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Jun 27, 2010 12:02 PM

When in Rome...

and staying in the Trastavere area, what would you recommend for a budget minded college student? She'll be there for 5 weeks, most of the time in Trastavere, a side trip to Florence and possibly scouting the area on the weekends.

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  1. The steak at Pierluigi is very good. Not cheap but the perfect antidote when you absolutely, positively need a beef fix. The grilled octopus at Ditirambo (not the skewers!) can be excellent. Both are worth the modest bus trip (116) across the bridge to the Campo de' Fiori.

    1. in trastevere, La Boccaccia - Via di Santa Dorotea, 2- does great pizza by the slice, across the river on via dei chiavari roscioli has great pizza by the slice and will make sandwiches to order. they also have a sort of cafeteria with cold pasta salad and simple dishes. so does cafffe camerino on largo argentina. they do cheap and good pasta dishes. forno campo de fiori has amazing pizza by the slice and sandwiches.

      I would discourage a visit to either Pierluigi or Ditirambo. I am consistently disappointed by both. If your daughter wants excellent and moderately priced restaurant meals, I would suggest Roma Sparita in Piazza Santa Cecilia in Trastevere. Le Mani in Pasta is also very good. Ai Marmi is the best spot in Trastevere for pizza, beans and fritti.

      6 Replies
      1. re: katieparla

        Ahh, but have you actually tried the steak at Pierluigi? Have you tried the grilled octopus at Ditirambo (not the skewers)? Further, I would venture to say that Ditirambo's cacio e pepe is remarkable.
        Worthy plates.

        1. re: steve h.

          nope. ive got my favorite steak and fish places, already and i go to roma sparita for cacio e pepe. sorry to disagree with you on these places but ive never had a great meal at either and pierluigi is not an appropriate recommendation for a budget minded college student.

          1. re: katieparla

            I mentioned the dishes because they are quite good. Pierluigi is a bipolar restaurant that serves fish and pasta to bureaucrats and tourist alike, albeit at different times of the day. The fact that they serve a decent steak at a decent price is noteworthy.

            Ditirambo, if you frequent the place, has a lot of culinary charm. Tons of tourists (German, English and American) but if they recognize you, food and service takes on a different perspective. I find that responding to a measure of familiarity is a trait that most Roman restaurants share.

            I wasn't calling you out. Deb and I have been spending the better part of March near the Campo for some time now. Just thought I'd share some useful information.

            1. re: steve h.

              so, curious - how much do your meals at these two places cost you?
              that would creat more perspective for the students.

              1. re: jen kalb

                Under Euro 10 for the cacio e pepe at Ditirambo. Maybe 12 for the grilled octopus but probably less. Not a bad price. The steak at Pierluigi? I just don't remember. It was a decent size and could easily feed two. I'll backfill with up-to-date info come March.

                With respect to the total price of my meals at those two restaurants? You would have to include several bottles of wine. The grappa at Ditirambo is usually on the house.

                1. re: steve h.

                  I agree with Katie. Been three times to Pierluigi, most recently last April, and never had an good meal. Mediocre food but pleasantly situated on a charming piazza. As for pricing, this is definitely NOT budget category. Entrees run, at lower end, 18-24 euros - higher for fish. Contorni and other starters are north of 12 euros. That ain't chicken feed price-wise.