Though prices have climbed recently - prompted, perhaps, by Pagliaccio's first Michelin star, in the 2007 edition of the guide - Anthony Genovese's centro storico restaurant still offers one of the best-value gourmet dinners in Rome. A light makeover in 2006 upped the warmth and intimacy factors and did away with those uncomfortable chairs, allowing diners to focus more clearly on the sheer bravura of Genovese's cuisine. The chef's successful incorporation of oriental influences (unlike some other Italian chefs who have jumped on the fusion bandwagon, Genovese actually studied in Japan) is clearly illustrated in an antipasto of grilled scallops with teriyaki-marinated beef and caramel zabaione. But his sure touch is equally evident in less pyrotechnic dishes like the gnocchi with lamb and two varieties of wild mushoom, or secondi such as the John Dory with glacé vegetables, baby octopus tossed in the pan and scorzonera (black salsify). The small but interesting wine list is efficiently managed by a Japanese sommelier, and service is affable - though sometimes slow. Leave plenty of space for the excellent desserts, which are prepared by talented Alsatian pastry chef Marion Lichtle. Although there are six-course taster menus at €55 and €80, we recommend ordering à la carte.