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Oct 16, 2009 06:05 AM

ROME restaurants posted by FROMMER'S 10/14/09 - any comments?

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  1. Piperno is highly recommended by some trustworthy folk on this site, M. Fant in particular . I ate there over 7 years ago, so my own judgement is dated. Still, I had a fine meal. Try the Jewish artichoke.

    Il Convivo is one or Rome’s finest. I’ve eaten here every time that I’ve been in Rome, last in 2007. The wine steward really knows his stuff; let him choose a wine to match your meal. An attendant will keep your bread plate fresh with delicious bread, so you have to be careful not fill up just on bread. If you ask for a grappa after dinner, they roll a cart with a number of grappas to choose from. I’ve never been disappointed. Alas, its also quite expensive.

    Checchino dal 1887 is also one of Rome’s finest. I ate last here 2006. The wine was astonishing cheaper than elsewhere. Excellent for Roman dishes, including tripe prepared for fine dining.

    1. Da Baffeto is considered by most to be the best Roman pizzaria.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Joe H

        Baffetto is on everybody's mind on Internet boards, but in thirty years in Rome I have never heard a native say, hey let's go to Baffetto for the great pizza.

        Checchino is good for traditional food. Convivio is great for high-end. Piperno is very classic, best of the Jewish places. I haven't been to Sabatini in decades, and decades ago it seemed a very expensive but good fish place. have never been tempted to return. Felice has gussied itself up and I don't know what it is any more, haven't been. I really don't recommend Al Moro unless you're accompanied by a celebrity or a member of parliament.

        In all, it's an odd list, and even a broken clock is right twice a day.

        1. re: mbfant

          Three out of seven is a somewhat higher proportion than two out of 1440 or even 24...

          Felice of Da Felice, who had retired a while ago, died a few days ago at the age of 88.

          1. re: mbfant

            Al Moro takes a lot of hits on this board, but the level of the cooking and the ingredients, especially the primizie, is very high - the caste system in the restaurant is extremely apparent to Romans, but the happy tourists unaware that they've been exiled to the social Siberia of the fourth room will have a very good meal if they order properly. (The waiters inevitably push the carbonara-like spaghetti Al Moro, which is very good but perhaps not the point of the place.) They are definitely nicer to you the third time you come in than they are the first.

            The list of specials typed on the front page of the menu will include superb first-of-season ovoli, favas and wild asparagus in addition to difficult-to-find specialties like nervetti, muscolo and fried brains with artichokes. You will not find better ray-and broccoli soup, spaghetti with clams, or puntarelle with alici, and the weekly special of bollito misto is especially wonderful.

            Is more expensive than nearby trattorias serving similar food? Yes. Is it snobby? Yes. Is it worth it? I submit the answer is also yes. But perhaps you do have to be either a tourist or a senator to fully appreciate the restaurant.

            Good call on Baffeto, by the way. Remo is so much better, and cheaper.

            1. re: condiment

              Well Remo, which some of us still call Corrado, is not near Campo de' Fiori, so many people will just never know.

              The last time I went to Al Moro, with American cousins and without my handsome Italian husband (who loves nervetti), our food was just not very good. The waiter pushed the roast lamb, which was dry and awful, and everything was generally blah. I've eaten brilliantly there, with Franco and with a senator friend, and less well without the Italian buffer.

              1. re: mbfant

                It's definitely possible to eat badly there. And it's often the roast lamb, come to think of it! Definitely a restaurant that is better the 20th time than the first, and the food is quite plain - which come to think of it, may make Al Moro a bad bet for thrill-seeking tourists.

              2. re: condiment

                Interesting take on Al Moro. I'm curious, does the weekly special of bollito misto usually come with a sauce of any type, like a salsa verde? It would have been great when we were there, but it just came out on its own. They didn't seat us in the tourist Siberia, but neither would my waiter allow me to order a dish with the fresh porcinis displayed in the entry. I ended up with a dried porcini pasta that was perfectly delicious, but not the "porcini freschi" we discussed.