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Jun 30, 2007 04:15 AM

fancy dinner in rome???

my boyfriend and i are going on a train trip to paris venic milan and rome but snce ive never been on a dinner date in my life my boyfriend wants to take me to a fancy dress up dinner in rome as my first time. does anybody know of restraurants in rome where we can dress up and not feel stupid??? i want to feel like the movie only you a night in rome dressed up walking around :) please help me we leave in a week

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  1. Il Convivio is a wonderful place that will meet your needs. The service is warm but polished, and you'll feel special from the moment you sit down at the table. The waiter will bring a mini-stool and place your purse on the stool. You'll be given a glass of Italian sparkling wine at the beginning of the meal and an amuse bouche.

    The food is sublime. I've included a link to the menu. Although you'll see a couple of straightforward Italian classics, the emphasis is on inventive versions of the classics.

    The only downside to my recommendation of Il Convivio is the approach. The restaurant is located on a Vicolo, a street so narrow that you'll worry you've turned into an alley rather than a bona fide street. Visually, it's not the stuff of movies. However, once inside, you'll definitely be move-ready. (You can see pictures of the interior on the web site.)

    You turn off Via dei Soldati to get to the restaurant on Vicolo dei Soldati. You can reach Via Soldati either from the street along the Tiber -- Lungotevere Marzio near Ponte Umberto -- or from Piazza Navona via a route involving more turns.

    Here's the link to the web site:

    4 Replies
    1. re: Indy 67

      Take Indy 67's wise counsel: Il Convivio, without question. I eat here every time I'm in Rome. The street is narrow, but hardly the wrong side of the tracks. By all the means, once you've determined your food, do ask the genial wine steward (one of the owners) for a matching wine. He knows his stuff.

      1. re: Indy 67

        what is the price range at il convivio there are no prices on the menu on the website so that makes me nervous. and how long ahead should i call for reservations?

        1. re: awilda79

          Il Convivio ain't cheap. I'd say at least 200 Euro for two.

        2. re: Indy 67

          haver you heard of this restraurant Galeassi Ristorante? it was in the movie only you and i think itd be cute to eat there since i love that movie but first i wanted to ask if anybody knows of it first and what do they think?

        3. pardon, but you sound young - how much is your boyfriend going to be willing to shell out for your fancy dinner? It might make a diff.

          14 Replies
          1. re: jen kalb

            im 27 and hes 29 were in spain for 3 months trying to move here but were taking a train ride for our first time to see other countries. we would need somewhat reasonable prices since were in spain for so long. but i offered to pay as well just incase it is high in price.

            1. re: awilda79

              I am planning to eat at Il Convivio in August - would my husband need a jacket? We are trying not to take one because it will be so hot, it isn't like he would need it for an evening stroll... Thanks!

              1. re: hornvixen

                I noticed there were not any prices on the website which indicates to me that it is expensive, which is fine but how much would I be looking to spend for a dinner for two there with a bottle of mid priced wine?

                1. re: jewels_vancouver

                  At a top restaurant in Rome, figure your primi will be in the €15-18 range and your secondi in the €32-40 range. Wine can still be as low as €20 even in a good restaurant, but figure on €40 or so if you want to choose something midlevel from the list. Desserts will probably be in the €10-15 range.

                  So including servizio/coperto, you're probably talking €65-80pp. on average. If you're doing something with a "view" (e.g. Hassler, Eden, Marabella, La Pergola) expect to pay even more. But doing one of the hotel rooftops is worthwhile for a romantic experience - you can often just do drinks (e.g. Raphael).

                  I'd also recommend Archeologica (Appia Antica 139) for something delicious but out of the ordinary. It can be very romantic - it can also be filled with young families, so be prepared for that possibility. But it's wonderful food and atmosphere - very different experience in "al fresco" dining. Also, Gusto is still cool and delicious... and a concept I'd love to see carried out over here. Think you'd enjoy it - you can shop for kitchenware between courses...

                  1. re: Panini Guy

                    thank you so much for the info!!!! what is the price range for archeologica? and can we dress up there or will we look stupid? :)

                    1. re: awilda79

                      You can certainly dress up and feel comfortable at Archelologica. There are a number of different "areas" for seating - I think they did a good job of keeping families with families and romantics with romantics when we were there.

