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Feb 13, 2010 07:35 AM

Trimani and Cul de Sac

While in Rome late March and early April, I'd like to try a wine bar. Two such places have been recommended to me:

i. Cul de Sac, Piazza Pasquino 73
ii. Trimani, Via Cernaia 37b

My questions for Chowhounders:

1. Are these two places truely recommendable?
2. Can I also have a hearty meal there? where I also can match food to a wine? at what times?
3. Are other such establishments in Rome more recommendable?

My thanks beforehand.

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  1. I personally am not too fond of both places - but you will always hear personal feelings about these places. I find Cul de Sac cramped and the food, except for anything that is along the lines of cheese or salumi, really really, bad. But they do have a big wine selection. Trimani has an even bigger wine selection and the location is nicer/more modern and offers slightly more space, but the food and the service has constantly disappointed me in the last years - it used to be a great place.

    As said, at both you can have meals, lunch and dinner, but I personally wouldn't do that.

    Other recs would be

    Casa Bleve (Pantheon)
    Cavour 313 (Via Cavour)
    Al vino al vino (Monti)
    Bacocco (Trastevere)

    At all you can have good to great food, wines by the glass or bottle and good service.

    2 Replies
    1. re: vinoroma

      Palatium has an oenotheque on its ground floor. Very open space, very modern, lots of wines from Lazio. You can also order from their food menu, which consists of light fare and full meal dishes. When we were there in early December, they were offering a daily special during certain hours (similar to cocktail hours); it included some antipasti with wine. Worth checking it out

      1. re: CJT

        Thanks for mentioning Palatium, I had forgotten. Yes, they have an aperitivo hour, I think 6 to 8 pm, where you can get some wine and then some very light grub to go with it, like Pane Carecau, olives, etc. but not a real meal. Starting from 8 you can get a formal dinner. They also have lunch. They have only products (food and wine) from the Latium region.

    2. Here is a link to a Food & Wine article on wine bars in Rome:

      1 Reply
      1. re: DavidT

        err, sorry but that article is 8 years old and the information is very very outdated - a lot of the places mentioned don't exist anymore or changed substantially. It may be an interesting read about the history of wine bars, but by no means an actual account nor recommendation.

      2. I really like Cul de Sac. Yes, it's a little cramped (it's much better if you can get a table outside, weather permitting). But they have a very nice selection of wines, and the food has been quite good in my experience, including the dishes cooked in house like trippa alla romana and other meats. I'd have no trouble recommending it, as a place serving honest food and decent wine at reasonable price in an otherwise very touristy neighborhood.

        Another wine bar I like is Uve e Forme in via Padova near piazza Bologna. Excellent wines, a knowledgeable sommeliere, a short but interesting menu, and several different events throughout the month. Recently they did Sardinain wines with an all Sardinaian menu. They also do an aperitivo that I keep meaning to go to.

          1. re: Sid Cundiff

            Hi Sid,
            Late to the party. Cul de Sac is decent and cramped (as most have pointed out). Trimani is where bureaucrats (around the corner) go for lunch. I go to both but I prefer Trimani for a late lunch with wine. It's pleasant. Visit the wine shop next store to understand what the place is all about.

            1. re: steve h.

              Definitely agree about Trimani -- good wines, lousy service, and not a particularly warm atmosphere. Particularly in nice weather, Cul de Sac is good, if you're willing to tolerate the wait. Al Vino al Vino has a nice selection of wines in a comfortable setting.

              We went to Bacocco tonight for the first time after seeing the post above from Vinorama. It's a great find. A very nice selection of wines, really friendly people, and a wonderful selection of creative antipasti. We'll definitely be back.

          2. Owning a winery in the US and living a month a year in Rome, this is a topic I take very seriously. In all honesty, I have not found the "go to" spot for both a full meal and a great wine experience. Casa Bleve is in a class by itself as an overall experience, but I would go for lunch and get a couple plates of finger food to go with the wine and the unbelievable surroundings (this is, by the way, a must-do experience in my opinion). For wine without food, I like Il Goccetto near Via Giulia--generally nothing but locals.

            7 Replies
            1. re: GeraldI

              Have you tried Roscioli? That fits your description "full meal and great wine".... It is our go to place (we are two sommeliers and ambitious food lovers).

              1. re: vinoroma

                Yes; but that it more restaurant than wine bar, and one of the times we went we were treated likely lowly tourists, so we don't go that often.

                1. re: GeraldI

                  Deb and I enjoyed a wonderful lunch today at Casa Bleve. It's a charming room with very good food and excellent service. Penance for the high-end buffet (you point out what appeals to you and they plate it and deliver it to your table) was Euro 26 each plus Euro 65 for a serviceable Barolo.

                  Thanks to vinoroma and Geraldl for highlighting Casa Bleve on this thread.

                  1. re: steve h.

                    you are welcome! But what ever happened to that big dinner of yours?????

                    1. re: vinoroma

                      Patience. We arrived Wednesday morning and are still shaking off the dross. :-)

                      1. re: steve h.

                        lol, didn't mean to rush you, just thought it was already!

                        1. re: vinoroma

                          So just to be clear, you can sit down at a table and just order wine, even though they serve food? (At all of these enoteca places?) Thanks