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Apr 1, 2009 06:20 PM

a nice time in rome

deb and i just returned from two weeks in rome. weather was cold but the city is cool.
we rented an apartment on the via giulia. this is our third year on the same street.

food is important to us. maureen b. fant showed deb the ropes at a local market. they cooked what they bought and i reaped the benefits. thanks maureen!

some restaurants we liked include:

ditirambo. it continues to impress with apps, pasta, bread and wine. the tonnarelli cacio e pepe is outstanding. sfoglie di melanzane croccanti con totanetti arrosto, broccoletti e pecorino “brunelli” is a killer app. so too the mousse di baccalà con sfoglie croccanti al sesamo e pesto di prezzemolo. ask your server for a good wine pairing.

il drappo is a tiny restaurant off the via giulia. it's sardinian. reservations are a must. you have to press the buzzer to get in. the effort is worth it. this is old school so be sure to dress up a bit. the suckling pig is the best. the family runs the front of the house. plan on spending two hours or more. it's all good.

trimani wine bar is a worthy lunch time destination. start with some prosecco, a few nibbles and proceed to explore some seriously decent wines. we've been hanging out here for late lunches/early dinners for years. the wines are wonderful. hit up cul de sac off navona if you're in the neighborhood and slightly less adventurous (watch out for the cramped little tables).

armando al pantheon is a solid lunch destination. the bruschetta with lardo alone is worth braving the hawkers at the piazza. stick with the pastas and avoid the secondi. desserts are wonderful. trust your server to suggest wines.

aristocampo. sometimes you need a porchetta sandwich with a full liter of beer. go late at night when the food tastes better. a salumi platter is ok if you pair it with a tocai. friday night is "cruise night". next door is lucky red ristopub where the bikers (harley dudes) hang out. you might even catch a vintage chevy or merc if you show up late enough.

baffetto 2 has decent pizza. the house wine is ok and the pizza with sausage tastes even better late at night. don't consider going before 10 p.m.. cheap and good.

lucifero on pellegrino is a decent place for a late night drink. not fancy. just a pleasant stop before walking the five flights of stairs that lead to our little rental apartment on the giulia.

cooking at home is good, too.

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  1. Thanks, Steve. Sounds like a fun and tasty trip. I have always wondered about Lucifero. They serve food as well, don't they?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Leely2

      yes. you might want to go out the backdoor (around the corner actually) to the taverna lucifero on the v. dei cappellari if food is important. i like prosecco and the freebie nibbles (boar sausage!) on the pelegrino. your call.

    2. Thanks for your report. We will be leaving in a couple of weeks for Florence and Rome and I am just finishing up my restaurant list. I'm hoping it will be warm enough to enjoy eating al fresco. If you have any other details of your trip it would be greatly appreciated. We haven't been to Italy since 2000. We are staying in the Ghetto.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kadaffodil

        hi kadaffodil,

        the weather should be cooperative for dining al fresco. if not, the restaurants simply fire up their outdoor heaters. it's all good.

        rome has more restaurants, compelling sights and history than you can possibly squeeze into four days. my advice is to take things slow, target a few places and don't worry about missing anything. you'll be back.

        one thing you might consider is contacting maureen fant (her chowhound handle is mbfant). she knows rome, it's history and its architecture. she can take you shopping at the outdoor markets and then bring you to her flat where you both can cook up a storm. check out her website (

        enjoy your trip. i'm looking forward to your observations.