Special dinner in Rome/Florence for 1st Anniversary and husband's birthday
Dear hounds, My husband and I are off to Rome and Florence at the end of February for our one year anniversary. This is my first trip to Italy, and my husband's second. I'd like to surprise my husband with a special dinner either in Rome or Florence. I saw a few posts of Osteria la Fontanina in Verona, which looks fantastic, but I think it may be too far of a trip for dinner. We would prefer something small & romantic with delicious food. Please help me find a place to celebrate! Thank you!
I lived in Rome for 7 years and whenever I return I go to Lo Scarpone on top of the Gianicolo hill. It is a Roman Restaurant for Romans. You almost never see tourists but you will see a lot of the cardinals and their entourages from the Vatican and Roman families enjoying big meals with lots of wine and laughter. You'll need to take a cab to get there but coming back have them call you a cab to take you to the Garibaldi monument then walk down Via Garibaldi to Trastevere (it's a long walk). It's magical with amazing views of Rome, fountains to stop and rest at, the fabulous San Pietro in Montorio church where you can sit on the steps and look at the city then sneak down a little super steep staircase to the left down to Trastevere - you'll need a grappa and a cafe when you get there. The contact info is: Ristorante Lo Scarpone, Via di San Pancrazio, 15, Roma, phone 06.581.4094. Tell them it's your anniversary. The Romans LOVE romance.
Jeffrey...is Lo Scarpone expensive? My husband and I are going to Italy for part of our honeymoon in four weeks and the restaurant and subsequent walk down to Trastevere from Garibaldi sounds perfect for us. Would love to go there if the restaurant is moderately priced. Thanks!
If you're looking for an exceptional dining experience, and aren't too concerned about the expense, you could try Il Pagliaccio: http://www.ristoranteilpagliaccio.com/ For me it strikes the right balance of intimate, romantic, upscale but not stuffy. The food is irreproachable and the flights of wine well thought out. But their prices have gone through the roof lately, so this is not one if you're on a budget.
If you were looking for something a little more reasonable, yet very Roman, you could do far worse that Osteria dell'Arco http://nuke.osteriadellarco.com/. If you're carnivores, you should hit Checchino dal 1887, across from the former abattoir in Testacciohttp://www.checchino-dal-1887.com/ The room is perhaps a tad too bright to be romantic, but the meat is excellent.
ANd I'm with Jeffrey. Wherever you go, throughout the whole trip, tell them it's your anniversary.