We will be in Rome for two weeks at the end of this year. We have been there several times now & tried many restaurants, but found Rome food to be spotty, from great to mediocre or worse. There are many places I have on my list to try, and before someone posts the requisite, Do a search of this board, comment, I have indeed done exhaustive research on this board and elsewhere to compile my list. I am looking for up to date commentary on my choices from those who may have visited any in the past year or two. Please also comment on any places not on the list that are also good, but my basic guidelines are that we do not like formal restaurants (no La Terraza dell Eden, Agata e Romeo), do not eat fish (no La Rosetta, Quinze e Gabrielli), and do not eat offal (no Checchino). While money is not the factor, it is that we prefer trattorias with authentic atmosphere (we especially love low lighting & romantic rustic places, which are hard to find in Rome) and traditional food over any modern style places & cuisine when in Italy.
Here are a list of some places we have been and will probably not return:
Osteria dellIngegno: Food is decent, but prices doubled in last year & not worth it
Gusto: (Upstairs Fine Dining room) Fabulous room, happening buzz, but awful food (Mgmt actually argued with me that my carbonara was supposed to be ice cold!) & bad service. However, people love the downstairs pizzeria & there is also some other restaurant on the back side (?) so may have to try those
Hostaria Nerone: Unremarkable food & tourist thronged
Enoteca Taverna Caprinica: Very poor service, food not great
Ferrara: Wonderful ambiance, but absolutely lousy food, service & attitude
Bramante: Hip, lively & very romantic, but food bland & underseasoned
Al Bric: Great wine list, food leans a bit French & is not great for $, scattered service
Antico Arco: Lovely restaurant, good food, but far too similar to many US restaurants
Vineria Il Chianti: Nice place, good food, terrible service, waited 1 hour+ btwn courses
Matricianella: Lively, my food was so-so, my husbands great, maybe we will try again
Girarrosto Fiorentina: Brightly lit with passable food American tourist mill
Enoteca Antica di Via Della Croce: Very nice ancient atmosphere full of romans, food not so good, however
Here are some places we love:
Ditirambo: Our favorite at the moment, everything is so fresh & made in house, great wine list
Colline Emilliane: Unbelievably good Bolognese food in a bright sterile setting
Cavour 313: Great wine bar for snacks or light lunch near Forums
Il Bacaro: Romantic, cozy room with fabulous food and great friendly service
Tavernetta 48: Cheap little trattoria where we ate more tasty food (5 courses!) than any human should and washed it down with Brunello & the tab only comes to around 85 euros for 2
Giolitti: Love the chocolate here, if there is better chocolate elsewhere, tell me!
Cul de Sac: Great food, service & extensive wine list, open late
Here is a list of some places we want to try & this is where we need input:
Dal Cavalier Gino
Armando al Pantheon
Osteria al Galetto
Girarrosto dal Toscano
Checco er Carettiere
Al Fontanone di Trastevere
La Buca di Ripetta
Pizza: Recommendation for Naples style pizza (not paper thin roman)
Thanks in advance for any assistance & I will be sure to post a detailed review on all places when I return!
My friends at Visit Roma Tours suggested the following restaurants. If you want more i'd email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They are really friendly local tour guides that focus on day tours so they are very familiar with the area.
Carlo Menta in Trastevere- AWESOME food, and probably one of the cheapest restaurants in town. On a main thoroughfare in the quaint borough of trastevere. locals and tourists alike love this place. http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/...
Quattro Mori is right near St. Peter's and has an extremely generous 'full service menu"- you choose either seafood or meat- and prepare to eat for the rest of the night!! They start off with nearly unlimited appetizers, followed by two pasta samples, then your main dish accompanied with potatos and salad, followed by elaborate fruit display on ice, a dessert, and of course, wine, coffee, and digestivo. And if you're a lady, they won't let you leave without a fresh flower. (But I think that is supposed to be a surprise!) All this for 40euro a head. Reservations advised!
