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Aug 21, 2008 01:06 PM

Il Tinello in Rome help requested

Dined at Il Tinello (south of Villa Borghese) almost 20 years ago. I was much younger, thinner, and less a foodie. However, I had a great time. I'm retuning to Rome next month. Is this place worth a visit? In short, is it the food or just the nostalgia talking? I'm looking for some Chow-style honesty here.

Here's the site:

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  1. I have never been there, so I'm offering only an impression (which gets many people riled up, but i stand by my experience). My advice, in the absence of eyewitness testimony, would be to keep the memories and go elsewhere. The web site mentions new management, which could be good or bad, but also mentions banquets and communions, which is usually a bad sign. I didn’t find a menu on the web site. Also I didn’t like the look of the artichokes in the picture, not that you will find them next month anyway, but they were cut too straight across the top.

    1. We moved to Rome a few weeks ago and are living near Il Tinello. We've eaten there twice in the last month and it's fine - decent pastas, fine antipasti, drinkable (and relatively cheap, at 12 euros a bottle) red house wine, good desserts, haven't had the secondi but friends had fish one night and they enjoyed it. We've only eaten in the outside airconditioned glass rooms so can't speak to the ambiance inside. In other words, it's fine, but I wouldn't put it in the "memorable" category as it is now.

      If you like that area, I'd recommend Piccolo Abruzzo (Via Sicilia 237 - about 6 blocks east of Via Veneto) for a hearty authentic meal. Don't bother with the menu, just eat what they bring out, but beware there's a lot of it - multiple course meal and wine for about 42 Euro a person - a steal for the quality and volume. We also like Brancaleone right across the street from it for pizza/pasta/salad - the owner of Piccolo Abruzzo's wife runs Brancaleone. Also in the neighborhood, we like Girrarosto Toscano (head to the top of Via Veneto and make a right, following along the inside of the wall - it's a block or two down on the right). Delicious food, not terribly cheap but lots of free extras and a cozy setting. Cheap and cheerful (and reliable) places in the Veneto neighborhood include St Marco (Via Sardegna), il Peperone (on Via Veneto across from Hard Rock), and il Pomodorino (Via Campania 45/E).

      If you're looking beyond the Veneto area, Antica Pesa in Trastevere is outstanding for authentic Roman food and great ambiance, and La Cisterna in Trastevere (if it's open) was very good when we ate there a year ago. It has a Roman prison well in the basement (ask for the "tour") and a troop of hilarious little old guys went from table to table singing - a memorable experience. Down near Pantheon, Clemente alla Maddalena was a stand-out for fine - and creative dining. Near Piazza del Popolo, Il Brillo Parlante (Via della Fontanella 12) is boisterous, good, and reliable.
      Good luck and buon appetito!

      3 Replies
      1. re: BahamaViking

        Thanks for the ideas on restaurants in that area. We are going to be in Rome next week and were looking for a good trattoria near the Majestic Hotel (Via Veneto?). Someone suggested Ristoranto Tullio on Vi San Nicola da Tolentio. Someone else suggested Al Vero Girarrosto Toscano on Via Campania. Are you familiar with either of them?

        1. re: stevenaweiss

          Hi Steven. Haven't been to Tullio yet. Al Vero Girarrosto Toscano is one of the ones I listed above (you have the full name, I only wrote "Girarrosto Toscano" and gave some pretty vague directions, but it's the same place!) We highly recommend it.

          Another decent place nearby is Cesarina (Via Sicilia and Via Piemonte - lovely Emilia-Romagna food - lasagna to die for, never tasted chicken noodle soup with such subtle flavors).

          One place right near your hotel that I would avoid like the plague is Marcello di Vladimiro. We just went tonight and were highly disappointed with the food (nasty watery amatriciana), the annoying guitar player/singer who had the audacity to come on out and tell us he wanted a tip, and the con artist waiter who brought out the bill on a Post-It note and felt free to add in a 6 Euro tip (on a 44 E bill - WAY TOO HIGH) and claimed it was a "tax." I've seen people recommend that place but am on a mission to steer innocent victims away from it!

          If you get tired of Italian food (ha!), there's a good Syrian-Lebanese place right by your hotel called Palmira (I'd just get mixed appetizers - they're fantastic) with the staff is very friendly. The Chinese place a block or two up from you (Mandarin, I believe) is actually fine - not quite the recipes we're used to from the States, but tasty.

          1. re: stevenaweiss

            Quick pipe up for Tullio. We had a wonderful lunch there last October during a weekday, therefore saw many politicians/suit types. Very comfy atmosphere, lots of space and delicious food. My hubby tremendously enjoyed the Steak Tartare, which was prepared table-side. I myself had a classic A+ eggplant parm.

        2. If you want another great address for Roman food go to Hostaria da Costanza,piazza del Paradiso 61 (close to Campo de' Fiori). The food is great,it's less expensive than Antica Pesa (wonderful though) and it's located in an old cave, very suggestive.

          For Chinese food,the best in town is Hangzhou, via San Martino ai Monti, very close to Santa Maria Maggiore. Plan to wait for your table but the food is definitively worth it!