Lunch near Palazzo Barberini
I would like to ask a simple and straightforward question.
Before I ask it, I should say in advance that I am aware that there is a long history on Chowhound of discussions of restaurants in Rome. I have read a good bit of it, and it is fascinating. My difficulty is that I am not especially familiar with Rome, and I do not know the neighborhoods, though I am learning. When a restaurant is mentioned, I do not know whether it will be around the corner from where I will (or might) be or an hour’s journey away. While food is important, I don’t want to spend hours on transport to get to a particular restaurant when there is one just as good, or even one almost as good, nearby. So while the answer to my question is doubtless somewhere already up in the discussion groups, it is not in a form in which I can find it.
Perhaps I should also mention that I won’t be toting an iPhone or other similar device that could locate me and list nearby restaurants.
Having said that, let me ask for recommendations for lunch near the Palazzo Barberini. I specify nothing in advance about the restaurant, except that the food should be Roman (or Italian) and good. Upscale or humble, it makes no difference, except that I’m sure that by the end of a morning at the gallery we’d like to sit a while. Comfort would no doubt be welcome. We don’t have much Italian, but that somehow never seems to get in the way of a good restaurant experience in Italy, even in places not used to dealing with foreigners (if there are any such places in central Rome).
Palazzo Barberini is near the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, so you might want to do a search on here for those and you'll no doubt find lots of suggestions. On a larger level, my recommendation is to spend some time studying a map of central Rome, so you will be familiar with the area. Your trip will be much more enjoyable and less stressful.
Within walking distance you'll easily find Filippo La Mantia (Sicilian), Nino ( Roman & Tuscan) and Palatium (Roman & Lazio Regional food). For lunch expect to spend around 35/40 Euro per person (wine not included).
Hope this helps.
There are lots of really good restaurants spitting distance from Palazzo Barberini, which is just off Piazza Barberini, which is at the bottom of Via Veneto and the top of Via del Tritone. In addition to those mentioned, there are Tullio and Open Colonna, in the Palazzo delle Espozioni (fancy in the evening but buffet casual lunch). Tuna, Filippo La Mantia, and Colline Emiliane are very different one from the other and all very near. Do examine a map of Rome to get your bearings and bear in mind there are lots of hills.
Thanks for the suggestions.
Of course I am internalizing a map of central Rome as I think about our upcoming trip. But still, when you look at the CH posts, restaurant discussions often omit location. And as I said, even when location is mentioned, it is often not clear to a casual visitor what is near or far.
And as implied above, even if you get a handle on near and far, that might not suffice. What is near, but atop a steep climb or otherwise not easy to get to? What is far, but an easy metro or bus ride? Not that I'm against exercise or walking in Rome, a great place to walk, But sometimes one gets tired and hungry in a big city. I know that after a morning in a museum on my feet, I will not relish a long climb.
Last time in Rome we stayed at the top of the Aventine, and I still remember the walk up that hill at the end of the day. This time we will be just south of San Giovanni in an area that looks flat on the map.
We did go to the Colline Emiliane, as you suggested, and we did enjoy our lunch there.
The surprising thing that we think we learned in our six-day, second visit to Rome is that restaurant food outside the central historical area is better and less expensive than food in the centro.
That is, we had two meals in carefully chosen central restaurants (including Colline Emiliane) and two in the neighborhood in which we lived, near the San Giovanni metro stop. The hight points of the two latter meals where higher than the high points of the two former meals, good though they were. The prices were about 20% or so less.
I won't dwell on details. The much-discussed "down-town" restaurants are indeed quite good, but exciting food awaits those who find ways to get outside the group of restaurants listed in the guidebooks and discussed on Chowhound.
Via degli Avignonesi, 22, Rome, Lazio 00187, IT
Here are some of the restaurants nearby marked on a map. Mbfant's advice re hills is good - that part of Rome particularly is hilly and full of obstacles to navagation you dont expect. You should have a map and spend some time getting if you are walking around Rome - it will help you a lot..
This is probably too touristy for the true hounds like mbfant and jen kalb to mention but I love Hostaria Romana (Via del Boccaccio, 1), about 1 minute from the Barberini metro. I read about it when it was featured in the NY Times http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/03/22/.... I am always wary of touristy places but my mouth was watering after I read about it so I had to try it. I went for lunch (twice) and found that it was pretty empty, the food was superb and the price was actually pretty cheap for 2 for the quality (with house wine, antipasto and a pasta each). Service was also very friendly. I can't wait to go back.