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Rome - Trastevere 10 nights

b
brookeb Mar 11, 2011 03:45 PM

I've been reading past posts and am overwhelmed on where to dine for my first trip to Rome in April.

I'll be dining alone and read/speak little Italian (but I'll have Google translate on my phone!). Would prefer to eat within walking distance of my hotel in Trastevere but am definitely willing to make a trek for a "must experience" place. I tend to prefer simpler foods and eschew haute cuisine.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, there's a lot to figure out.

Thanks in advance for your help
brooke

  1. hychka Mar 11, 2011 05:00 PM

    These folks will give you excellent advice. And, I want you to first promise to report what actually happened and how good/bad things were because we'll be there for the first time in May and need to know.

    We've been following this board daily for the flavor and reading library books on Rome, the Vatican, and calling upon Italian friends for help... several have been to Rome, have Italian parents and eat Italian daily. Our friends' advice is helpful. We also established a "Saturday is Rome day" thing for our menu planning and have found lots of good food to try. It's amazing what the supermarkets offer and we had never noticed.

    Good luck!!!

    1. mtullius Mar 12, 2011 12:31 PM

      There are real experts on this board, so you should get some good advice. But as someone who's spent a few weeks in Rome at various times as a tourist, let me offer this bit of reassurance: if what you're interested in is good, simple food, you will have a hard time going wrong. If you just steer clear of the most "touristy" places (e.g., those with 'touts' out front trying to lure you in, those with cheesy tourist menus), you will easily find good hearty food at a decent price around nearly every corner.

      If you are interested in the recently booming Italian microbrew beer scene, I will offer one rec: seek out Bir & Fud, a pizza joint in Trastevere which serves only Italian craft beer.

      Also, do go to Fior di Luna and da Checco, both in Trastevere, for outstanding gelato.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mtullius
        b
        brookeb Mar 12, 2011 02:38 PM

        thanks, mtullius! beer, gilato, and pizza. done.

      2. katieparla Mar 12, 2011 01:34 PM

        Fior di Luna is one of my favorite places for gelato. Great suggestion mtullius!

        For dining in Trastevere, I suggest the cacio e pepe at Roma Sparita. Two friends just had what they called the best carciofi alla giudia of their lives there so its worth getting as a starter. Nearby, Le Mani in Pasta is a crowd pleaser. Be sure to book in advance. La Gensola does great fish, and also serves Roman specialties. I also like the chaotic pizzeria Ai Marmi for beans and thin crust Roman pizza.

        Across the river in the Ghetto (the distance depends on where you are staying in Trastevere) Nonna Betta does great fried starters and good, moderately priced Roman Jewish and Middle Eastern Jewish cuisine. Beppe e I suoi Formaggio is great for cheese and salami plates. These shouldnt be more than a 15 walk away from any given spot in trastevere.

        Unfortunately I am STILL having trouble adding venues. here are the ones i wasnt able to add

        Fior di Luna: Via della Lungaretta 96

        Beppe e I suoi Formaggio: Via Santa Maria del Pianto 9/11

        ------
        www.parlafood.com

        -----
        Pizzeria Ai Marmi AKA L'Obitorio AKA Panattoni
        Viale di Trastevere 53-55, Rome , IT

        Le Mani in Pasta
        Via dei Genovesi, 37, Rome, Lazio 00153, IT

        Roma Sparita Pizzeria
        Piazza di Santa Cecilia, 24, Rome, Lazio 00153, IT

        La Gensola
        Piazza della Gensola, 15, Rome, Lazio 00153, IT

        Nonna Betta
        Via del Portico d'Ottavia, 16., Rome, Lazio , IT

        7 Replies
        1. re: katieparla
          b
          brookeb Mar 12, 2011 02:40 PM

          hi katieparla, i'm copying these all down plus the others mtullius mentioned and making a map of places on my phone. hungry already.
          thank you!

          1. re: katieparla
            jen kalb Mar 12, 2011 07:55 PM

            We spent a few nights in Trastevere last year. There are lots of small, simple restaurants, so many that a decision is difficult (Im not sure about the quality of all of them - the suggestions on this thread should help you find the right ones). You would do worse than finding a single restaurant that you like, going back regularly and becoming known.

            We became fond of Renella, a bustling, friendly bakery on Via del Moro which is open all day and offers sandwiches, pizza bianco and very good crostate with black cherries or ricotta, buy by weight, (you can gesture the size of the piece you want) in addition to fine artisanal breads.

