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Jul 15, 2007 10:02 AM

Blowout dinner in Rome, also recs for Cinqueterre, Florence, Siena

Hey Italian travelling hounds-- I am at an internet cafe in Rome, a third of the way through our honeymoon. We have had some great meals (Enoteca Cavour 313, Fontanone in Trastevere, Il Piccolo Enoteca by the Piazza Navona) and some not so great ones. For Tuesday night, before we head to the Cinqueterre, we are looking for a blowout, byebye Roma meal. No holds barred--we are getting dressed to the nines and going out on the town. I have heard mixed recs for La Pergola, Il Giusto, and Agata e Romeo, but they sound on the par with what we might be looking for. We have done (and will continue to do) the local trattorias, pizzerias, etc, which are great, but we would love one really extravagant kickass meal.
The other thing we could use help with is recs for the Cinqueterre-ish areas (not nec. fancy) and Tuscany (accessible by train from Florence or Siena). Molto grazie a tutti!

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  1. I know some great places in Cinqueterre ... need to check with a friend as I don't remember the names

    1. La Pergola is great, with a huge staff (quite pleasant) and a smooth international style of service, really perfect. How can I say -- it gives the impression of importance and bigness. Agata e Romeo is more intimate, much smaller. I love it, have been going for years. The food is superb, the ambience serene. Il Convivio is also superb and suitable for a celebration, and again we've been going for years (not that we go often to such places). We've been once to L'Altro Mastai, which is also excellent. Never heard of Il Giusto. It would be interesting to know your "not so great" experiences.

      7 Replies
      1. re: mbfant

        Grazie, mbfant! The not-so-great meals were at la buvette, near the spanish steps (used to be brasserie la buvette...) and the tourist pizza place by the colosseo, the name of which escapes me at the moment. to add to the nice meals, we ate at pizzeria amore e fantasia in irteria (sp?)
        anyway, thanks for the recs. we are on the waiting list at pergola for tomorrow night, and i think we will prob. reserve at il convivio for a backup. thanks for the rec on l'altro mastai--we'll have a look at that as well.

        1. re: HeelsSoxHound

          My wife and I are traveling to Rome and Florence for national liquidation sale week. Staying at the De Russie we're thinking Dal Bolognese, Le Jardin de Russie, Di Rienzo Michele, Piperno, and Sabatini so far. In some cases we going for location over cuisine. Have you been in Florence this trip? Any recs. Congratulations and hope you are enjoyiong everything. It would be great to see your final trip report. Cheers and Ciao!

          1. re: EATTV

            EATTV, what's the plan for liquidation sale week? What is it? Just clothing? Which week? We are headed to Rome next week. This may get booted from this board, but I thought I would quickly try to find out what it's all about.

            1. re: mickeyj

              See my above recs for Rome, and add an emphatic rec for Il Drappo, near the Piazza Navona. Without question the most romantic meal we've had thus far. We're heading to La Pergola tonight... will report back in more detail later. internet cafes are expensive...

              1. re: HeelsSoxHound

                I'm looking forward to your report on La Pergola. We have reservations there in a couple weeks.

              2. re: mickeyj

                Two weeks a year stores run a 30-70% sale. Last week in January and July. Due to the weak dollar it makes prices merely expensive as opposed to prohibitively so. We're leaving next Thursday and we'll be shopping it up connected by great restaurants, mostly picked for atmosphere. Should be good.

                1. re: EATTV

                  Have a great time. We've got 8 days in Rome which will primarily be centred around food: markets, coffee, trattorias, some fine dining, gourmet food shops etc. etc.

                  I am glad to have your heads up on the sales. Expensive rather than prohibitively so means I'll give it a miss and bring home a few extra bottles of Barolo.

        2. florence--academia restaurant...near the museum. best pasta in italy. can I really say that?

          1. We were in the Cinque Terre in May and really enjoyed dinners at Miky's and Via Venti (both in Monterosso) and il Castello (in Vernazza). Our lunches were pretty simple - one that I remember was a tiny place on the "main street" in Riomaggiore called Te La Do Io La Merenda. Take-out foccacia with all sorts of toppings as well as a plate of fried shrimp and squid. Very good and very cheap.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bulldogx2

              We just returned from the De Russie..love that hotel! Forget Dal Bologonese we had a fair, not good meal there last year. Try Quincy and Gabrieli...great lobster and fish. Perfect service and wonderful deserts. By the way the sales are on since Monday, and there are some good buys.

              1. re: dlgc

                Thanks a mille! Any specifics on shopping? I was hoping for a first day lunch al fresco at Dal Bolognese since it's close to the hotel? (perhaps no now) Any shopping lunch, snack, coffee, or street food tips?

            2. Vernazza in 5Terre, I'd recommend Giannis right near Il Castello. Great pesto ... I had a bad meal at Il Castello, so can't recommend that, but the view is awesome.

              1 Reply
              1. re: GetOutTheMapGuy

                One of the best meals I've ever eaten was the trofie al pesto in Vernazza, about 6 years ago. I can't quite remember if it was Trattoria Gianni or the place just up the square from there (forgot the name).