Finest of Fine Dining in Rome: for a last visit
Since the late 90s I’ve been to Rome nine times, always dining well. I’m now planning a trip to Rome again this coming March. This will likely be my last trip to Rome; I’m getting old and it’s time to see Greece before I die. Because this will be my Farewell To Rome trip, I want to savor the finest of Rome’s fine dining.
I've hung around this board for several years, and I've come to appreciate the comments here. So I welcome Chowhounders' judgements about fine dining in Rome. For the record, I’m an omnivore, and enjoy trying new dishes – even Rome’s tripe, which I like. Below is list, first of places where I’ve been, then where I’ve not. I will likely choose just one or two restaurants, my choice based on Chowhounder recommendations. So let me know what you think for a “Last Meal In Rome” evening. And tell me if you think some of these places are not really "fine dining".
PLACES WHERE I’VE BEEN AND DINED WELL:
* Il Convivio Troiani – my favorite to date, where I’ve eaten always once during a stay in Rome. Tell me, is there a better restaurant? Is La Pergola even better? I ate here last in 2007.
* Agata e Romeo: I ate here last in 2004
* Chechino dal 1887. I ate here last 2006
* Piperno I ate here last in 2002
* Camponeschi: Piazza Farnese 50. I ate here last 2002
* L'Archeologia, Via Appia Antica 139. I ate here last 2006
* Enoteca Capranica. I ate here last in 2006
PLACE WHERE I’VE NOT DINED YET HAVE A GOOD REPUTATION:
* Acquolina: up near the Milvian Bridge, owned by Il Convivio Troiani, speciality is seafood, open also late at night. A new restaurant. http://www.acquolinahostaria.com
*Antico Arco, in the Piazza Aurelia
* Hostaria dell’Orso
* Quinzi & Gabrielli
* Il Pagliccio
* La Pergola (hotel Rome Cavalierei Hilton). Is it really that good, really a place where fine diners must eat once in their life?
* Mirabelle (Hotel Splendid Royal) I suspicious about restaurants in hotels. I’ve heard good new about this one.
* Imago (Hotel Hassler). ditto.
Thanks. I'll be posting over the next few months other requests about Rome.
Antico Arco is fine dining, but it has a modern feel in comparison to Il Convivio Troiani & such places. I appreciate the millennial history of Rome, and the cuisine that is very grounded in tradition. Personally i also do feel that in today's context, cuisine needs to move forward. I feel that is what Antico Arco is doing. The food is grounded in Italian tradition, but it is very modern.
Il Pagliaccio. I had a very magical experience here one Xmas eve a few years back. So my opinion will always be very biased. The restaurant is excellent. The service was very attentive. The food outstanding. But the food is also very international. This is the kind of place that can fit right in in New York, Chicago, etc. For your last meal in Rome, what will truly make it memorable for you?
I haven't been to all of these, but I've heard a lot, and if I had to face a last meal in Rome -- and the very thought is like a knife to the heart -- it would come down to Convivio or Agata. Convivio has a slightly more thrilling menu, but for a last meal I'd order la matriciana or carbonara or gricia in any case. Often Il Convivio seems to shoot itself in the foot by annoying clients with some small imperfection in the food or attitude of the staff. Agata e Romeo is more reliable, hence relaxing. But if you've already been to Convivio, I wouldn’t hesitate to send you back, though you might want to make sure Angelo is going to be in that night.
Is it me, or is anyone else curious (or shocked & appalled) at the tragic notion of a "farewell to Rome" trip? If I were actually thinking about my "last meal in Rome" (and I can't think of that, unless we are talking about my last day on earth!) I would take a handful of favorite people and go to Enoteca Corsi and have a lunch of Gnocchi, Spaghetti Carbonara and wine ... then head to dinner at one of my many favorites around bella Roma that are well below the blow the budget price range -- La Piazzetta, L'Angoletto, Paris. On the theory that you don't have to blow the budget for a VERY good (and classic Roman meal) ... I always have a few euros left to pocket for the next trip to Rome!! Reconsider and explore a little ... no trip should be your "Farewell to Rome!"
rome is interesting to me. i'm a tourist from connecticut and rent a small apartment every year in march. if forced to conjure a single word to describe my approach to "last meals", i would probably select "neighborhood". over time, you just know where to go. it's not a price-tab thing, rather, it's a comfort thing. relationships, built over time, mean a lot.