            -----
            Bir e Fud
            Via Benedetta 23, Rome, Lazio 00153, IT

            Beppe e Suoi Formaggio
            Via Santa Maria del Pianto, 9/a-11, Rome, Lazio , IT

            Fior di Luna
            Via della Lungaretta, 96, Rome, Lazio , IT

            La Renella aka Arnese
            Via del Moro, 15, Rome, Lazio , IT

            Da Checco
            Via Benedetta 7, Rome, Lazio , IT

            1. re: jen kalb
              cristinab Mar 13, 2011 09:38 AM

              I agree with almost every place mentioned in this topic except for La Renella...I know, it's very popular, but the quality of their food and their hygiene (please, look through the window where they make pizza...) is rather low. Their bread is almost always undercooked, their pizza is bread dough with toppings, and not of the best quality. I live in this area and I get a chance to go to all the places mentioned, so, maybe, my experience is different from yours. You might want to add La Boccaccia, just in front of the Church, Santa Dorotea, one of the best pizza makers in Trastevere. Then, Valzani, traditional pastry shop with the best spumoni and whipped cream ever; Aciarramira, Via Natale del Grande, very good fish restaurant. Hope this helps.

              1. re: cristinab
                katieparla Mar 14, 2011 06:34 AM

                I couldn't agree with you more about Renella. Fortunately, Trastevere is just a short walk from Forno Campo de' Fiori (great pizza rossa) and Roscioli (amazing bread and pizza bianca). It is really worthy the stroll for these stellar products.

                Forno Campo dei Fiori - Campo de Fiori
                Roscioli - Via de Chiavari

                1. re: katieparla
                  jen kalb Mar 14, 2011 07:38 AM

                  Just to be clear, I am only recommending from our experience Renella's pane di Genzano (we had two hunks over a week plus a whole large loaf we brought back to NY) - none underbaked- and the crostate - not the pizza at Renella. We only had the pizza bianca cold which is not a fair test of any pizza bianca and it did not impress. But the last samples we had (cold) from the Forno Campo di Fiori did not impress either.

                  If you are grocery shopping I also recommend the country bread, pecorino and other items at Antica Caciara Trasteverina

                  It is a friendly busy neighborhood place

                  -----
                  Antica Caciara Trasteverina
                  Via San Francesco a Ripa 140, Rome, Lazio , IT

            2. re: katieparla
              s
              Single espresso May 22, 2011 06:36 PM

              I would warn you away from Roma Sparita. Over two recent trips to Rome, we've made a quest of the Roman stand-by dish, cacio e pepe. It was great at Da Felice, Checcino, Piperno, Armando (lunchtime visit), and La Matricianella (where it was made with dry pasta and was still fabulous -- kind of like one hand tied behind your back). Sparita was the only place it wasn't good. Lackluster taste and dry. Sparita is also the only place where we believe they tried to cheat us ("Service is not included -- leave cash for a tip." In fact, service WAS included.).

              -----
              Matricianella
              Via del Leone, 4, Roma , IT

              Piperno
              Monte de' Cenci, 9, Rome, Lazio , IT

              1. re: Single espresso
                r
                RomaRoma Jul 20, 2011 05:47 PM

                Sorry, I have to jump in here. I work about 100 meters away from Roma Sparita and have eaten about 1000 lunches and dinners there over the last 15 years. I know the owner and all the waiters. There is no way that Ugo or any of his staff tried to cheat you. He is just way too honest for that. You may not have liked the caccio e peppe (I happen to think it is one of the best in Rome, but each has his own taste), but no way he was cheating you.

            3. minchilli Mar 18, 2011 01:29 AM

              I agree with most of the comments above, although I'm not a huge fan of Le Mani in Pasta.
              I would add Glass, (viccolo de' Cinque) which is on the modern/creative side of things.

              Just across the river, a short walk, I would add:
              Renato e Luisa, open only for dinner. New twists on Roman classics.
              Sora Margarita: a hole in the wall (literally) in the ghetto. The best fried artichokes in town, and my favorite caccio e pepe
              For more gelato try Pica, which is just off Via Arenula. They have fantastic rice flavors.
              And also Gelateria del Teatro, which is near Piazza Navona.
              If you're feeling like a sweet snack, stop by Bicottificio Innocenti, on Via delle Luce (Trastevere) an old fashioned cookie factory.
              _________

              http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.com/

              -----
              Renato e Luisa
              Via dei Barbieri, 25, Rome, Lazio , IT

              Le Mani in Pasta
              Via dei Genovesi, 37, Rome, Lazio 00153, IT

              6 Replies
              1. re: minchilli
                katieparla Mar 18, 2011 03:25 AM

                I actually would strongly discourage a trip to Sora Margherita. It's quality continues to tank and last year they served me one oil logged fried artichoke after another. Not to mention the gnocchi I am still trying to digest! For great fried things in the Ghetto it's all about Nonna Betta:)

