Sunday in Rome near Borghese Gardens
We arrive in Rome on Sunday morning and need suggestions for lunch and dinner. Our hotel is on Porta Pinciana, and I think we'll be too jet lagged to enjoy more than a simple lunch, but I'd love something comfortable and authentic. For dinner we'll probably perk up a bit, but still nothing too fancy.
Some of the places I've read about on this board and am considering include:
Alle Fratte di Trastevere
But, I'm not familiar with Rome and don't know where these restaurants are in relation to our hotel.
Your first job is to look at a map of Rome and locate the landmarks and your hotel. You will notice that the distances in Rome are not so great (it's the hills and traffic that make them seem longer). You will also notice that Via di Porta Pinciana is near Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Barberini, and Via Veneto. There is a pretty high concentration of eateries in this area, and for your first lunch, I would just wing it. One idea could be Ciampini, a beautiful outdoor café at the top of the Spanish Steps, very convenient to you. For the evening, if you're still awake, ideas could be La Campana, Dal Bolognese (upscale but convenient for you), Al Ceppo (also pretty upscale, not exactly walking distance, but varied and awfully good). Baby is great but probably a bit much for your first day. I can't think of any others in your area for Sunday. Al 34 is probably open. It's not that great, but would be handy. But the area is full of places I've never been to, some surely open on Sunday evenings. Otherwise, do what the Romans do and go for pizza, but go early.
As for your list, you have already been told the facts of life, such as Cracco Peck is in Milan. I would not like to see homely old Fiammetta become a cult destination. Checchino is great, but closed Sunday and Monday. If Alle Fratte di Trastevere is the one I think, it's an old place, I think a trattoria-pizzeria, that has always had a following but the sort of place you would get more out of if you're a regular than if you just dropped in -- but disclaimer, disclaimer my info is not up to date.
There should be no reason for you to take the extreme measure of going to Campo de' Fiori to get something to eat.
sunday's a tough call in rome.
take the 116 and scoot over to the campo de' fiori and eat at ditirambo. you'll need a reservation. also in the campo area is pierluigi. i'm pretty sure they are open on sunday but it's best to call. both are worth the ten-fifteen minute ride on the tiny 116.
for lunch you should try IL POMODORINO in Via Campania along the wall of porta pinciana, walking distance. good food very used from local people that works in the area. they have a good pizza , pasta, grilled meat, a big buffet salad & vegetables
for dinner you have GIRARROSTO TOSCANO always in via Campania I dont remember if Sunday it's open
Porta Pinciana is near Via Veneto and there is a good restaurant in that neighborhood: Vladimiro Marcello on Via Aurora, 2 blocks in from Veneto. I just posted on this April 5 - look for my recent post on "Restaurant near Spanish Steps Rome" and you will get full details. You will not be disappointed and it is a short walk from your hotel area.
You're facing two problems: 1. None of the restaurants named is near the Borghese Gardens. Fiammetta is near Piazza Navona, Alle Fratte di Trastevere is (where else?) in Trastevere, Checchino is in Testaccio, and Cracco Peck is furthest of all, since it's in Milan (and I don't think I've ever heard it called "comfortable"). 2. Only two are open on Sunday: Alle Fratte and Fiammetta. I'm sure there are ways of getting to Alle Fratte by public transport, but I don't know them. The little electric bus No. 116 will take you from Porta Pinciana (over a somewhat circuitous route) very close to Fiammetta.
My TIME OUT guidebook recommends four restaurants in the Veneto/Borghese area only one of which -- Baby -- appears to be open on Sunday. The more casual Cafe de Paris, also makes the guildebook in the vicinity of your hotel and it is open daily. One of our most authoritative posters, mbfant, recently recommended Baby for a high end dining experience.
FWIW, here are the remaining three restaurants in TIME OUT: Cantina Cantarini, Osterio dei Rione, Papa Baccus. Hopefully, other posters will be able to offer you first-hand advice on these.
Rome Addict gave directions to Fiammetta on a somewhat recent post. Reading those, I realized we've eaten at Fiammetta twice on various trips many years ago (assuming it is the second of the two restaurants after making the left turn after the Hotel Genio). If so, Fiammetta has an outdoor eating space that I'd certainly put in the comfortable category. In warmer weather, what elevates this small space into something particularly nice is the heavy vine canopy over much of the dining area creating welcome shade for lunch. Nevertheless, I don't think Fiammetta should be a destination restaurant under the conditions the OP has described.
Incidentally, I had an experience at Fiammetta that certainly made our first lunch there memorable even though I didn't remember the restaurant name until reading Rome Addict's directions. To start I ordered a tossed salad and my husband ordered salad Caprese. Then, we shared a pizza. We were both very impressed with the food except for the tomatoes in my salad. They were quite under-ripe with visible streaks of green. I was totally bewildered by the disconnect between the quality of all the other ingredients and my tomatoes. Although I was tempted to think the restaurant was fobbing off poor quality tomatoes on an obvious tourist, that made no sense since my husband's tomatoes were perfect. After arriving home, I learned that Italians have "rules" about the proper sort of tomato to be used in different situations: under-ripe tomatoes for mixed salads. Apparently, the thinking is that ripe tomatoes are too juicy and this juice would dilute the salad dressing.