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May 25, 2007 04:32 PM


I will be staying at the Grand Hotel de la Minerve. Anyone know this area for restaurants or food finds in late July?

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  1. As you leave the Hotel Minerva, turn left and keep going past the Santa Chiara, always staying on the left, until you come to the Ristorante Sant Eustachio, which has a delightful outdoor dining area and delicious food. Afterward, you can wimble across the street to Caffe Sant Eustachio for the best espresso in Rome. The Minerva is a terrific hotel. We've stayed there many times (under several owners) and always feel pampered. The location is central to everything. I especially like window shopping at the religious garment stores--it's the Catholic Rodeo Drive!

    1 Reply
    1. re: mnosyne

      Good to know that you liked Ristorante Sant Eustachio. I haven't been in a while, but it was somewhere I always brought people from out of town because of the location, the nice outdoor dining, and the generally good food with a menu thats got something for everyone. However, I sent someone there the end of last year, and they weren't crazy about it. Nice to hear that maybe Bruno was just having an off night.

    2. Two snack suggestions...

      From the Minerva, go into the Piazza Rotonda. With your back to the Pantheon, walk to the far right-hand corner of the piazza. A street exits out of the Piazza from this corner heading east. One block down this street, you'll spot the bright yellow letters of the Tazza d"Oro cafe sign, an excellent place for coffee. (Of course, mnosyne will be horrified that I'm elevating Tazza over Caffe Sant Eustachio, but you can conduct your own research between these two stand-out coffee places.) In late July, you'll probably want your coffee in the form of Tazza's amazing coffee granita with cream. To fully understand the excellence of this product, you have to know I am not a coffee drinker!

      There are many places to eat gelato around the Piazza Rotonda. Resist the lure of Della Palma. Sure they offer a dizzing choice of flavors, but the quality is not there. My absolute favorite is Cremeria Monteforte on Via della Rotonda. It's tiny and unprepossing which works out well. People pass right by it, heading up to Giolitti or Della Palma. Only when you get inside, do you notice all the articles about the awards they have won.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Indy 67

        hike to the campo for a little more energy at night. there are some decent wine bars near navona.

        1. re: steve h.

          L'Angoletoo in Piazza Rondanini a short walk from the Pantheon

          1. re: coombe

            We love L'Angoletto (note correct spelling) and we always eat our first meal in Rome there. Admittedly, we stay in the Pantheon neighborhood and we don't want to travel too far our arrival night when we're dealing with the worst jet lag. Still, there are plenty of alternatives in the Pantheon area, but we remain loyal to L'Angoletto.

            With a name that tranlates to something like "The Angler" you won't be suprised by the emphasis on seafood. The outdoor patio is large and the restaurant is situated just far enough away from the Pantheon that the atmosphere is calmer than immediately on the Piazza Rotonda.

            I suspect our affection for L'Angoletto has as much to do with the homemade limoncello they offer at the end of the meal as the other aspects of the experience. Our first meal there, we were introduced to homemade limoncello. The waiter plunked a frosty bottle of yellow liquid on the table. There was no label. We looked around the patio and noticed bottles on other tables, including the fact that no two bottles were the same size/shape. We suddenly realized that we had been offered homemade limoncello. The homemade version was a revelation! (My husband and I are debating whether or not L'Angoletto still offers a whole bottle with the invitation to drink to your satisfaction or whether they simply bring already-poured glasses of limoncello.)

            Directions: Stand with your back to the Pantheon. Notice the two streets that leave the Piazza Rotonda heading north directly across from you (the ones flanking the block that includes the McDonald's). Exit the piazza via the left-hand street. (You'll know you're on the correct street when you pass La Rosetta on your right.) Go to the first street that is a cross street and turn left. Continue walking briefly until you see a small piazza on the left filled with quite a few restaurants. L'Angoletto is in the back right-hand corner.

            1. re: Indy 67

              Several suggestions, hardly authoritative, a stone’s throw from your hotel:

              For lunch: Enoteca Corsi, via dei Gesu 87, Tel 06 679 0821; lunch only; open noon-15:00hrs, closed SA SU. For get the menu and translate the offerings on the chalkboard outside.

              For super Armando al Pantheon, Salita de Crescenzi; closed SA evening and SU

              For evening and outdoor dining: Di Rienzo, Piazza del Pantheon 8/9, Tel: 06 68 69 097. Ask to be seated on the edge to admire the floodlit Pantheon and the street scene.

              For coffee, two places reputed to be the Mecca of coffee:
              Tassa d’Oro, in the piazza with the Pantheon, 7am-8pm closed SU; my favorite!
              Caffe Sant’Eustachio, Piazza di S. Eustachio, 830am-1am cl WE. If you don’t wish sugar, tell the barman; otherwise, they load up the sweet stuff.

              And across the street from Caffe Sant’Eustachio, and for regular espresso just as good, less crowed, more space: Camillioni di Sant’Eustachio, Piazza di S. Eustachio 54

              For ice cream, not a stone’s throw, but close enough, and the Holy Grail of Ice Cream:
              Giolitti, Via Ufficio del Vicario 40 MO-FR 7am-00:30 , SA 7am-02:00. cl SU. You may not like the surly staff; you can’t complain about the ice cream.

        2. re: Indy 67

          And while you're at it, compare the coffee granita at St. Eustachio, too. They don't make a big deal about it (you have to ask), but they offer it and it's good.

        3. One of my favorite basic eateries is a stone's throw from the Minerva - Ristorante La Pigna. As you come out the front door of the hotel, turn right and make the first right and walk a block or two. I think they have a few tables outside in the summer. It's nothing fancy, but good solid food.

