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Friday Night Family Dinner in Rome - Help me Pick the Perfect Place

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We are staying at the Mecenate Place on via Carlo Alberto inbetween Termini & the Collosseum (I know, not the best area, but varying budgets...)

3 are flying in that day, we will be coming from Priano - will be 8 - 10 people, ranging from 16 to 82. The 2 younger girls do not eat meat, but chicken & pasta are fine. Rest of us are open to anything, but would like a typical, preferably outside table with a view, fun, charming & reasonably priced restaurant, one that accepts reservations and that everyone will enjoy. Not too far from the hotel, preferably within walking distance, but taxi ride ok too. Actually, by the Pantheon would be ideal too. A rooftop restaurant would be great, but I believe most are more expensive... It's our daughter's first trip to Rome & I've always stayed by the Spanish Steps & don't know this area as well.

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  1. You can walk to Hostaria Nerone from the hotel in about 15 minutes. It's not a rooftop but the outside tables are quite pleasant and look at the Colosseum.

    1. Bump - any other ideas? I searched Hostaria Nerone & the reviews weren't good - were they wrong?

      4 Replies
      1. re: torta basilica

        I can't say they're wrong. People experience what they experience. I can tell you that Nerone meets the requirements that you list and that my husband and I have been going there for decades and taking foreign visitors there too. Sure, I prefer Agata e Romeo, which is even closer to your hotel, but it's not what you say you're looking for. Monti is also very close. They're friendly and the food is very good, but it's indoors and I always think it's a little uncomfortable.

        1. re: mbfant

          We have stayed at Mecenate Palace several times and find it convenient to many bus lines which take us all over Rome. Monti is only a few blocks away from the hotel, but our experience there was not good (over-rated). Agata e Romeo is also very close to Mecenate Palace but is quite pricey for what you get.

          Based on your description of the group and your familiarity with the Spanish Steps area, I would suggest you consider Vladimoro-Marcello at Via Aurora 37 between Ludovisi and Lombardo, 2 blocks in from the Via Veneto, near the large hotels. Recommended is a set meal they may suggest (if they don’t, ask your waiter for it): antipasti misti (5-6 or more vegetarian appetizers in large plates or 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 - you can probably substitute other meat if veal is not to your liking. House wine is good and can be had in ½ or full liter pitchers, in white or red. they can easily accommodate your group. We were 5 people there in December and had more food than we could eat for average 34 Euros per person. They have tables outside if weather allows you to sit there.

          Other places near the hotel: on via Merulana about 4-5 blocks down is Panella, a bakery/cafe/chocolate maker which also sells carry-out food (foccaccia, panini, arancini, etc) If you just go to buy chocolate, you will be happy.
          If you take the bus down via Merulana to San Giovanni Laterano, there is Cannavota restaurant on the squarer opposite the side entrance to the basilica which can accommodate groups and is reasonably priced. Right next to Cannavota is a bakery which sells a wide variety of foccaccia/pizza with different toppings - they are delicious and inexpensive - a great lunch. Even a few table and chairs inside to sit and eat/drink. Cans of soft drinks are also inexpensive.
          Also, across the street from Mecenate Palace is a department store which has a basement supermarket. this is a great place to buy water, wine, breads, cheeses, meats, foccaccia for a light meal, staples, fruit, etc. Very handy.

          1. re: CJT

            Thanks so much - Vladimoro-Marcello sounds great - is there a view of anything?(well, I realize it IS Rome & there's always a view of something...) Also, thanks for the info about the Dept store - I love European Dept store supermarkets! Will definitely stock up on wine, etc for our villa stay!

          2. re: mbfant

            I apologize - I googled the restaurant, instead of just looking here, and it gets great reviews on different sites. You're right, it does sound perfect for what we are looking for. Will report back mid-July! Thank you.