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Mar 29, 2008 06:29 PM

Primo al Pigneto - Rome

The latest GOURMET suggests this resto on the western side of the Termini near the Porta Maggiore area. An area favored by Italian cinema directors Rosselini and Pasolini.

The mag mentions roasted suckling pig and linguine with octopus Anyone been there?

Website is:

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  1. Grazie for the tip---sounds great. MBF, what say you?

    8 Replies
    1. re: RomeAddict

      Be still my beating's closed on MONDAYS! As we say in the South, Hot Damn! Owned by chef Marco Gallotta who put Gusto on the map, Massimo Terzulli & designer Roberto Paolucci. It says that Marco has local women "guest star" in his kitchen for 1 week a month...Nonna's kitchen. Bistro Feel, behind the Termini Station. Somebody GO & give us a report. Calling MBF, where are you?

      1. re: RomeAddict

        I'll be there, but not until mid-May.

      2. re: RomeAddict

        I'm right here, but I haven't been and haven't heard anything. The web site is annoying -- no menu, no map, flashing pictures making me queasy while I'm trying to scroll the teensy window with text. Ex-chef of Gusto is no recommendation, believe me. It seems a chi-chi place for date night rather than a place for grownups to sit quietly for an evening enjoying a nice dinner -- but mind you this is only what I'm inferring from the site. It has tapas and pintxos and is apparently designed right, left, and center. There is a new tendency toward international-style places -- a little New York, a little Barcelona -- that make me feel as though I've definitely passed into a demographic that no longer counts, Sic transit gloria boomerorum.

        1. re: mbfant

          Dislike to disagree mbfant, but the site does have a menu and a map.

          For the menu, go to Cucina & Vini - Click Menu, it's on the left. Or, go to

          For the map, go to Info & Contatti - click on mappa, which is at the bottom.

          Unless you have a large Rome map, it's difficult to locate, but as I'm staying near piazza di Spagna, the ATAC site gave me clear routes to take to get there. Metro A to Termini, then bus No. 105 (direction Stag.Ne Grotte Celoni) for 7 stops, getting off at Ponte Casilino and walking a few meters to the resto at via del Pigneto, 46.

          As for you making the assumption, before you visit or hear others report on it, that it's chi-chi, rather than for grown-ups, is a disheartening comment to hear from one that I assume many admire on this board.

          1. re: toitoi

            Chin-Chin toitoi, I look forward to your post after your indulgence in mid-May.

            1. re: toitoi

              Thank you. I have now seen the menu, which I find chi-chi. As indeed the whole concept of a tapas bar in an unfashionable area of Rome. That doesn't mean that I'm knocking it. The prices are quite low, which is good news, as is the Sunday opening. Most of the dishes look very good, but in a new, youthful, and fashionable sort of way. There are many chic ingredients from all over the place used in non-traditional combinations, and instead of having a discernible geographic orientation, the menu is all over the map. It is, sort of, an Italian fusion menu. There are also some more conservative dishes. I didn't actually say it wasn't for grownups.

              Now, do I have a right to express an opinion without having eaten at a restaurant? After decades of observing the Roman restaurant scene, I believe I am able to read signals and infer what a place is like. In this case, I read their own description on their site and a description in the Gambero Rosso low-cost guide. A Roman restaurant that names its architect and stuffs a carciofo alla romana with squid salad, and serves tapas, is making a statement that it is not hard to understand: 'Lovers of the traditional and classic, nonseekers of scenes, will probably be happier elsewhere.'

              Will I ever go to this restaurant? There may be a time when its location, low cost, and varied menu may be just what I need, especially on a Sunday, but I doubt that my husband and I will go there on a week-night for the sheer pleasure of dining out. But that's us.

              1. re: mbfant

                I live about 50 metres from Primo and we like it, especially midweek when it's not full of the ubiquitous posing figli di papa. Bistro decor definitely aiming for the NY look but it's pretty neutral and works way better than Gusto (which I loathe). Service is warm, surprisingly efficient for Rome, and knowledgeable and lifts the atmosphere above anonymity. When asked for, wine suggestions have been good and there's a general enthusiasm for the menu. When we said we wanted something to share it came ready divided without adding anything onto the bill which certainly wouldn't happen in London. I didn't see the squid-stuffed artichoke, but would definitely have skipped it if I had. For antipasti I've had a good insalata di bollito more than once.

                Menu varies a fair bit and we've always had fairly trad staples which were well done, they come with veg in a sop to internationism but I can live with that. The maialino mentioned in the first post was v good. Meat is good quality and well-cooked in general (lamb chops and steak also memorable). Occasionally they have oysters which slip down nicely with a glass of spumante as aperitif. I seem to have a memory gap as far as primi are concerned, I do remember eliche alla carbonara not being fab but a special with small clams being great.

                As I said we live round the corner and like it, I don't know that I'd regularly travel across town though.

                1. re: pizzefichi

                  Very encouraging review, thanks. I'm sure we're on the same wavelength -- I love your moniker and hate Gusto. :-)