Ristorante Quattro Mori, Via di Santa Maria alle Fornaci, 8, 00165 Roma, Italia phone: +39 066 390195
DAR BUTTERO Hostaria and Pizzeria in Trastevere: 156 Via della Lungaretta, Rome (just east of the santa maria in trastevere church) is JUST WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR. Best pasta ever. Carbonara and Pomodoro were delicious!! Pizza is only served in the evening not at lunch or afternoon. Family owned and operated (I think the family lives upstairs), charming interior looks like a country kitchen, outdoor patio in the back. Google for more reviews. Our meal of bruschetta, two pastas, a salad, and half liter of delicious white wine was 24 euros! Price and quality can't be beat. It's no fun to have a bad meal, especially on vacation, so go here for delicious food and homey, non-touristy atmosphere.
4 of us just back from Rome for my sisters 50th Birthday and we were very disapointed with the food there.
We were there for 5 days and apoligises for not remembering all the places we ate in but the important ones to us are as follows.
IL Bacaro - via de Spanoli, 27 nr the Pantheon & Piazza Navona was delightful. So cosy, romantic and small. The food was excellent. Would highly recommend it.
Cantina & Cucina-Via del Governo Vecchio, 87. Very nr Piazza Navona.This was all that the food laid on a small table in the doorway promised. Having had a really bad Pizza the day before nr the vatican this was just amazing.We had the best Pizzas ever, a lovely huge salad, really chunky fries and we were stuffed.Excellent.
Al Presidente-Via in Arcione,95. We came across this ristorante as it rained on our way to the Trevi fountain. We had just arrived and it saved the day. Very good food and service under the umberellas as it poured down. 3 bottles of very good red wine, the sun came out and we wandered of to the Trevi. what a great start.
La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali - Via della Maddona dei Monti,9. This was not a good experience. My husbands Lamb stew was a pile of bones, my Pork scallop with Pancetta in Marsala wine was really oily, my sisters raviolli was too Al Dente. We Brits like to stay the evening with a few bottles of wine But after our main course we left very quickly. It was our last evening and it ended my sisters birthday very badly.
Berzitello-Via delle quattro fontane,32b. This was not the worst but I wouldnt recommend it.
It was at the back of a wine shop and was quite tatty. No tablecloths, very basic. The food wasnt bad though.
Ristorante del Giglio-Via Torino,137. This started off as being very promising and slowly got worse. The starters was very nice, my husbands steak was awful, full of chewy grissle. My fish was very nice but the steamed vegetables came out of the chilled cabinet. They were serving them as a starter and as a side vegetable dish. Not very nice at all. When questioned they said that was normal.It was very under staffed. Our waiter, who did his best was rushed off his feet. While the Maitre De strutted about. The service was very slow.
Taverna dei Fori Imperiali
Via Madonna dei Monti 9, Rome, Lombardia 00184, IT
Let me start with my huge negative first - stay away from Al Ceppo. It's a huge tourist place where the local hotels send their guests to get ripped off. The owners are quite rude and don't care about the American customers, only the locals who go there to be seen as it is quite pricey. I took my folks there for a special meal on their last night in town and while the food was actually quite good, it wasn't worth the price or the horrible rudeness of the owner. I steer everyone away because I feel like the least they can do is be kind and polite if a basic meal with no frills is going to cost more than 150 euro for three people.
Now, on the up side, "Maccheroni" is a lovely little place with yummy food and excellent ambiance. I am not their biggest fan (only because I prefer other places), but one of my friends is hooked (I allow for tastebud differences), and I happily return because I know the food is quite good and I will have a great time and enjoy the atmosphere.
I have had nothing but good experiences at "Girrarosto Toscano," but I must second the tourist trap comment. It's a great place to go for dinner when I have guests staying near via Veneto, who want a calm, quiet meal within walking distance. The food is good and they are extremely pleasant, but the prices are a bit higher than I am accustomed to after living in Rome for a few years.
Can't wait to hear your reports!
Thoroughly agree with your comments about Rome and favorite places, Most of the places on your to visit list have been pretty well commented on, I will only add
Al Ceppo - well its way over in Parioli, but the food is good, and they have a great big wood grill so meat is good. Not cheap though.
Nino - is an old style restuarant, but you can always count on the food being good there. Its really the only place in the Piazza di Spagna area I will eat in.