          7 Replies
          1. re: bropaul

            This post was very helpful to me as I am staying also atteh Grand Hotel de la Minerve at the end of June. I appreciate all of your posts. Love to know whats nearby the hotel especially for end of the night treats and glass of wine :)

            1. re: nytransplant

              What's nearby is Enoteca Corsi on via del Gesu. Solid Roman cuisine that adheres to the traditional rhythm of Roman meals (e.g. gnocchi on Thursday). Three caveats: Lunch only. No reservations and no credit cards.

              Cul de Sac, another wine bar, is a bit farther afield from your hotel, but it has the advantage of staying open until after midnight. Incidentally, farther afield isn't far; it's near the Piazza Navona, less than a 10 minute walk to your hotel.

              Fun fact about your hotel: You're located in the clerical garment district. Be sure to check out the clothing shops selling ecclesiastical clothes. Time your visits to retail hours; the shops roll heavy steel covers over the windows at night. I don't know if they sell to ordinary tourists, but the silk socks in cardinal red and magenta would make quite a fashion statement.

              1. re: nytransplant

                There's a rooftop terrace at the Minerva, I don't know how late it stays open though for drinks.

                1. re: bropaul

                  Thanks for your posts. The only problem is that I dont think we wil be close to hotel for lunch even though it sounds so good. I do like Cul-de-Sac for wine at the end of the evening. I will def check out some clothing. Do you have an idea what time these chops are closed? Great tio...thanks.... I think we are learning towards these restaurantsfor dinner: la Fiammetta, Dal Bolognese, Armand al Pantheon, L'Angeletto, La Piazzetta and La taverna dei Fori Imperali. Of course we only have two dinners so need to choose. Do you guys have two favs for authentic italian (not too modern)? thanks :)

                  1. re: nytransplant

                    If location for dinner is important to you, your dinner choices become significantly easier. Both Piazzetta and Taverna dei Fori Imperiali, near the Augustan forum, are a hefty walk away from your hotel. The other places are quite close to your hotel.

                    During our daily sighseeing, my husband and I will walk whopping distances without a blink. It's our not-so-secret weight control strategy and we see wonderful street scenes. By dinner time, we favor restaurants that are close or only a gentle passegiata's distance away. For example, we never even considered a taxi to get to Agata e Romeo a twenty-minute or twenty-five walk from our apartment. There's usually one restaurant worthy of a taxi ride each trip; Antico Arco won taxi honors on our most recent visit.

                    1. re: Indy 67

                      The only reason I was thinking of not eating by hotel (pantheon) is beacuse I thought we would get ready around 6 and take a Dolce Vita stroll to either Campo, S Steps, P Navona, Polpolo and then eat there. On our way back, stop at wine bar, and have gelato. Ans yes, I hop to walk lots and lots too to work off all the wondefl food I will be eating. I normally go to the gym 5 days a week so need to get it in somehow. Maybe I will walk up and down the s steps a few times! I need to look up all of these restaurants and organize them by area. Unless, that is on hre some where. That would be a time savor since I am working on 6 ciies at once. A little overwhelming :(

                      1. re: nytransplant

                        If you get ready by 6 and walk to Campo, Navona, or Popolo, you will get there by 6:20 at the latest, even at a slow pace. We stayed at the Minerve in March; it is very centrally located and not far from any of those places. The Spanish Steps are perhaps 25-30 minutes away, but we found no compelling restaurants in that area. My best advice to you would be to try to avoid dining in Rome much before 8pm. You'll find deserted restaurants. Most places don't even open for dinner before 7. To be honest, I think the area around the hotel is some of the best dining - Armando, Da Fortunato, Enoteca Corsi (lunch). If you'd still like to take a walk, check out Colline Emiliane - 20-25 minutes walk away. You can get there by way of the Trevi Fountain, which is particularly beautiful at night. Or plan to visit a wine bar at Navona "on your way" to dinner anywhere, then after dinner sit outside and admire the Pantheon at night, drinking limoncello at any of the cafes in the square. I am getting jealous just thinking of what a time you'll have!

            2. Armando al Pantheon, L'Angelotto, (avoiding at all costs that huge restaurant near San Ignazio I think its called Sabatino), if you get Maccheroni on a good day. Have a fab time.

              2 Replies
              1. re: LotsC

                I am confused...are you saying to avoid Armando, L'Angelotto?

                1. re: nytransplant

                  No, not at all - I said avoid Sabatino near the San Ignazio church I popped it in brackets to make it clear! A little further afield Il Galetto in Campo di Fiori is good and Le Campane just off the via della Scrofa...

              2. I found Armando del Pantheon to be a little over-rated. Enoteca Corsi is a gem.

                6 Replies
                1. re: tennisboy

                  Ok need to get some much needed sleep as I leave tomorrow morning...these are some places I was thinking of for two nights fo dinner...just please tell me which ones to go to :)
                  Armando, Da Fortunato, Piazzetta and Taverna dei Fori Imperiali, fiametta, l'angoletto, dal bolognese
                  For lunch: enoteca corsi, ba bufetta for pizza, da sergio

                  1. re: nytransplant

                    Like most pizzerias in Rome, da Baffetto is not open for lunch.

                    1. re: PBSF

                      that you know their hours?

                      1. re: nytransplant

                        You can get lunchtime pizza in Piazza Maddelena, just north of the Pantheon.

                        1. re: nytransplant

                          Probably open 7pm and gets more crowded and bolsterious as the summer evenings progresses. Be prepare for a wait anytime after 8pm.

                          1. re: PBSF

                            I think it's open a bit earlier than that...not that anyone is there at 6:30. We were there about 9:45 and had a 20 minute wait for an outside table.