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Apr 6, 2010 02:51 PM

Restaurants with outstanding wine lists in Rome

I will be in Rome very soon.The first business lunch at a restaurant has been set. Checking that restaurant's website under wine there were two reds, no whites listed. No problem with the food. It made me wonder about restaurants in Rome catering to wine connoiseurs as well as having fine dining..

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  1. Casa Bleve is an upscale wine bar. The food is from a smallish yet bountiful buffet and is quite good. Don't let the "buffet" designation fool you. This is a serious wine bar with seriously good food. The room is handsome and the service exemplary. Not cheap. Open for both lunch and dinner. Best to make a reservation.

    Al Bric understands wine. Dinner this time of year is seasonable and quite good. The pastas are made in-house. The braises (lamb shoulder) are worth a walk to the Campo. I like Al Bric a lot. Not cheap. Dinner only. They have a happy hour if you want to sample a bit before committing.

    Both Casa Bleve and Al Bric have websites. The wine lists are outstanding. Your waiters will help you navigate the ins and outs.

    2 Replies
    1. re: steve h.

      I firmly second Casa Bleve. Not sure what you find "smallish" about the buffet steve h.; when we were there in December for lunch, we could hardly finish our plate. The buffet seems to go on forever and is outstanding! The wine list wonderful also. I can't wait to go back to Casa Bleve some day.

      1. re: ttoommyy

        The buffet is not large. Rather, it's selective. What you get on your plate is your call. Regardless of what you order, it will be wonderfully organized on your plate and delivered to your table with elan. At the end of the day, it's all about the wines. Be adventurous.

    2. Most restaurants, particularly upscale ones, have more than adequate wine lists.

      1. A couple of serious wine connoisseurs recently told me they had been entranced at Checchino because of the older wines in their cellar. In fact, before the current generation of top restaurants, Checchino was known as having the best cellar, there since the 19th century. It's definitely still a wine destination. Il Convivio and Agata e Romeo also have fabulous cellars and super sommeliers, the brothers Massimo and Giuseppe Troiani at the former and Romeo Caraccio and his daughter Maria Antonietta at the latter. There is plenty of good wine to be found in Rome, sometimes with surprisingly modest (in the sense of not fancy, not not good) food and ambience.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mbfant

          Thank you very much for your comments. I had eaten at Il Convivio on a trip to Rome a number of years ago. It had a Michelin star at the time. I wasn't impressed with their version of "nouvelle cuisine".. I've never returned. "Nouvelle cuisine" presented problems with some restaurants in France, too. I'm staying on the Via dal Babuino so Agata e Romeo is distant.
          I'll check out Checchino.

          1. re: mbfant

            I second mbfant's remarks on Checchino and Il Convivo I ate last at the latter 27 March. I wanted to center my meal around the wine. One of the brothers Troiani chose for me a sublime Barolo and then chose a meal that matched the wine. He really knew his stuff.

          2. Am curious which restaurant that first lunch is at... Also note that not all restaurants in Italy, though they may actually have a good list, also post it online - some don't even have working sites!
            Some trattorie and almost all restaurants with fine dining have good wine lists. Some of my favorites are (as a sommelier, I am very wine-driven) Casa Bleve, Roscioli, Bacocco, Settembrini, Glass in Trastevere, Tre Zucche, Opificio, Metodo Classico, Iolanda (re-opens in a new location in July) all have great wine lists with fine dining (using the term broadly here, all have good food, not necessarily michelin star dining). At trattoria level Checchino and Ditirambo offer good wine lists.

            2 Replies
            1. re: vinoroma

              It's very highly likely that the restaurant has a fuller list but didn't post it. A colleague from the SNS in Pisa is comig to Rome to lunch with me as my guest and he chose the restaurant. I'll report on what I find.

              1. re: vinoroma

                ditirambo has good wines at a reasonable price point to go with good food. don't forget the grappa.

              2. Il Spirito di Vino in Trastevere has a very interesting wine list and decent food.