Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Italy >
Oct 11, 2008 04:49 PM

Dinners for one in Rome and Milan

I'll be on a business trip later this month and will have a few free nights alone in Rome and Milan. Would love to have a couple of awesome solo dinners. Regional/local cuisine preferred. Casual over formal, but I'm willing to spend for a great meal. Where will I feel welcome by myself AND get to eat really well? Thanks in advance.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Milan is a tough town for food. I go there every year when I visit my family. there are great famous places like Beoucc in the fashion district which are great, but you sure part with a lot of euros and I never thought they were worth the money. Much depends on where you wil be staying. The first place i eat at every time i go there is a wonderful place called Il Salernitano, located at the corner of Via Vitruvio and Via Tadino. It is a nice family place that has been around about 35 years or so. their specialty is seafood. Try the Carpaccio di pesce mixto for a starter. The pasta with seafood is also very good. I always have to have an ossobuco with milanese risotto at least once before i leave.I think they are closed wednesdays, but I am not sure. Another place not too far from there that is good, but in my opinion not as good as Salernitano located on a side street just off corso Buenos Aires. It's called Sabatini. Both of these serve a ful range of traditional Ital;ian dishes.
    For Pizza, go see Aldo Russo at Pizzeria Gaffurio. He is an old time Neapolitan who bakes his pizzas in brick ovens fired by wood--- increasingly hard to find. the place is at Via Gaffurio no. 8, only a few mionutes walk from the train station, and not far from Salernitano. Tell Aldo the Spano brothers sent you and he wil take good care of you. His place is also a "Tavola Calda", so they will have a few pasta dishes each night that he and his sister make up fresh daily. This place is very inexpensive. It is open on Sunday, but closed Monday,which is a good thing to know since most places except the tourist joints are closed, and if you land in Milan on a Sunday, you'd better have a sandwich in your suitcase!
    When in Rome, my favorite place is Trattoria Othello, located at Via della Croce 81, only a block or so from the Spanish Steps. Their veal dishes are excellent, but so is everything on their menu. Prices are moderate by Italian standards. A reservation is usually required, but for one diner and if you eat early, maybe not. Are you brave? Do you want to eat REAL Roman food? The kind that isn't on any menus and like the Romans have been eating forever? If so, try Il Scopetarro, located in the Testaccio area of Rome along the Tiber River, just before you cross the bridge into Trastevere. They feature very authentic things like "La Palgiata". I won't tell you what it is, but it is good. Tell the waiter you want to try a few authentically roman things, and he will bring you a combination of tastes.
    Oh.. so many restaurants... so little time! Let us know if you try these places and how you did, OK?
    Buon apetito!I love to eat wonderful food, but i don't like to pay outrageous sums for fancy places.

    3 Replies
    1. re: raspano

      Thanks so much for the wonderful response-- I leave end of this week, but won't be solo until the following week.

      Grazie mille


      1. re: quentinC

        If it is not too late, a couple of my favorite spots in Rome appear to be perfect for dinners on your own -- I have been there with a crowd, and also with my 8 year old son, who is always leaving the table to go look at something on the street or playing with a psp game, and sometimes makes me feel like I'm dining alone (HA!!) Search this board for Ristorante Fiammetta (near Piazza Navona), La Piazzetta (not far from the Colloseum), Enoteca Corsi iVia del Gesu 87(not far from Pantheon) Tel. 06.6790821 Open only for lunch, Osteria del Sostegno, at 5 Via delle Colonnelle, near Pantheon. I love Rome and I think Romans are welcoming and lovely like nobody else ... have a great time!! Enjoy yourself!!

        1. re: PeggyD

          not too late- I leave tonight. grazie Now I will have to engage in my favorite pastime-- trudging from one recommendation to the next and scoping them ALL out -- i shall report back in November.

    2. I see a few critical remarks in that Othello is described as a "tourist joint". sadly, it is true that tourists have discovered this charming place. My grandfather used to take me there as a kid in the 1960's and it was a local place, remaining so until relatively recently (blame Rick Steve... he spoils everything!).I continued eating here frequently in the many years following, until today, and yes-- I have noticed tourists in there the last few years. However, this place is charming and it is very good, with moderate prices so please do not let this dissuade you from trying it.