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Jul 28, 2008 05:47 AM

Roman Chow In Rome?

Hubby & I will be in Rome in about a week for a few days. We would love to dine on truly authentic Roman cuisine exclusively. Particular focus on family owned and operated establishments would be desirable. We're adventurous diners who, being on vacation, don't mind spending for great food. Food is far more important to us than decor, though, so the white tablecloth treatment isn't necessary if the hole-in-the-wall delivers. Any help would be appreciated. We'll gladly repay in kind if any Italian Hounds come to Toronto.

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    1. re: chezfredo

      These places serve moderately priced family cooking, and it's delicious.

      Sor'Eva, piazza della Rovere, 108 -- walkable from the Vatican -- homey and delicious

      Armando al Pantheon, down the street from the Pantheon to the right as you face it. Popular, you might have to reserve. May have a website now.

      Lo Zozzone is a true hole in the wall serving pizza bianca, take out only -- off the piazza Navona on via Teatro Pace, but you may see immigrants behind the counter.

      And I second the choice for da Giggetto, and think it is especially fine at night with a stroll through the Portico d'Ottavia, a lovely destination in its own right.

      If you are in Roma on a Thursday, you might like to join the Romans in eating gnocchi, made with semolina. It's my favorite preparation of gnocchi (with one exception) in Italy.

    2. Well Googs, from one Torontonian to the other, you cannot afford to miss out on a dinner at "Agata e Romeo". They have a website, so you can browse in advance.

      Have a terrific time...I love Roma!

      1. Googs, given that a week from now will be August. Do check ahead of time to make sure the restaurants you want to go to are open. I'm going to Rome in a couple of weeks too and in my research and as many CHers on the Rome board will tell you, many restaurants close in August. You may luck out as some won't close until the week of ferragusto (aug. 15) but many are closed the whole month. So sad for me.

        Please report back on where you end up!

        1. We definitely plan on trying Agata e Romeo and Est Est Est that mbfant so generously recommened. The menu at Giggetto looks a little long to me. Can anyone recommend a place with a somewhat more focused menu?

          8 Replies
          1. re: Googs

            There's a good chance A & R will be closed for vacation, but do try. Many places don't take the entire month. haven't been to Est3 in years, so can't guarantee it, but in any case I'm sure it's still long on atmosphere. I'm not crazy about Giggetto, but it often saves the day when other places are closed. The menu is long but not unfocused. The specialties are the fritti of the Jewish tradition. In summer artichokes, not in season, are still available, so it's don't ask, don't tell. They may be imported or frozen. Fiori di zucca are not to be missed, fried zucchini flowers filled with mozzarella and a little anchovy. Everything on the menu is classic Roman home/trattoria food.

            1. re: mbfant

              I'm wondering about a few of other restos I've been reading about. Are you familiar with Al 34, Al Ceppo (I just love a kitchen headed by women. Makes for great comfort food.), and Piperno? They all seem as though they might be open in August.

              1. re: Googs

                Al 34 is OK if nothing else is open, not a destination in itself. Piperno is unlikely to be open, but give it a shot. Al Ceppo is wonderful.

                1. re: mbfant

                  "If nothing else is open." LOL! I'll see if I can get a table at Al Ceppo. Thank you so much.

                  1. re: Googs

                    Googs I tried to make a reservation for Al Ceppo for August 10 but they are closed August 8-27. If you are in Rome before the 8th you should be good to go!

                    1. re: heypielady

                      Thanks for the help, heypielady. I just got an e-mail back from them. They close the DAY I arrive.

                      Where are you trying next? I've e-mailed Agata e Romeo and Piperno which is rather difficult to do with your fingers crossed.

                      1. re: Googs

                        I'm staying with my aunt and uncle who live and rome. I asked my uncle to call Sor'Eva, Da Giggetto, Le Tre Zucche, La Tavernetta 48, and La Fiammetta for me to see if they are open. If and when he does I'll post the results.

                        I did get make a reservation for Il Convivio...rather pricey for me but if I end up eating with mi Zio and Zia everynight since everything is closed, I guess I'll save up enough.

                        Please post about Agata e Romeo and Piperno when you hear back!

                        1. re: heypielady

                          Well count another one out. Piperno is closed for the entire month. Bummer.

                          Haven't heard from Agata yet. I'll keep trying.

          2. I'm somewhat surprised that no one has mentioned some of the places in Testaccio:

            Da Oio a Casa Mia
            Ne Arte Ne Parte
            Da Bucatino
            Pizzeria Remo