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leaving in 2 weeks. Husband thinks i have travel o.c.d... have made a list a mile long and would love any feedback, good or bad on my "rough list" and any obvious wonderful spots I am missing for Venice, Rome, Tuscany and Florence. THANK YOU!

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matthunt Apr 7, 2009 03:26 PM

Venice-Osteria all Testiere OR Il Ridotto, can't decide. Il Refolo for pizza, Zucca for lunch or dinner.

Florence-Sostanza dinner, Trattoria Garga dinner, Teatro del Sale(lunch or dinner), Nerbonne(lunch).

Tuscany-Pienza-Latte de Luna, montepulciano-La Grotta, Trequanda-Conte Matto, likely Al Gallopappa or Albergaccio di Castellina in Castellina for dinner.

ALSO-we have a car..any homerun wineries to visit in the Montalcino, areas...we are staying in Buonconvento.

Rome-Antico Arco, Il Drappo(how fancy is this?), Armondo al Pantheon for lunch, any other Rome suggestions, especially not too far from the Vatican for dinner after tour there?

I'd really appreciate any suggestions, thoughts, critiques, whatever, thanks.

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  1. steve h. RE: matthunt Apr 7, 2009 05:11 PM

    il drappo is a small jewel. it's not too fancy. it is "old school". i wear a sports coat to show respect. i rented an apartment around the corner last month.

    maybe the nicest meal deb and i had in march was at il drappo. pleasant, not fancy. make a reservation and let me know how things turn out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: steve h.
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      rrems RE: steve h. Apr 7, 2009 07:46 PM

      This really brings back memories for me. My partner and I enjoyed a dinner at Il Drappo 16 years ago. We chose it because it is Sardinian and a nice variation from the typical Roman food. I'm happy to hear that it still is good.

    2. f
      foodie4444 RE: matthunt Apr 7, 2009 05:36 PM

      I think Colline Emiliane in Rome is really worth a trip for dinner.

      1. m
        ms. chow RE: matthunt Apr 7, 2009 07:06 PM

        Going to Rome and FLorence mid May. Sostanza and Garga are on my list. Still deciding on Teatro del Sale. Rome so far Antico Arco is a must. Al Ceppo as well. Will have to read about Il Drappo.

        6 Replies
        1. re: ms. chow
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          matthunt RE: ms. chow Apr 7, 2009 07:53 PM

          Do you know how expensive al ceppo is? Glad ato hear a. arco is must, because just read a discouraging note on trip advisor, only one however though. thanks for the encouragement!

          1. re: matthunt
            mbfant RE: matthunt Apr 7, 2009 10:07 PM

            Antico Arco is not a MUST. There are really no musts. There are certain food experiences I would consider important (pizza bianca, fave col pecorino in season, certain traditional menu items). But though there are very good restaurants, I wouldn't say one's trip is incomplete without a trip to any single one.

            I started going to Il Drappo when it was newish and I spent more time in that neighborhood, and I loved it, then we sort of drifted away. I seem to remember its ratings dropped and Valentina and Paolo (brother and sister) had split or something, but a few years ago I tried it again and still loved it. I'm glad to have a good report from Steve and will try to go again soon. Unfortunately they're not open for lunch. It's not fancy, but the jewelbox setting encourages a bit of a sartorial effort on the part of the customers. Steve has the right idea.

            1. re: matthunt
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              ms. chow RE: matthunt Apr 8, 2009 04:24 AM

              Time Out listed Al Ceppo with 4 euro signs, which means over 50 for 3 courses without wine, etc. Antico Arco is similar as well. For this trip, we are more leaning towards 'modern' restaurants as opposed to 'old school'. Also places we've never been too. Ceppo and Arco fits the bill right now. I would also recommend Ditirambo. There's been mixed reviews here. But one trip, we stayed on Via del Pellegrino, and it is quite the neighborhood gem.

              Ms. Fant, I also recently read that L'Altro Mastai has now opened a new location near the Domus Aurea. Might explain why it seemed like it is closed, or under renovation. I'm still investigating, but if they are now opened. will definitely go there as well.

            2. re: ms. chow
              mbfant RE: ms. chow Apr 7, 2009 10:08 PM

              What's to decide about Teatro del Sale?

              1. re: mbfant
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                ms. chow RE: mbfant Apr 8, 2009 04:26 AM

                Nothing particular on Teatro del Sale aside from still trying to finalize our Firenze itinerary. Any thoughts about it?

                1. re: ms. chow
                  mbfant RE: ms. chow Apr 8, 2009 01:46 PM

                  The chef is the son of Fabio Picchi (Cibreo) and very good, and the place is charming. I haven't eaten there but I tasted some of his food at a recent lunch at Cibreo and i saw the Teatro.

