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Rome 4 nights end April

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We will be staying in the Jewish Ghetto area and after spending many hours on this site over the last few months I am just trying to narrow my list down. There are so many good recomendations.
We thought one night we'd go across the river, one or two around Navona and Fiori and one maybe to the north around Spainish Steps. Don't have to be all that close to any of these.

Besides great food (and we love everything) I thought maybe I would try to narrow things down by atmosphere. Beautiful outdoor, romantic etc, or even indoor, candlelight.

My list includes really what most have mentioned on this site especially mbfant's recs. We don't want to go really high end $ wise and prefer more relaxed settings. For example should we choose La Gensola over Paris? Matricianella over Gabriello? Al Bric over Fortunato or Il Fico? This is why I thought I would start narrowing things down by the ambience?

Appreciate any help, I'm sure wherever we end up it will be wonderful. We were in Rome 8 years ago and do remember eating at La Veranda in the Hotel Columbus near the Vatican and just remember the beautiful courtyard we sat in.

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  1. La Gensola over Paris? No, especially if you're talking about dinner.

    Matricianella over Gabriello? Never heard of Gabriello, don't think much of Matricianella (based on one visit, not recent)

    Al Bric over Fortunato or Il Fico? All three very different. Fico specializes in fish and is the most casual. Fortunato very classic upper bourgeois, quite nice. Never been to Bric but it is probably the most innovative and new-style. I think they are heavily into cheese.

    5 Replies
    1. re: mbfant

      Thank your for your reply. Paris is back on the list for sure for dinner, La Gensola lunch.

      Gabriello is actually Rick Steves top pick and it appears to have good recs so based on that I put on my list.

      Matricianella is also on a number of definite "yes" lists and based on a search and reviews also added it.

      Also considering:

      Osteria da Giovanni are Galletto on Piazza Farnese - Rick Steves favourite al fresco dining, that alone sold me as I decided to narrow places down by giving ambience heavy consideration, has good food recs as well ofcourse

      Montevecchio near Piazza Navona is my pick for Sunday night at this point, also a Rick Steves pick, "beautiful spot", plus other good comments including Sylvia Poggioli with NPR

      We will also go to Cul de Sac, Casa Bleve, Platinum, Al Presidente for lunches and snacks.

      My list has included, Le Colline Emiliane, La Piazetta, Nerone, Armando, Monti, Vecchia Roma ......

      Any further comments would be greatly appreciated.

      1. re: kadaffodil

        Just my opinion.....but as much as I love Rick Steve's guidebooks for his "what to see" choices......I find his "where to eat" picks to be a bit lacking on chowishness (is that a word??).

        1. re: Mushroom

          I agree. We had a very lackluster meal at Trattoria der Pallaro on our recent visit, and it is also a Rick Steve's pick.

          1. re: maestrette

            Agree about Rick Steves' restaurant recs, though he seems like a very nice, encouraging travel guy.

            In any case, I ate twice at Montevecchio this past December/January because it was right around the corner from our apartment and the Sunday-open thing. It's teeny-tiny. I enjoyed it but thought the price-quality ratio wasn't fantastic--maybe that's to be expected in that location. If I were staying in the Ghetto, I'm not sure I'd trek over to Piazza Navona just to go to Montevecchio. But it is cute, the food is solid, and the austere lady who runs the joint is about 1000x nicer on your second visit, or even by the end of your meal.

            For what it's worth, our faves this past trip were Checchino dal 1887 and Antico Arco. Just trundling into a taxi and going someplace I had reserved yielded the best food and if I had had more energy/organizational skills, I would have done this most nights. However, as a tourist who's there primarily to see sights but wants good-to-great food, this just isn't always feasible. We were often exhausted at the end of the day. You might look into a go-to spot near your home base for this reason.

            I haven't been to Nerone in years but my sister and I ate both there and at Armando al Pantheon and enjoyed them. I liked the lamb chops at Armando. Hated Gigetto in the Ghetto, by the way.

            I'm sure the experts will advise you further. Have a great trip.

            1. re: Leely2

              Thanks to everyone. Love Rick Steves but to be honest I've also had some doubts about Rick Steves food picks as well which is one reason I started this query on chow. 8 years ago we stumbled across Pallaro and have the same opinion of it as Mushroom and it's still in his guide book for 2009. We did not eat at any of his other pics that trip or any other really.

              I think it's back to the drawing board. Any other comments would be greatly appreciated! We are looking for lovely ambience, great food of all kinds, willing to take taxies and not too $$$$.