Rosso Trattoria Pizzeria: Italian in a diner.

Remember a few weeks ago, when the interwebs were abuzz because Serena Williams had been craving Italian? (Yes, it’s 2018 and some people are so famous their cravings are trending topics.)

Her husband flew her all the way to Italy just to sate her craving – and everyone was either green with envy or feeling the pressure to be the lover that’s as considerate, thoughtful & spontaneous as Mr Serena Williams.

Well, if you’re in Lusaka Zambia and you’re looking to satiate that Italian craving (for you or whose cravings you care about) but are on regular person’s coin budget (like me) and can’t afford a whole trip to Italy purely for the food – I present to you THE Italian spot perfectly hidden in a friendly corner of the well known InterContinental Hotel right in the heart of the city.


Rosso Trattoria Pizzeria is an intimate Italian inspired foodie’s joint, cozy enough for a date night but spacious enough for a nice chilled lunch/dinner with your closest friends and/or family.

Being the fattie I am, and getting bored with the usual burger or chicken and chips, my friends and I made a stop at Rosso for dinner on a Friday night after the work week had kicked our behinds. We needed a pick me up and Italian food seemed like it!

The main door of the hotel leads to an open lounge where the hotel guests indulge in coffee and business meetings, take your first right turn and you will be led down a corridor that goes straight to The Rosso.

We walked into a fairly compact diner dimly lit diner setting the ambiance for a chilled night. If this set up is too cozy for you, there are tables on the open patio right outside the restaurant where you can enjoy your Italian culinary experience, with a chance of a live band providing the soundtrack – as was the case when we visited.

The service was impeccable, as we were led to a table by a waitress who was very hands on through the night and even helped in our drink and food selection, giving recommendations where we asked.


The menu is a full 8 pager, covering the Menu of the day, starters, mains, desserts, beverages (with an extensive white wine and red wine selection – a page each which I was personally impressed with) and PIZZA, because what is Italian without pizza?

Life hack: Going to dinner with your friends allows you a taste of almost everything on the menu. This might not be great table manners, and your mother might smack your hand for it, but friends understand that sharing is caring.

Without giving away too much, because I’d love for you to try it out for yourself, here’s a peek at some of the grub my mates and I tried out:

Even Oprah loves bread, so what better way to be welcomed to dinner and excite the palate than fresh bread, cheese and sun dried baby tomatoes.


The fresh bread gets your taste buds excited, but while you wait for your main meal you could definitely try out a starter to excite your taste buds.

Mozarella alla Caprese –  Fresh hot tomato soup with mozzarella and basil pesto.
Lasagna – A slice of traditional baked lasagna.
Tartar di Salmone Marinato – marinated Salmon Tartar served with Cucumber, Onion, Capers & Lemon Dressing.


For the star of the night, the reason we all go to dinner, the Beyoncé of the 3 course meals  we had:

Pollo all Mattone servito con Paste Arrosto e Caponta di Verdure – a succulent grilled chicken (as black people this is what we know best) served with baked potatoes and Vegetable Caponta.
Cotoletta di manzo alla Milanese servita con Pure di Palate e Caponata di Vedure – Breaded beef Escalope served with creamy mashed Potatoes & Vegetable Caponata.
Saltibocca di maiale alla romana serviti con Pure di Patate e Caponata di Verdure – Pork Saltimbocca Romana Style served with creamy mashed Potatoes & Vegetable Caponata.


For the palate cleanser or to show your sweet tooth some love, Rosso has a dessert menu to die for. We tried:

Tortino al Cioccolato con Cuore Cremoso e Gelato alla Vanigila – Chocolate Fondat served with Vanilla Ice Cream
Classic Tiramisu – Mascarpone Cream, Lady Finger Biscuit dipped in Espresso Coffee
Meeedonia di Frutta Fresca servita con gelato al Cloccolato – A fresh fruit salad served with Chocolate Ice Cream.


I’m definitely going back, this time purely for the pizza.


Food is a love language & so is Italian so go ahead and speak them both, at Rosso 🤤


Sidenote: No food bloggers or photographers were harmed in the making of this post.