                      We really like it because It's very different from city dining - layout reminded me a lot of sprawling Mexican restaurant (e.g. San Angel Inn) with inside and outside and "covered" dining, outdoor ovens, outdoor fish tanks, and most important, kitchen skills.

                      Price range is as noted above. Menu is here: Click on the top link (Menu Archelologica) and a pdf will appear with prices in Euro.

                2. re: hornvixen

                  There is almost no restaurant, not including the fancier hotel dining rooms, in Rome that would require a jacket, and there are always shockingly underdressed people at the best places. I would certainly recommend getting cleaned up and wearing a pressed dress shirt, but an open collar is fine and even a polo, and you will see worse.

                  1. re: hornvixen

                    Suit w/coat and tie. But I'm antediluvian and a Southern Gent

                  2. re: awilda79


                    the italians are very style-conscious and like to dress when they go out in the evening - you may not need to go to the fanciest place to have the kind of experience you are seeking. Think about what kind of age group you would want to be surrounded by for example. Hopefully there will be some additional suggestions.

                    for the next poster, I think your husband would want to wear a jacket for indoor dining in a place like this. Maybe in the hottest summer weather a nice open-collared shirt would go. If you want casual dress, there are so many fine venues why push it?

                    1. re: jen kalb

                      Thanks Jen. Yes, I agree, why push it, it is not that we want to dress casually per se. I just wanted to know if anyone knew if a jacket is a requirement - we're all for the dressing up! But it is much easier as we don't need it at all for the rest of the trip, and if Rome wasn't at the end of the three week trip when everything could easily be wrinkled. We both usually find we are overdressed... And also, my husband is extremely boiling at all times, and we live in Canada! So he would never need it for any type of warmth, ever. Il Convivio looks extremely refined, and we would like to dress accordingly, but would feel equally silly to arrive in a jacket to find that everyone is in a t-shirt........please see below.

                      I still find it hard to believe that every time I watch the NYTimes slideshow for the accompanying article, "News on the Rialto Is About Seafood as Good as Ever" by Mark Bittman - that there is at least 1 man at the table in Da Fiore wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and sandals!! (the others at the table appear to be simlarly dressed!!!) Is it just me that this seems bizarre?? Da Fiore also has a Michelin star, and I wouldn't wear shorts...well anywhere....okay, we're not even taking any. I know that Venice is not the same as Rome, and maybe more accepting of foreigners because it does rely so heavily on tourists. However, this still makes me think we wouldn't be denied entry without a suit? I don't want to chance it, but if anyone knew if it is for sure required that would be great. I'm hoping that we can go with the collared-shirt and nice slacks as you mentioned Jen. I figure that at an establishment with a Michelin star, at least a little bit of decorum is necessary? But shorts at Da Fiore? Who knew?? hmmmm.

                      1. re: hornvixen

                        Venice and Rome are different animals - you said it. Da Fiore is overwhelmingly patronized by tourists rather than Venetians - whereas restaurants of that caliber in Rome are more likely to be filled with Romans on a night out, business people, etc, Id think and local tastes would be more prevalent. Maureen and others can speak with more authority on summer Roman dress standards - its been 20 years+ since ive been in Italy in the summertime, and my husband always takes a jacket along in cooler seasons.

                        1. re: jen kalb

                          Thanks again to all! I guess I had better hurry up and make a reservation to Il Convivio, we leave in three weeks! Hurray!

                          1. re: jen kalb

                            We ate five dinners in Venice at many of the better restaurants. Many were speakers of Italian, although they certainly could have been tourists just like ourselves. Only at Agli Alboretti did we observe anyone dressed in business suits. The most exquisitely dressed appeared to be an Italian couple, an elegant husband and wife, simply eating dinner out. She wore an exquisite black silk suit accesorized with a pin of some major diamonds and he wore a business suit. (They ordered one course only, a single glass of wine, and coffee.) From the greetings that occurred at the beginning of the meal among the other dressed-up group, I'm inferring those diners included husband and wife who were entertaining the husband's business colleague. We never saw anyone eating dinner in shorts or sandals at the other restaurants in Venice, save two young boys accompanying their parents at Fiaschetteria Toscana.

                            1. re: Indy 67

                              thank you everybody we leave early tommorow morning!!! first paris, rome, venice and then milan. ive never been to france or italy so im very excited this is even my first time on a train :) !!!!!! Thank you again for all the food advice!!!!