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How, when, must I make reservations in Rome?

s
smoot60 Oct 11, 2007 01:33 PM

Travel to Rome next weekend and have finally almost decided where to dine. Pierligui, Trattoria di Monti and Checchino dal 1887 are my current choices. I am totally confused as whether to make reservations before we leave or wait till we get to Rome. We arrive on Sunday and plan on having dinner at these places on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Please advise if possible on how I should go about reserving or if I need to reserve.

Thanks!

  1. mbfant Oct 11, 2007 02:06 PM

    Reserve yesterday for all three. Checchino has a web site and you can reserve there. Telephone the others.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mbfant
      c
      condiment Oct 12, 2007 12:35 AM

      But I've never had trouble getting same-day reservations anywhere in Rome, and have in fact walked into these three restaurants at least a couple of times each; Checchino many, many times. It's kind of the beauty of the city's relaxed dining scene. Am I wrong, or just lucky?

      1. re: condiment
        mbfant Oct 12, 2007 04:16 AM

        Neither. You may be out of date, however. Romans have an aversion to planning too far ahead and so it has always been pretty easy to walk into a restaurant. Now, thanks to international foodies who have their hearts set on specific spots for specific evenings (and I'm not saying they're wrong), restaurants are often filled in advance. Checchino is easy at lunchtime but has always been a bit tight at dinner, though a day or two always used to be enough. We're not yet as bad as New York and London, but if you don't reserve, you may be disappointed. That said, I urge people not to make the situation worse. It is ridiculous to reserve three months ahead for dinner in a trattoria. If you don't get your first choice, go to another. Armando and Monti are indeed special but not unique, and we should try not to love them to death.

    2. l
      LudBag Oct 11, 2007 02:16 PM

      I second that...reserve ASAP!!!! I am going to Italy for my first time in mid-November and many of my top choices were already booked up. I reserved at Chechhino just this week--they responded within 24 hours when I booked through their website. Good luck!

      1. d
        Doreen Oct 12, 2007 06:22 AM

        I usually will reserve for the first night on line. Your concierge has a better chance than you of getting thru with a reservation at the time you want.

        1. r
          RomeAddict Oct 12, 2007 07:26 AM

          You can reserve Pierluigi online at www.diningcity.com/rome as well as review their menu/wine list.

          1. r
            RomeAddict Oct 12, 2007 07:46 AM

            Pierluigi & Checchino may be reserved through www.diningcity.com/rome , so you'll only need to reserve Monti when you arrive & remember they're closed on Tuesdays.

            2 Replies
            1. re: RomeAddict
              mbfant Oct 12, 2007 09:05 AM

              Not any more. They're closed Sunday evening and Monday. It was very handy when their day was Tuesday, but alas no more.

              Re concierges: telephone numbers are traditionally difficult to find, and many concierges will tell you a restaurant doesn't exist or is closed if they can't find the phone number right off the bat. The Internet has made this even less credible than it used to be, but you'll save aggravation if you hand the concierge the name and number and ask him to make the call for you.

              1. re: mbfant
                c
                CJT Oct 12, 2007 01:33 PM

                Unless you are staying in a dinky hotel, ask the desk clerk or concierge to call for your reservation. I agree that giving them the phone number with your request is most helpful. If you are staying at a 3-, 4- or 5-star hotel, this is a normal service the desk will provide.

            2. s
              smoot60 Oct 12, 2007 05:53 PM

              Thanks to all for great advise. I have successfully made reservations at Antico Arco and Trattoria di Monti. Waiting on Checchino.

              1 Reply
              1. re: smoot60
                r
                RomeAddict Oct 12, 2007 07:09 PM

                Do try the cheese tortino (flan) appetizer at Monti along with their house white.Fabulous & rich so share one. Please say ciao to the charming younger brother, Daniele.

              2. d
                doglady Oct 12, 2007 07:26 PM

                I was in Italy for a month this summer and had no problem getting a table at restaurants I wanted to eat at (including two you mention in Rome) without a reservation by showing up when the restaurant opened. So if you manage not to get a reservation and don't mind eating at 7 - just show up!

                1. h
                  hipchick47 Oct 12, 2007 08:22 PM

                  When we were in Rome we ate lunch in cafeteria type restaurants where the regular Roman people ate. We stood in a huge line out the door . Inside we grabbed plates and put it up to the person serving the food we wanted and he put it on. We paided at the end of the line. yummmmyyyy!!! We also ate at a lot of pizza places too. Don't miss the Vatican. The Sistine chapel will bring you to your knees!

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