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Jun 4, 2007 08:01 AM

rome--are these still good?

My husband and I are going to be in Rome with our 8 year old son in a couple of weeks (staying in an apartment near the Vatican), and I'm trying to compile a list of low key, authentic restaurants and food markets/stores. (My son is a food and restaurant lover, but still, he is 8...) I picked up these recommendations from a year-old post by Jen Kalb. Are they still good? Also, can anyone add anything? Thanks.

• Osteria dell' Angelo, Via G. Bettola 2 in the Prati district, near the Vatican.
• Ditto L'Isola della Pizza at Via degli Scipioni, 43-47 also in Prati
• Trattoria Armando al pantheon on Via Crescenza
• Volpetti Piu in Testaccio

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  1. Ost dell'Angelo is not very good, but it can be a lot of fun, so sure. I used to like it, but then they expanded and the last time I went I thought never again. But I have to cross town to get there, which makes a difference.
    Trat Armando is still fine, not a gastronomic destination, but good and friendly.
    Volpetti Più is same as ever, again not to cross town for, since it's really a glorified tavola calda, but wonderful if you're in the neighborhood and want to sit down for something delish without getting involved with waiters.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mbfant

      Can you amplify "getting involved with waiters". I think I know what you mean but am not sure

      1. re: NYJewboy

        she means that you go down what is like a cafeteria line and can choose your food from what you see (a huge variety) instead of reading from a menu and going through the ordering process. The people are friendly and the food is fresh - my kids really liked it.

        I honestly dont get Maureen's criticism of Osteria dell'Angelo.I think there were two rooms, the one you come in to (which I think had a grill on the side) and a smaller side room, where we sat. It was fine when we were there two years ago for lunch during Christmas season. They serve typical Roman dishes at a fair price to a local crowd (there were a couple of mellow families with strollers in there when we visited). Not the most delicious food we had on our trip but a good meal in a characterful place.

        1. re: jen kalb

          My criticism was based on the totally blah food. I can deal with ambience if the food gets me excited. Remember, I live here. That means I get very annoyed if I go to the other side of town to eat less than stellar local fare, in uncomfortable surroundings, when I make the same dishes much better myself at home. I truly understand that visitors, even frequent visitors, rightly see charm (or something) where I don't. I used to like Osteria dell'Angelo, but that last visit represented a decline in quality and in the already borderline ambience. It definitely has good prices, but I'd rather eat at home and put the money toward a better dinner elsewhere.

          1. re: mbfant

            I agree, its a very simple baseline version of Roman food, no fireworks. For those of us who dont have daily access to the materials (guanciale, say) to cook these roman dishes, with and might be visiting the Vatican Museums etc as tourists, its a nice stop. Its a simple, lriendly aid back neighborhood place . I can definitely see where you are coming from,.

    2. Closer to home then Volpetti but with lots of great cheeses and meats, plus great (costly) roasted chicken, supli etc is Franchi on Via Cola di Rienza (its kind of right next to Castroni, a market that has lots of foreign type food supplies and good coffes (this is the only good Castroni btw, there are others around town but with lots less stuff and service.
      Roman cooking wise, we always have fun at Sora Margherita (not in prati) on Piazza Delle Cinque Scole 30 (there is no sign), a real hole in the wall old roman place. Food is not high level, but decent roman cooking, and pretty unique in its way. Mostly only open lunches, try not to go when it is hot.
      Low key near piazza cavour is Da Cesare, something for everyone including pizza, usually all pretty good, old roman waiters.
      Also in prati, siciliainbocca. Sicilian cooking, decent fish, brighly colored livelyplace.
      Gelato - Al Settimo Gelo Via Vodice not to far from piazza mazzini

      2 Replies
      1. re: KMERC

        I went looking for Sora Margherita on my recent Rome trip and never did find it -- ended up at Piperno instead.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Sora Margherita has no sign outside. Look for the number: Piazza della Cinque Scole 30. (tel 06 686 40 02)