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Rome - Help me narrow my list!

jmk38 Jan 11, 2010 01:06 PM

We will be in Rome for 4 nights at the end of January. In planning our trip and, in particular,
our meals, I have reviewed a lot of posts on Chowhound. I have narrowed my list, but
still need your help. Here's what I have thus far:
Lunch near the Campo de Fiori: Rosciolo's
Lunch near the Coliseum: Il Bocconcino
Lunch near the Vatican: Dal Toscano al Girarrosto
Sunday lunch near Villa Borghese: ??
Dinners: Ditirambo
Ristorante Vecchia Roma
Il Bacaro
Someplace in Trastavere?? or pizza at Da Baffetto??
Reactions? Advice? Thanks in advance for your help-

  1. tbwenzlau Jan 17, 2010 11:42 PM

    I really like Dal Bolognese on piazza del Popolo. It is a scene, but the food I have had has been very good. Best for dinner, I do not remember if they do lunch. When I have dined there it has been alone and the service has been perfect every time.

    1 Piazza del Popolo

    I also have enjoyed La Buca di Ripetta which has a nice atmosphere and the food was good. Great dessert. Great wine list.

    If you are obsessed with wine like myself Trimani Wine Bar is worth a visit. I find that the service here is not good, but they have quite a good selection of wine.

    For some good gelato I like Giolitti (it is where Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn went in Roman Holiday). There is a huge horde of people and a long line, but they have excellent gelato. San Crispino is another spot for some good gelato.

    It is hard to find, but Sora Margherita for Lunch is always good. It is loud, but great local place.

    Hope this helps.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tbwenzlau
      jmk38 Feb 2, 2010 07:17 AM

      Just returned from 4 great days and nights in Rome and, thanks in large part to this board,
      great meals as well. Our dinners were Ditirambo, Antico Arco, Il Drappo and Vecchio Roma.
      Surprisingly, the least spectacular of the 4 was our meal at Il Drappo - BUT, I fault us,
      rather than the restaurant for the less than wonderful experience. We would go back, but
      would defer to their recommendations next time. Also had a good lunch one day at
      Cul de Sac (including our best bottle of wine of the whole trip, a Sicilian red). Caffe Farnese, right on the Piazza Farnese, was our go-to spot each afternoon for great coffee.
      By the way, Ditirambo was not chaotic, as Steve H had warned. Probably because it was
      a Thursday evening in January. We had a great meal with very warm service. The
      restaurant was half full when we arrived, but soon filled up and was lively without being
      Thank you again to everyone.

    2. j
      jmk38 Jan 12, 2010 06:22 AM

      Anyone??? thanks

      12 Replies
      1. re: jmk38
        mbfant Jan 12, 2010 08:08 AM

        I don't think your list is very good. Roscioli is good, and friends have recently spoken well of Il Bacaro, but I haven't been. Otherwise, there's no place on your list I would go. I think you will find better places on this board.

        1. re: mbfant
          jmk38 Jan 12, 2010 02:06 PM

          What do you think of Il Drappo and Antico Arco?

          1. re: jmk38
            steve h. Jan 12, 2010 02:30 PM

            I'm not Maureen but I do dine at Il Drappo and like it a lot. It's old school Sardinian in a wonderful sense. Get a reservation if you can.

            1. re: steve h.
              steve h. Jan 12, 2010 03:12 PM

              Forgot to add:

              Ditirambo can be very good. It can also be very hectic. The place has long ago been "discovered". It's cheek-to-jowl dining. I like it a lot. Choose your dining time carefully. Expect that your second visit will be more satisfactory than your first. Reservations are a must. The tonnarelli cacio e pepe is very good. Ditirambo has a great grappa selection. Ask some questions, try a few samples. You'll be well rewarded.

              Pizza is not fine dining. Find a good place with a wood-fired oven near your hotel/apartment and enjoy a late-night snack.

              1. re: steve h.
                jmk38 Jan 13, 2010 01:45 PM

                Steve - this is very helpful. We do plan to try it - what do you mean by "choosing our dining time carefully" ??

                1. re: jmk38
                  steve h. Jan 13, 2010 01:55 PM

                  Ditirambo is a very popular restaurant in a very popular part of town. Either dine very early (perhaps when they just open for dinner) or very late. Either way, reservations will be required. A little prior planning can spell the difference between an enjoyable meal and an uncomfortable one.

                  Having said all that, I've been dining there for years. Concentrate on the antipasti and the primi. Desserts can be good, the grappa selection is superb.

                  Edited to add: I was cleaning out my passport case today and a tab from Ditirambo fell out. Penance was Euro 90 for a complete meal for two with wine. That must have been one hell of a meal!

              2. re: steve h.
                mbfant Jan 12, 2010 10:02 PM

                I haven't been to Il Drappo for a few years, but have always liked it. Do you remember what it cost on your last visit?

                Likewise Antico Arco, I haven't been in a while, but have always thought they did a great job for a reasonable price. I have heard complaints, mainly of the service, but my own experience has always been good.

                1. re: mbfant
                  steve h. Jan 13, 2010 09:42 AM

                  Hi Maureen,
                  I can't remember what I paid at Il Drappo but I do remember remarking to myself that dinner and wine came in lower than expected. The place is an absolute jewel. I'll be back in March and will update the board with prices, thoughts, comments and criticisms at that time.

                  Best regards,


                2. re: steve h.
                  beaulieu Jan 18, 2010 10:50 PM

                  And here is another vote for Il Drappo. To see our report on it go to:
                  We had a really lovely lunch there.

                3. re: jmk38
                  chocolatstiletto Jan 16, 2010 06:25 AM

                  We were in Rome in the end of December and found Il Drappo entirely by accident- on Christmas Eve, they were able to seat us (with apologies!) in the garden, which was covered, heated, and absolutely perfect. I seem to recall that the bread basket, with very, very fine, crackling sheets (the 'music paper'?) and soft, almost anise or lemon-scented rolls, was delicious. One of the waiters spoke some English, the other did not; they were graceful about my rusty lingua and a pleasant evening on the whole. I seem to remember a duck with fruit dish that was especially well-liked.

                  ...so, anyway, another vote in their favor!

                  1. re: jmk38
                    oldmarshall Jan 19, 2010 03:17 PM

                    I have eaten at Il Drappo twice, 1994 ( Mimi Sheraton recommendation ) and 2007, both times my best meal in Rome.

                    1. re: oldmarshall
                      jmk38 Jan 21, 2010 09:34 AM

                      Based on all of your positive experiences, we plan to have dinner at Il Drappo
                      one night - we're really looking forward to it.

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