            3. d
              dcmetro RE: matthunt Apr 8, 2009 08:47 AM

              Having just returned from Venice (see post from a couple of weeks ago) I think I might go with Alle Testiere. But it also depends on what you are looking for as they are both so different. They both are small; Testiere has slightly more crowded tables, no white linens and is a bit dark inside. While the dishes may be a modern interpretation of Venitian cooking they are certainly overall more traditional than at Il Ridotto. At Il Ridotto, the dishes are more fusion style but the chef does include one classic style dish in each category (appetizer, pasta, secondi, and dessert). Il Ridotto's tables are a bit further apart, but not by much, has a much more modern look--light colors, the murano glass tumblers etc. In discussing which we liked better my husband and I agree it is a tie. it might come down to what style of cooking and overall atmosphere that you are looking for. Enjoy, and I look forward to reading your report back!

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                lizreedy RE: matthunt Apr 9, 2009 03:35 PM

                Sostanza is aweome. I also love 4 Lioni in Florence.

                1 Reply
                1. re: lizreedy
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                  Greatfallsdeb RE: lizreedy May 2, 2009 01:05 PM

                  I would second lizreedy- loved Sostanza- chicken, beans, meringue cake...and 4 Leoni as well. Would have gone to either more than once.

                2. f
                  fulminating RE: matthunt Apr 9, 2009 08:34 PM

                  in florence, i would absolutely go inside the mercato centrale for the sandwiches at perini. inexpensive, fantastic, and an incredibly friendly and welcoming experience. il cibreo is probably the most famous foodie place. i ate at the casual sister restaurant and none of my party really liked it to our surprise.

                  i would have recommended the restaurant at banfi vineyard in montalcino, but looks like they closed the formal restaurant. it was a 1-star michelin and one of the most romantic venues.

                  rome: armando is great; i plan on going back in a couple of weeks. also, the cafeteria at the vatican museum is actually surprisingly good. my pasta with mussels was actually one of the tastier things i ate in rome. la rosetta is nice if you're willing to pay +100E/pp for very fine seafood. i will be trying la pergola on my upcoming visit. matricianella and dal checchino were good but not transcendent.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fulminating
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                    QuasiFoodie RE: fulminating Apr 27, 2009 10:23 AM

                    Thank you for mentioning the cafeteria at the Vatican! I have been quite concerned about lunch on the day we visit. We plan to get there very early but it seems there are no restaurants close by and I don't want to have to rush our visit because we are starving. I am diabetic so it is difficult for me to skip meals and I am usually starving come mealtime!

                  2. q
                    QuasiFoodie RE: matthunt Apr 27, 2009 10:20 AM

                    I am taking a very similar trip at the end of May and my list is very similar as well!

                    Please help me decide between Antico Arco and Al Ceppo in Rome!!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: QuasiFoodie
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                      Indy 67 RE: QuasiFoodie May 2, 2009 10:02 AM

                      My husband and I thought our meal at Antico Arco was our best meal in Rome, and that includes dinner at Agata e Romeo. We had the tasting menu at both of these restaurants so that's an apples to apples comparison. We felt that there was too much repetion in the tasting menu at Agata e Romeo. Turbot showed up in three different dishes. We would have enjoyed more variety in the courses. (I'm posting from Naples so this won't be a particularly detailed listing of the the Antico Arco experience. Heading home tomorrow.)

                      Bottom line: Considering the fact that the meal at Antico Arco cost only a little more than half the cost of our meal at Agata e Romeo, we thought AA was the winner. Service was more polished at Agata e Romeo, but Antico Arco was quite attentive, too. The cooking at both was inventive and well-executed. I guess what I'm saying is that when I can favorably compare a meal with another that is almost twice the price, that's high praise.

                      I'll do a detailed posting of our three destinations -- Rome, Amalfi, Naples -- when I get home.

                      1. re: Indy 67
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                        PeggyD RE: Indy 67 May 2, 2009 10:41 AM

                        Can't wait to hear where you went and what you thought. I follow your travels and Rome and Amalfi Coast are my two faves -- going back to both again this year ... and both AA & Agata e Romeo are on my list ... type on the plane ... we can't wait to hear where you went. Caio and safe travels ... Peggy

                        1. re: Indy 67
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                          ms. chow RE: Indy 67 May 2, 2009 10:44 AM

                          Heading to Rome in 2 weeks! With the news that Arco is now opened on Sundays, we've decided Arco is it for DHs birthday celebration.

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