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Thoughts on this Rome Eating Plan.... with room for spontaneity!

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Thanks to all those who have posted in the past- all the posts here have definitely helped me come up with some ideas for our upcoming stay in Rome.... I don't plan to reserve at all of these places, in order to allow for some spontaneity along the way...but hoping that through all my readings, I'll be prepared!

I have 2 lunches and 3 dinners....
I have booked La Campana for one dinner, and was thinking of Armando al Pantheon for a second dinner. Not sure about the third- may be in the Vatican area- so would love any thoughts about this. Any strong feelings about Il Matriciano?

For lunches, was wondering about Obika, and was thinking about La Matricianella. Again- will see about the third. Would love to check out a good Enoteca- have seen several recommended here, and Plotkin suggests a few, was thinking maybe Enoteca Cavour 313

Is there something you think I would be missing by choosing these restaurants, over many others discussed here, and/or will the experiences/food be too similar?

Would love any thoughts.....

Thanks!

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La Campana
Vicolo della Campana, 18, Roma, IT 00186, IT

Matricianella
Via del Leone, 4, Roma , IT

Enoteca Cavour 313
Via Cavour 313, Roma 00184, IT

Il Matriciano
Via Dei Gracchi, 55, Rome, Lazio 00192, IT

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  1. Shari, not loving your places.
    Suggestions will have to keep in mind which days we are talking about, but generally:
    La campana is the best place on your list. Definitely keep it. Armando has mixed reviews lately, you might want to consider something better, maybe in the testaccio area (checchino, flavio, felice, etc)? As your vatican area dining i'd suggest da cesare over il matriciano. As enoteca, cavour is nice, but very uncomfortable. Depending on how much you want to eat on your enoteca lunch, il goccetto can be a better option. Or roscioli. Thinking about it, goccetto has a better vibe in the evenings, go to roscioli or casa bleve. Stay away from obika. Have your mozzarella/ burrata at roscioli.

    1. I agree with Vinoroma only more so. It's a pretty boring list. Campana is OK. I'd prefer Palatium for a lunch. I'd also just consider pizza al taglio and the better bars for lunches. Another lunch idea is Babette's buffet. Or have a nice lunch one day and go to a wine bar that evening. As Vinoroma says, Enoteca Cavour 313 is uncomfortable, but it has atmosphere and should probably not be spurned just because you have to sit on hard wooden benches. Cul de Sac is worse from that point of view. I would certainly not spend my three dinners on three versions of traditional Roman. One could be seafood or something more modern (despite its devotion to tradition, Palatium would qualify in this category) or something from another region.

      -----
      Palatium
      Via Frattina 94, Roma , IT

      Enoteca Cavour 313
      Via Cavour 313, Roma 00184, IT

      Cul de Sac
      Piazza Pasquino, 73, Rome, Lazio , IT

      18 Replies
      1. re: mbfant

        oh, yes, I keep on forgetting Palatium, was just there on monday and it is just great for drinking great wines AND eating good food, be it lunch or dinner. Just bring time - to wait for a table and to get your food. Reservations are possible but not always granted. If you want to squeeze in a fish lunch or dinner that is not too expensive but good, La Gensola (in Trastevere) is a great option, by the way. And totally agree with making one lunch a pizza by the slice, either at Pizzarium (Vatican) or 00100 (Testaccio).

        -----
        Palatium
        Via Frattina 94, Roma , IT

        Pizzarium
        Via della Meloria, 43, Rome, Lazio 00136, IT

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

        1. re: vinoroma

          I don't think we should be turning Pizzarium and 00100 into destination restaurants. 00100 is really out of the way. At least Pizzarium is handy to a subway station and the Vatican Museums. There is lots of good pizza al taglio and pizza bianca at more central locations, such as Antico Forno in Campo de’ Fiori and Roscioli (via dei Chiavari, of course, not Giubbonari). The one on the corner of Via Florida on Largo Argentina is really good.

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

          Pizzarium
          Via della Meloria, 43, Rome, Lazio 00136, IT

          1. re: mbfant

            Really? I think Pizzarium is really out of the way, but 00100 is very handy! Depends on where you live i guess.
            Maureen (and Katie if you are reading this) any news on the %15 service charge at Grano?

            -----
            Pizzarium
            Via della Meloria, 43, Rome, Lazio 00136, IT

            Grano
            Piazza Rondanini, 53, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

            1. re: minchilli

              I'll check that asap and we'll see what they do when a new customer speaking Italian but obviously non-italian orders. Puntarellarossa says (but is not 100% sure upon re-asking) that he didn't pay any. He is trying to find his scontrino.