                -----
                Sora Margherita
                Piazza della Cinque Scole, 30, Rome, Lazio 00100, IT

                1. re: katieparla
                  jen kalb Mar 18, 2011 06:21 AM

                  Im so sorry about Sora Margherita - we really enjoyed it. who do you think is offering really good fried artichokes these days? is it Nonna Betta? others?
                  adding links

                  -----
                  Nonna Betta
                  Via del Portico d'Ottavia, 16., Rome, Lazio , IT

                  1. re: jen kalb
                    cristinab Mar 18, 2011 06:34 AM

                    Paris...It is a very very good traditional restaurant and makes among the best carciofi alla giudia ever. I always go there on Sunday for brunch and eat at least 2. Also, and that I can guarantee because I saw it with my own eyes, that kitchen is spotless!
                    PS don't know how to link...help??!!! http://ristoranteparis.com/

                    1. re: jen kalb
                      minchilli Mar 18, 2011 06:48 AM

                      So sorry you had a bad experience there Katie. I take people there all the time - and have never had a bad experience. In fact, I was there the other day and had a crispy, perfectly cooked carciofo.

                      1. re: minchilli
                        katieparla Mar 18, 2011 02:34 PM

                        @jen for fried things in general, nonna betta is great for value and quality. their pezzetti fritti (mixed fried veggies) are outstanding.

                        for other fried appetizers (fiori di zucca, carciofi, ecc) in the ghetto, i love piperno, though i find their other dishes overpriced and not of the same high quality and taste of the fritti.

                        @minchilli unfortunately it wasnt 1 bad experience it was a good half dozen. i used to take people there all the time, too. and now i wont.

                        @cristinab you remind me that i haven't been to Paris in years! grazie:)

                        -----
                        Paris
                        Piazza di San Calisto, 7/A, Rome 00153, IT

                        Piperno
                        Monte de' Cenci, 9, Rome, Lazio , IT

                        Nonna Betta
                        Via del Portico d'Ottavia, 16., Rome, Lazio , IT

                        1. re: katieparla
                          jen kalb Mar 18, 2011 04:01 PM

                          adding links for the the OP

                          -----
                          Forno Campo De' Fiori
                          Piazza Campo de' Fiori, 22, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

                          Paris
                          Piazza di San Calisto, 7/A, Rome 00153, IT

                          Sora Margherita
                          Piazza della Cinque Scole, 30, Rome, Lazio 00100, IT

                          Roscioli
                          Via dei Giubbonari 21/23, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

                          Renato e Luisa
                          Via dei Barbieri, 25, Rome, Lazio , IT

                          Nonna Betta
                          Via del Portico d'Ottavia, 16., Rome, Lazio , IT

                          Fior di Luna
                          Via della Lungaretta, 96, Rome, Lazio , IT

                          La Renella aka Arnese
                          Via del Moro, 15, Rome, Lazio , IT

                          Da Checco
                          Via Benedetta 7, Rome, Lazio , IT

                          A' Ciaramira
                          Via Natale del Grande,41, Rome, Lazio , IT

                          Pasticceria Valzani
                          Via del Moro, 37, Rome, Lazio , IT

                2. m
                  MarkC Mar 25, 2011 11:49 PM

                  One place in Trastavere I posted about is the Glass Hostaria. This is the best restaurant I've been to in a long time. It is expensive, but I wouldn't really call it haute cusine, if by that you mean fussy, elaborate, over-stylized dishes. Here it was all about the flavor. Everything was simple and perfectly delicious. Good for a splurge if you're in the mood. It's also a small, understated kind of place, so you'll feel more comfortable dining there alone.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: MarkC
                    DistendedBelly Mar 27, 2011 07:34 AM

                    Re Glass - I am looking to make a reservation there for next month, thanks to all the glowing recommendations for this place here.

                    Quick question: Is this establishment smart casual? I ask because we are dining mostly casual for this trip to Rome, and was wondering if we should be packing something a bit "smarter" for such meals.. or if they are ok with a nice top, jeans and casual footwear (nothing tatty, we are not teenagers!)?

                    Thank you so much for your response.

                    One more: Settembrini - is it worth a trip?

                    -----
                    Settembrini
                    Via Luigi Settembrini, 25, Rome, Lazio , IT

                    1. re: DistendedBelly
                      vinoroma Mar 27, 2011 08:13 AM

                      a nice top can definitely save a lot of situations - you'll be ok in Glass. And yes, Settembrini is definitely worth the trip (and has the same cloth-code!).

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                      Settembrini
                      Via Luigi Settembrini, 25, Rome, Lazio , IT

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