Maccheroni - have always found the food to be mediocre and overpriced with mediocre service and can't really understand its popularity, except that is has tables outside in Via della Coppella
Pizza - take a trip out to Monteverde Nuovo to the La Gatta Mangiona. I think you'd say its somewhere between roman and neopolitan pizza, but its one of the best pizzas in Rome right now, not to mention the fritti, supli etc, Its always full so make sure you book
Some thoughts on your list:
A year ago I found the food not up to snuff. It can be very good, always high-priced for what it is. Attitude always a battle. If you go, dress up a bit to counteract the attitude.
Haven't been lately. Tuscan style, very casual, reserve way ahead, meat, meat, meat.
Monti, not Monte. It is very good, Marche-based trattoria, with some creativity. Very civil people. Tables close together. Better for lunch, because less crowded. Pace Frank Bruni, who should have known about it while he was living here, it is not the be-all and end-all, just a very good trattoria-plus.
If you mean the Tuscan place on via della Vite, by all accounts it has passed its prime.
Haven't been but have heard non-specific good reports.
Near the Pyramid? Haven't been since they upgraded from a one-room tavola calda, but I pass it all the time and have never felt the urge to go in.
don't know it
Dal Cavalier Gino
went once ten+ years ago and hated it. The Cavalier business is probably because a lot of members of parliament go there (across the street).
via Sant'Ignazio? It's a classic but I don't know anyone who has been there in the last fifteen years.
haven't been but hear pretty good things
Armando al Pantheon
I like it for lunch when I need to favor conversation. They are nice people, and the menu is varied enough for when you don't know what your tablemates will want. Not a gastronomic destination, but often fills the bill.
Osteria al Galetto
Galletto. Haven't been lately but nothing special.
The food is about half creative, half traditional (owner's grandmother is the legendary Paola Di Mauro of Colle Picchioni wine). I like it a lot, but I know not everybody falls in love with it. It's very pretty, Oscar Di Mauro is a sweetheart, but sometimes the service is slow.
Girarrosto dal Toscano
Haven't been, heard bad report last year.
Checco er Carettiere
Haven't been lately and have heard mixed reports. It is high priced for what it is, but I have always felt it serves very good examples of traditional dishes, very stick-to-the-ribs.
Famed for antipasto orgy. I hate it. Food is tasteless, hygiene dubious.
Al Fontanone di Trastevere
Love it. Menu has something yummy for everybody. Atmosphere upscale but not fancy schmancy.
have never warmed to it
The worst of the Jewish-fry gang (much better are Piperno and Paris, the latter in Trastevere)
doesn't live up to its considerable fame. It's a trattoria. If it's your trat, you like it. Not worth changing neighborhoods for, like most Roman trats.
Always booked, always the same. Recent upsurge of fame inexplicable. Have heard good and bad reports lately, but would wait five years till the TomKat visit is forgotten.
Cheap but not much good.
Charming in its fashion. Food is typical trat, neither better nor worse.
Have never found it worth the money.
Bare bones large trat in central location, very nice if you're near there, not worth a taxi.
La Buca di Ripetta
haven't been since management changed, but have heard good reports
Pizza: Recommendation for Naples style pizza (not paper thin roman)
go to Naples... Rome is full of imitation Neapolitan pizza. In fact, it's squeezing out the native variety, but I am unable to recommend a place.
we were in rome in january and desperately wanted to go to Trattoria Monti, which is on your want-to-try list. My father-in-law recommended it highly. It was closed the week we were there, though, and some friends who went afterwards said it was good, but packed with Americans -- FWIW. Frank Bruni calls it his favorite and the masses flock to it.
I am a Rome resident and I've been to Trattoria Monti twice in the past 2 years. Both times were huge disappointments. Overpriced, and half of the menu was gone by 9:30pm. I would say they know who Bruni is, and treat him like a king when he goes there in exchange for good press.
If you'd consider giving Vineria Il Chianti another try, I was there in May 2006 and had excellent service as well as wonderful food. We also enjoyed Dal Bolognese, which I particularly remember because Bologonese style is usually my least favorite among Italian cuisine, we went there because my husband really likes it, and it really won me over.
We had a very good pizza at Gino in Trastevere on via della Lungaretta, but I don't know that it was so good that I'd go out of your way to be there, we'd just been walking through the Trastevere a while, and that ended up being a good place to stop.
I would go out of your way to visit the geletaria San Crispino on via della Panetteria if you like gelato. We only got there three times during our week in Rome, and it wasn't enough for me. Their zabiglione flavor was my favorite.
i too have lived in rome for about 5 years. of the restaurants you've listed, i'll respond to the ones that I've been to recently.
