has adopted some aspects of an Italian way of life. Even his manner of speaking has a certain Italian flair.

Born in San Luis Potosí, a city two hours north of San Miguel de Allende, Hernández moved to the U.S. in 1986. He worked for 20 years at the acclaimed Italian restaurant Topo Gigio, in downtown Chicago.

RUBBING SHOULDERS WITH THE STARS

Hernández learned from the owner and founder Lillo Teodosi, who came from Italy to La America, as some Italians call the U.S. (The restaurant is named for an Italian character, Topo Gigio, nicknamed the Italian Mickey Mouse. Teodosi loved the character so much that he named the restaurant after it.)

Topo Gigio was in a privileged location, near the Second City Theater in the heart of Chicago. Hernández worked in the kitchen, the floor, as Maître D', and even served drinks at the bar. He got to rub shoulders with the stars, as film productions would bring them to Topo Gigio.

Hernández got to serve the likes of Madonna and Geena Davis (while they filmed "A League of Their Own"), Tommy Lee Jones (while he filmed "The Fugitive"), Kurt Russell and Robert De Niro (while they filmed the Ron Howard film "Backdraft"), Bruce Springsteen, Chris Farley, and more.

His favorite client was Don Ameche, who came in while he was filming "Folks!" with Tom Selleck. "He would come during lunch and share a lot of anecdotes; he was very jovial," Hernández says with a grin on his face.

— D BEST OF SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE —
BY ONYX AND ALEXA



Antigua Trattoria Romana | Onyx and Alexa Best Places to Eat in San Miguel de Allende

From left to right: Roberto Reséndiz, Manager | Fernando Hernández, Owner

BEGINNING A DREAM BY THE SEA

About 18 years ago, Hernández decided to open a restaurant of his own. He wanted to open a restaurant in San Miguel de Allende, but the rent was expensive and the contracts too long.

He saw an opportunity to go to Zihuatanejo, where he opened Il Mare in 2001, a wonderful Italian restaurant with an exquisite view of the sea.

In the early stages, Hernández and his wife had their work cut out for them. They ran multiple parts of their business, even dish duty, all while taking care of their daughter, who was only four years old when they inaugurated Il Mare. Hernández also continued working at Topo Gigio's for a few summers.

AT THE SAME TABLE

Before owning the Antigua Trattoria Romana, Hernández used to come to San Miguel de Allende and eat there. He did that for a few years, always sitting at the same table, ordering pizza and bringing his own bottle of wine.

He befriended the owner, Luciano, who one day gave him the chance he had been waiting for: owning an Italian restaurant in San Miguel de Allende. When Hernández took over the restaurant, he revamped the menu, expanded the alcoholic beverages, and redecorated.

Most significantly he brought a cozy and comforting feel to this bright corner in San Miguel de Allende.

— D BEST OF SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE —
BY ONYX AND ALEXA

Part of the staff at the Antigua Trattoria Romana Italian Restaurant in San Miguel de Allende | Onyx and Alexa Best Places to Eat in San Miguel de Allende

From Left to Right: Roberto Reséndiz, Manager | Fernando Hernández, Owner | Victor Acosta, Waiter

HIGH LEVEL OF CUSTOMER SERVICE

Antigua Trattoria Romana Italian Restaurant | Onyx and Alexa Best Places to Eat in San Miguel de Allende

Pictured Above: Alberto Sánchez, Server

Fernando Hernández takes pride in the customer service at his restaurants. One of the reasons for this high level of service is low employee turnover. Most of his employees, especially kitchen personnel, have worked for him for as long as he has owned the businesses. At his restaurant, Il Mare, the person who has worked for him the longest has done so for over 15 years. To Hernández, his employees are family.

According to Hernández, a high level of customer service also depends on attention to detail. He encourages his employees to learn customers' preferences. "Something as simple as whether someone takes their drink with ice is important," he says.

He encourages his waiters to know the menu inside-out. “Do not show the menu, be the menu,” he says. He thinks that by having his waiters avoid just dropping off the menu at the customer's table, he can add a personal touch to the customer's dining experience.

He is proud of how they run the kitchen, even when the house is packed and they are also taking orders to-go. He emphasizes consistent flavor and believes in using only the best ingredients, like the provolone they get from Remo's, a well-known local supplier.

With abundant serving sizes, Hernández wants customers to take a piece of Antigua Trattoria Romana's heart home.

— D BEST OF SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE —
BY ONYX AND ALEXA

Antigua Trattoria Romana Vegetarian Pizza | Onyx and Alexa Best Places to Eat in San Miguel de Allende

OWNER'S TOP PICKS

RIGATONI ALLA AMATRICIANA
Rigatoni pasta with spicy tomato sauce, pancetta (Italian bacon), onions, and fresh basil.

POLLO ALLA PARMIGIANA
Baked chicken breast with tomato sauce.
Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
Served with fusilli pasta in a four cheese sauce.

POLLO ALLA SAVOIA
Chicken breast in a Marsala wine cream sauce with spinach, mushrooms, and pine nuts.
Served with roasted potatoes.

FARFALLE AL DUE SALMONI
Bow-tie pasta with Norwegian smoked salmon and Chilean fresh salmon in a brandy-flamed cream sauce with a touch of tomato.

POLLO AL LIMONE
Chicken breast in a chardonnay wine sauce with capers and drops of lime.
Served with mashed potatoes, carrots, and broccoli.

INSALATA CAPRESE
Tomato and mozzarella slices with fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, and Greek oregano.

INSALATA MISTA DELLA CASA
Assorted seasonal greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, walnuts and raisins, tossed with our house dressing.

— D BEST OF SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE —
BY ONYX AND ALEXA

WHAT WE TRIED

Vegetarian Pizza, Antigua Trattoria Romana

VEGETARIAN PIZZA

CHEESE LOVERS BEWARE, YOU WILL LOVE THIS PIZZA

This full-bodied pizza filled with cheesy goodness and plenty of toppings won't disappoint.

REMEMBER TO ORDER DESSERT

Something you will not find on the menu are their desserts. But do ask for them, they're worth it!

TIRAMISU

High quality ingredients and deep coffee flavor, make this creamy Tiramisu true to its name from the Italian phrase tirami su: pick me up.

This delightful dessert is made with high quality mascarpone and authentic Italian lady fingers.

As Fernando Hernández points out, "It is the type of dessert that, as dinner winds down, it allows you to wake up and keep enjoying your time at the restaurant."

— D BEST OF SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE —
BY ONYX AND ALEXA

TIRAMISU | High quality ingredients and deep coffe flavor, make this creamy Tiramisu true to its name from the Italian phrase tirami su: pick me up. | Onyx and Alexa Best Places to Eat in San Miguel de Allende

This Italian trattoria is in a unique triangular corner lot in one of the main avenues in the city.

IN HOUSE & DELIVERY

The trattoria runs a tight kitchen with several table turnovers at this cozy restaurant that seats 34. There’s also delivery service.

HOURS

12am to 11pm

Fridays and Saturdays open until midnight


Map of Antigua Trattoria Romana, San Miguel de Allende | Best Places to Eat in San Miguel de Allende

Craving Focaccia? Try La Focacceria, a separate part of the Antigua Trattoria Romana, with a side entrance on Zacateros. Focaccia is sold here by the slice.

— D BEST OF SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE —
BY ONYX AND ALEXA

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