              1. re: vinoroma

                No news as such on the 15% service charge. I tried digging up my old receipts but cant find any. I am 99.9% sure Ive never been charged such a ridiculous service fee in a Roman restaurant (Venice and Capri, maybe, but Rome c'mon!). I did stop by a couple of weeks ago and tried to speak with the owner, but he wasnt in. I got the manager (?) instead and he seemed weirded out by my question. I havent had a second to go back and ask but Im on it.

                According to Puntarella Rossa's comments, he checked the bill and confirmed there was no 15% service. Knowing Puntarella's approach if there had been he ABSOLUTELY would have mentioned it in his review.

                Anyway ill keep at it. Im determined to get to the bottom of this! :)

                1. re: katieparla

                  alrighty them. I'm going to reserve for tomorrow. Four obviously American women. Will report back!!

              2. re: minchilli

                By definition, a tourist does not live in Rome. While someone like the OP with three evenings in Rome might be going to the Vatican Museums and able to go to Pizzarium with relatively little effort, I think it's difficult to justify a jaunt into deepest Testaccio for 00100.

                -----
                Pizzarium
                Via della Meloria, 43, Rome, Lazio 00136, IT

                1. re: zerlina

                  LOL deepest Testaccio! Its not as though a tourist could not take the tram that goes to via Marmorata, the Metropolitana or even just walk down the path along the tiber to visit 0010! Any one of these things could be a valid and enjoyable part of a visit to Rome . Pizzarium is maybe more remote unless the visitor is near the Metropolitana or visiting the Vatican museums.

                  -----
                  00100
                  Via Giovanni Branca 88, Rome, Lazio , IT

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    Jen (and Elizabeth for that matter), I am in Testaccio ALL the time, and I regard 00100 as inconvenient. It is not something I walk past in the normal course of doing my shopping. Also, they don't open till about noon, so if I'm going to the market in the morning, it's not convenient either. There is no tram on via Marmorata; it's still the 3, but it's a bus, just one of many on via Marmorata. There are many buses, but anyone going to via Giovanni Branca has to go there on purpose for this pizza (or awful Agustarello or Remo, which is fine, but most people will not eat go to both pizzerias in one fell swoop). It will become like Cinque Terre -- all these tourists going someplace not near anything else they want to see just because they read on the Internet that it's a major destination (please don't all bombard me with defenses of Cinque Terre; you know perfectly well what I mean). Tourists who have a few days to see the Forum, St. Peter's, Piazza di Spagna, and the rest, would be wasting their time going to Via G. Branca to eat pizza al taglio. Pizzarium is much easier to reach because the linea A metro is right there next to eat, and people are always asking where to get a decent bite near the Vatican. And, mind you, I love Testaccio.

                    -----
                    Pizzarium
                    Via della Meloria, 43, Rome, Lazio 00136, IT

                    Agustarello
                    Via Giovanni Branca, 100, Rome, Lazio 00153, IT

                    1. re: mbfant

                      I see your point. I still don't think it is inconvenient, especially since testaccio is a foodie-destination and we are talking on the chowhound boards here, not tripadvisor; but would not want 00100 to turn into a destination like 5 terre (where I have lived for 1,5 years) and thus go down the drain either.
                      So, everyone, just keep this to ourselves, ok?

                  2. re: zerlina

                    I would humbly suggest that if someone is going to the trouble to post queries on chowhound, then food is top on their list. And a visit to 'deepest' Testaccio is on any foodies intinerary.

                2. re: mbfant

                  for me, both are destinations and each is one equally long busride away :) But I do agree there are many very good pizza al taglio places in the center, including and more than those you mentioned, so no one really *has to* go to pizzarium or 00100 (if he is not as pizza-crazy as I am)

                  1. re: vinoroma

                    vinoroma and others,

                    could you elaborate on the "many very good pizza al taglio places in the center"?

                    I'm in Rome end of September and was considering Pizzarium or 00100 but am interested in these other options. Will be with my pregnant sister who insists she will want to eat *a lot* of pizza and may not be keen on traveling far every time.

                    Thanks!

                    -----
                    Pizzarium
                    Via della Meloria, 43, Rome, Lazio 00136, IT

                    1. re: ziamirtillo

                      Go to the Restaurants tab and enter "pizza al taglio", Rome. The places in the center have been mentioned here at one time or another.

                  2. re: mbfant

                    Mbfant- can I ask you to clarify about Roscioli? The linked restaurant shows up as being on Giubbonari.... are there two restaurants with the same name?

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

                    1. re: shariberri

                      I'm not mbfant, but the Roscioli on Giubbonari is the gourmet food shop/restaurant and the one on Chiavari (more or less across the street) is the bakery/pizza al taglio place.

                      1. re: zerlina

                        Yes and both of them worth a visit! Restaurant is often fully booked, it is better to reserve it well in advance if you are interested.

                3. re: mbfant

                  I do agree with you about Cavour 313! I used to go there all the time a couple of years ago and loved it!