Al Moro: skip it
Il Ciak: lots of game if you like game...wasn't my cup of tea.
Trattoria Monte: this is one of the most interesting "new" italian cuisine restaurants in rome. everytime i've been i've eaten marvelously. the dishes are all well thought out and elegantly served. service is erratic, but the waiters are gorgeous.
Maccheroni: pricey for what it is, yet i've never eaten poorly there.
Da Sergio: overpriced roman trattoria. i always return, but then always ask myself "why."
LOrso 80: overated. enormous portions of appetizers. not a lot of "care" here.
Sora Lella: i have a weak spot for their unbelievable eggplant parmigiano. i return exclusively for this.
Da Giggetto: fantastic fried artichokes. service is miserable.
Enoteca Corsi: nice place for a quick lunch...though sometimes they order for you
Pizza: Recommendation for Naples style pizza (not paper thin roman)...my boyfriend's from naples...his favorite is at pizzicotto in the prati district...my favorite is pomodoro rosso (which also has a branch in salerno). pom. rosso is near corso francia (take a taxi). my second favorite is recafe in piazza augusto imperatore. if you can get a table near the second floor window, you'll have a marvelous view of augustus' tomb. number 3 is da ciro on via delle mercede (i have a neopolitan student who refuses to eat pizza anywhere else in rome).
See "Eating in Rome" postings.
Dal Cavalier Gino: there Jan 11 for lunch. You must make a reservation, for everyone knows its good.
Armando al Pantheon There 2004. good at that time
Checco er Carettiere: There Jan 4 for lunch in their cheaper osteria. good.
LOrso 80: last there March 2006. Not as good as previous visits
Al Fontanone di Trastevere There Jan 3 for lunch. good with good service.
Da Giggetto There Nov 2004. Sora Lella much better. If Kosher is important, try La Taverna del Ghetto via del Portico d'Ottavia, 8 tel 06 6880 97 71, where I was Nov 2004
Sora Margherita: There March 2006 for lunch. great for the money
Enoteca Corsi: There for lunch (the only meal) Jan 9. For the area, reasonable and good
-- Sid Cundiff
My wife and I have been living in Rome for 5 years now and we are constantly checking out food and wine all around the city. It is a real hit or miss game in Rome. What surprises me is that when you do find a really good restaurant, the prices they charge are usually about the same, if not much more then the places with bad quality and service. I would gladly pay double the price for what some of these truly amazing restaurants charge. Maybe I already am, before the Euro was introduced restaurants were 1/2 the price of what they are now.
Anyway, my .02 cents on some restaurants in my little area of Rome. There is a little place that I saw mentioned in the start of the thread. "Tavernetta 48" located on Via degli Spagnioli. This has become our regular place, besides living only a few blocks away, Tavernetta has amazing dishes, great service, and outdoor seating that you'd have to reserve in advance if your were dinning at one of the trendy eateries around the corner in Piazza della Coppella. In fact I have eaten at all the restaurants on the tiny Piazza della Coppella, and I would not recommend any of them worthy of "going out of the way for," except for the little enotecca. I've never had to wait for a table at Tavernetta 48, and I can't say I've had a better chocolate tort anywhere else in Rome. My wife will be brave enough to say their Tiramisu is one best she's ever tasted, and she's Italian.
If you do have to wait for a seat, or want to pass the time, grab a stool outside at that enotecca, (wine bar) on Piazza della Coppella. It has large oak barrels set up as tables, ya cant miss it. Their selection is superb, and the owner is charming. The people watching cant be beat either. Sorry, dont remember the name of the bar.
Some may know of the restaurant Il Bacaro on Via degli Spagnioli. This place does some great nuovo twists on old Italian dishes, which is much appreciated after living in Rome for a while, and the feeling that all the restaurant are serving the same dishes begins to settle in. It's is one of the more pricey places, and for good reason, just taste the appetizers to get what I mean. From start to finish this place does not disappoint, and if you miss your reservation, dont worry Tavernetta 48 is only 10 feet away, and you could likely just drop and save your evening.
the name of the enotecca is
Piazza della Coppella 47
very charming place. i asked the enotecca owner to recommend a nice restaurant around there and he suggested
Via della Orso 44
the meal there was simple and fabulous and the service sincere. not fancy but just good food.
