Rome: Too little time, too many choices
We (Aussie family of 6 with kids 11-17) have 2 days in Rome - 3 dinners, 2 lunches. After reading these boards for weeks as well as all the rec books, i am more confused than ever! Staying at the Russie and want to walk to dinner but doesn't have to be very close.
1 "more upmarket" dinner: Agata e Romeo OR Checchino OR Pierluigi?
2 other dinners: La Matricianella, Costanza, Armando, Da Sergio or La Carbonara.
Lunches: Piperno (for artichokes), Fiammetta (for E/P parm).
Any mistakes here?
Thanks so much!
Agata is very upmarket, Checchino and Pierluigi are in a different class. Checchino is a nice bourgeois restaurant that has practically not changed its menu in 150 years. Pierluigi, a fish place greatly loved by foreigners, is very middle range, as far as I can tell. Don't worry about walking to dinner. I can't think of any place worth walking to from the Russie exc maybe Dal Bolognese, which I haven't been to in years. Or Colline Emiliane, an Emilian trattoria. Piperno is upmarket in a very classic way (as opposed to Agata, which is creative and more innovative). I'd go to Piperno for dinner and have all the fritti, which might be a bit much for lunch. Three dinners could be Piperno, Checchino, and Agata (or Convivio or Pagliaccio), but only if the children are able to tolerate amuse-bouches, etc. Otherwise Checchino and Piperno are as high as you should go. Checco er Carettiere could be an idea too -- very classic Roman trattoria food better than most (though I haven't been there in a while. Don't get hung up on lunches. If you have nice dinners planned, you can do very well in bars for lunches. With the exception of Agata, Piperno, and Checchino, I don't think anything on your list is special. Each has its fans, and fanatics, but none is indispensable. Even Agata, which I love, could be replaced by a fair handful of places. Oddly, the two most conservative, Piperno and Checchino, are the most special.
For some reason, rome is one city where I am never concerned about getting good meals.
Focus on where you intend to visit that day - pick your lunch based on that to make your life easier. For example, if you are going to spend a morning in the forum, have your lunch nearby (Osteria Nerone, or maybe one of the places in the Ghetto, like Sora Margherita, which our teen/college kids loved, Piperno or Pompiere)
There are so many good restaurants, not just the chowhound anointed faves. I think of Armandos as a lunch place because we have always gone for lunch - usually our big meal of the day in Italy, because everything closes down in midday anyway - but it would be fine for dinner. Checchino for dinner I think - you could take the Metro to Piramide and walk from there - six is big for cabbing it. Bear in mind that its a meat specialty place if you have finicky kids.