                4. I too veto your list! Campana is a great choice, especially for a Sunday lunch, but then move on.
                  Also, I do like Enoteca Cavour 313, but for dinner, not lunch.
                  Vatican area - sort of - Vino e Camino is a great choice.
                  Other places to think of for dinner: Settembrini, Flavio Velavevodetto, Renato e Luisa
                  Lunch: L'Asino D'Oro has a great 12 euro lunch menu, best deal in town.
                  Hope this helps
                  Elizabeth
                  -------------
                  www.elizabethminchilli.com

                  -----
                  Enoteca Cavour 313
                  Via Cavour 313, Roma 00184, IT

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

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

                  Vino e Camino
                  piazza dell’Oro 6, Rome, Lazio , IT

                  Flavio al Velavevodetto
                  Via di Monte Testaccio 97, Rome, Lazio 00153, IT

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: minchilli

                    Great list but Vino e Camino I found quite ordinary. And Renato e Luisa may be good for Italian speakers/regulars but is rubbish for visitors (at least that is what I gleaned on a recent visit in which i observed how they treated customers).

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

                    Vino e Camino
                    piazza dell’Oro 6, Rome, Lazio , IT

                    1. re: katieparla

                      This is one of the rare times I don't agree with Katie's opinions about food ;-)
                      I've been to Vino e Camino several occasions and I've always ended very satisfied. I think it should be mentioned among the top downtown restaurants in this price range, especially if you are looking for "spontaneity". Of course according to my experience.

                      What about L'Arcangelo as another possibility not far from the Vatican?

                      Reading the OP eating plan I'd discourage Il Matriciano. I think it is overrated, "decadent" and with usually careless service.

                      In order to increase food variety of your stay in Rome definitively include a pizza by the slice for a quick lunch. Not necessarily Pizzarium, as other CHs have already written there are a lot of good possibilities. Pizza Zaza' close to the famous S. Eustachio coffee can be another good option.

                      -----
                      L'Arcangelo
                      Via G. G. Belli 59/61, Rome, Lazio 00193, IT

                      Il Matriciano
                      Via Dei Gracchi, 55, Rome, Lazio 00192, IT

                      Pizzarium
                      Via della Meloria, 43, Rome, Lazio 00136, IT

                      Vino e Camino
                      piazza dell’Oro 6, Rome, Lazio , IT

                      Pizza Zaza'
                      Piazza di Sant'Eustachio, 52, Rome, Lazio , IT

                      1. re: tavoleromane

                        Me too, Tavoleromane, I love Vino e Camino. Not only was the food very good and original (love the antipasto della casa) but the space is very comfortable, warm and inviting. I also found the staff and chef to be extremely friendly. All of these things matter a lot - in addition to good food - when considering where to go out. Especially since we've been discussing a lot recently how certain restaurants in Rome tend to treat tourists badly.

                        -----
                        Vino e Camino
                        piazza dell’Oro 6, Rome, Lazio , IT

                        1. re: minchilli

                          The service there is soooo nice. No doubt. And that counts too. Personally Im not so excited about the food but completely agree it's a safe place where visitors will most likely be treated well. And I'm perfectly willing to give vino e camino another shot!

                        2. re: tavoleromane

                          I second Pizza Zaza'. I went there in pure spirit of research last year, expecting nothing, and was very pleasantly surprised. Another I love is the kosher snack place across from Bleve. Pizza al taglio without cheese -- surprisingly good. I had salsiccia e broccoli, utterly delish.

                          -----
                          Pizza Zaza'
                          Piazza di Sant'Eustachio, 52, Rome, Lazio , IT

                          1. re: mbfant

                            Really? I went in the kitchen at Pizza Zaza a few months ago and saw sacks of premixed pizza flour - complete with yeast, salt and sugar. It just made me want to turn around and leave.

                            -----
                            Pizza Zaza'
                            Piazza di Sant'Eustachio, 52, Rome, Lazio , IT

                            1. re: minchilli

                              Well, this was about a year and a half ago. I was expected something sodden and starchy (based on their graphic style, nothing gastronomic), but was pleasantly surprised at how light it was.

                    2. Wow! Thank you so much for very helpfully reconstructing my list! I suppose it is a good thing that the only thing I've booked is La Campana!

                      We are going to be a the Vatican Museums, so will stop at PIzzarium.

                      @ mbfant- thanks for your comments about not wasting all my meals on traditional Roman food- that is exactly the type of feedback I was looking for!!
                      I"ll look into Palatium.

                      You guys rock.... only 2 weeks to go, and I have a lot more planning, for a lot of other destinations!

                      -----
                      La Campana
                      Vicolo della Campana, 18, Roma, IT 00186, IT

                      Palatium
                      Via Frattina 94, Roma , IT