Can you tell me how far Tavernetta 48 is from Via Veneto? Could they it handle a crowd of 20-30 people, if we reserved in advance? Also, do you have recent experience with Marcello? Would you recommend it for a wedding reception in November? Not looking for anything fancy and pricey -- just quaint with good food.
I'm an american who's been living in rome for 10 years. here's my input on a few of those places you mentioned:
Il Ciak is great, a meat-eater's paradise, there are also several non-meat options. very rustic, simple, but food is wonderful. make sure to reserve, they're always very booked.
Checco er Carettiere- I'd avoid that place. mediocre food at ridiculous prices. not worth it at all.
Trattoria Lilli- VERY good. simple trattoria with tasty dishes. prices are decent also. two thumbs up.
Sor Margherita- food is good, worth the trip just to see the place. it's only open for lunch. it feels like you're in some random elderly woman's home. the place is SUPER simple, prices are low, good basic dishes.
Da Gigetto- ridiculously high prices for what they offer. their "thing" is the fried artichoke, but you can get that even at Sor Margherita's for half the price. it's a tourist trap.
You may have seen this elsewhere, but it's worth repeating: L'Orso 80 is a very enjoyable site for a Sunday brunch of antipasti. When we were there last March, we were surrounded largely by Italian families all having plate after plate of antipasto brought to their tables. The antipasti themselves were simple and occasionally hit-or-miss, but the overall experience was unique, and at about 15 euro it is quite a reasonable meal.
Also, you might want to give Bric another try. I found it to be one of the more innovative Roman restaurants at that price point, and their pasta with guanciale and chestnuts (hardly French!) was one of the highlights of our trip.
Enjoy, and I'm glad you like Cul de Sac and Cavour, two of my favorite spots for a light, inexpensive meal.
Here are 2 I always recommend and note that Giarrosta del Toscano is on your list. I also greatly enjoyed Da Robertino, but you are apparently not interested in seafood.
1. Best recommendation for quality, quantity, price, and ambience is Marcello at Via Aurora 37 between Ludovisi and Lombardo, 2 blocks in from the Via Veneto where the large hotels are. Recommended is a set meal they may suggest (if they dont, ask your waiter for it): antipasti misti (5-6 vegetarian appetizers in large bowls from which you take what and how much you wish), primo is a platter of 3 different pastas in 3 different sauces, secundo is a large chunk of roast veal with potatoes and other items (veal is excellent, it will be enough for two; if you have a good deal left over, ask waiter to wrap it up and take it with you might be enough for next days meal). House wine is good and can be had in ½ or full liter pitchers, in white or red. This meal for 2 with 1 liter of wine was 60 Euros in December 2003.
2. Giarrosto Dal Toscano at Via Germanica 56, near the Vatican Museum. Huge fireplace/grill for steaks, other meats, and slabs of meat on hooks. Try the Pasta Giulio Caesaro or pasta with boar sauce (cinghale) or rabbit/hare sauce (coniglie). Great grilled meats. Try for lunch when you are near the Vatican Museum.
The best trattoria I've found in Rome is DA LUIGI, which I believe is across the street from the Chiesa Nuova (the one with the tomb of San Filippo Neri). Da Luigi has great atmosphere and service, and very reasonable prices for excellent food. A bit like Rome's answer to a Parisian brasserie.
For sweets, get Granita di Caffe at Tazzo d'Oro in front of the Pantheon (crushed iced espresso with sweet cream), gelato at La Palma (near Piazza Navona), and tartuffo (ice cream in dark chocolate crust) at Tre Scalini on Piazza Navona, but order it for take out, as it costs half the price, and you can sit in the piazza by the Bernini fountain.
For very good and inexpensive pizza, try the inauspiciously-named Pizza Art on Via Arenula.
Question: I will be living in Trastevere. What are the good inexpensive restaurants in that neighborhood?
We had appetizers and a bottle of wine at Costanza. Great fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with cheese and anchovies. Also had the bresaola which was great...paper thin dried beef with peppery arugala and shaved pecorino romano.
The dining room itself is really interesting. I remember reading that it was part of an ancient theater.