HOME > Chowhound > Italy >

Discussion

The Extravaganza - Rome

  • 9
  • Share

First, a thank you to all who contribute to this board. I've perused my fair share of CH boards, and the depth and breadth of the Italy board is pretty cool.

My partner and I are headed to Italy for about three weeks of extravagant eating, and I want to reach out to make sure that I've got my head screwed on straight. I'm starting with Rome, I'll post separately on our wanderings beyond, but I don't want to clutter the board with too much confusion.

First a little bit about us. We are not really fine diners. Although we've had some amazing fine dining experiences, we generally prefer a family place with warm (if a little inconsistent) service to a high end place with more style than heart. We have a pretty open budget for this trip, but we take pleasure in eating the best food for the best price...and sometimes feel bummed if we feel like we paid too much. We are seasonal foodies (of the obnoxious sort that only eat asparagus in spring and fresh tomatoes in summer). I love offal, she loves artichokes.

We're staying for five days in Rome - on Via Guilia pretty close to the bridge to Trastevere. I've been creating a list that is surely too long, in the hopes that just having a map with good options on it will mean that we don't wind up eating a bad meal by accident. In other words, the theory is that we won't reserve every meal. That said, it seems like there might be some places that we have to reserve.

It is in that spirit that I offer this list (culled from these boards, Katie Parla's amazing app, and elsewhere). Let me know your thoughts.

Must tries (Reservations)
Roscioli
Checchino
Gata Mangiona (she loves pizza)

The short list (No reservations?)
Roma Sparita (Cacio e Pepe)
La Campana (Lunch better right?)
Gensola
Nonna Betta
Palatium
L'asino
Da Gino
Armando
Piperno (just for carcofi)
Antico Arco
Settembrini
L'Arcangelo

Snacks:
Forno Campo di fiore
Pizzarum
00100 (on our Testaccio market day)

Thoughts? I have others on the map too - but this is long already. W

Will we be too late for artichokes in the beginning of July? Is there something spectacular that will be in season then that we should be aware of?

-----
Antico Arco
Piazzale Aurelio, 7, Roma 00151, IT

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

Palatium
Via Frattina 94, Roma , IT

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. You will need reservations for dinner at all the restaurants you list. In most cases a few days, often same day, is fine, but Antico Arco and Settembrini may be more difficult.

    I don't know why La Campana would be better for lunch than dinner. It's the same.

    There are no artichokes in July. The season is already nearly over. However, places like Piperno (an excellent restaurant, not just for artichokes) manage to serve them all year because people come from all over to eat them. I have always regarded this as a don't-ask-don't-tell matter and don't want to know where they come from.

    Your snack places are all pizza al taglio, which is a pretty substantial snack. I would call them lunch. The last time I suggested that 00100 was inconveniently located even on gastro visits to Testaccio everybody jumped down my throat, but it is, especially if you are carrying shopping bags. Also it doesn’t open till noon. I would much prefer a slice of pizza from Volpetti -- much nearer the market -- to give me strength after shopping.

    Roma Sparita has become a sort of Internet sacred cow thanks to its setting in a beautiful piazza and that cheese basket the cacio e pepe comes in. (Be warned: my voracious husband ate the basket and had nightmares all night.) It's a good basic Roman trattoria, but I wouldn’t award it cult status.

    -----
    Antico Arco
    Piazzale Aurelio, 7, Roma 00151, IT

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

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

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

    1. If you scroll down on this board to May 20, you will find my report on dining at five of the places on your list the week before, for what it may be worth to you.

      1. Wow, you have certainly done your home work. And since you have obviously gone through the boards, I don't want to repeat what is said elsewhere. But I will chime in with a few updated comments to help you make some decisions:

        Roscioli: Sorry, but I'm just not sure about sending people here any more. I never was, and last week Ed Levine (of Serious Eats) went there against my better judgement and had a very expensive, and extremely mediocre meal. Plus rude service. This has been my experience every single time. I know others like it, but not me.

        I would also take Nona Betta off your list. I know Katie likes it, but I've tried twice, and have eaten very poorly.

        You definitely need to reserve at all of the places on your short list.

        I would substitute Perilli with Checchino, not only because it is more relaxed and laid back, but because I prefer it.

        Add to your list: Taverna dei Fori Imperiali (yes, it is still good); Settimio on Via dei Pelligrini, and Enoteca Corsi. These are all much more low key, family style and in the neighborhoods where you will probably be toodling around.

        And don't forget gelato!!!

        Elizabeth
        ________
        www.elizabethminchilli.com

        -----
        Perilli
        Via Marmorata 39, Rome , IT

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

        Enoteca Corsi
        Via del Gesù, 87, Rome, Lazio , IT

        Taverna dei Fori Imperiali
        Via Madonna dei Monti 9, Rome, Lombardia 00184, IT

        1. oooh lots of thoughts! first of, thank you for the kind shout out!! now down to business...

          Must tries (Reservations)

          Roscioli: absolutely go there. service is very idiosyncratic. i rarely get out of there in under 2 hours. the carbonara is amazing. so is the cacio e pepe. start with crostini with butter and anchovies. and also a plate of burrata. the spaghetti with butter and anchovies is also outstanding if you like salt!! book a week in advance

          Checchino: great for offal. i like this place for a formal meal but maybe your limited time is better spent elsewhere

          La Gatta Mangiona : i do love pizza. especially this pizza. la gatta has the second best dough in Rome (after Sforno). if you have 1 pizza meal in Rome make it sforno. but la gatta is more accessible from the center (8 tram from largo argentina). the fried appetizers are amazing

          The short list (No reservations?)

          Roma Sparita (Cacio e Pepe): cacio e pepe is very good. place is notorious for telling tourists service isnt included (which of course it is) so ive nixed it from the Parla Food Dining App and will be posting on the topic soon.

          La Campana (Lunch better right?): i like this place for sunday lunch

          Gensola: great food. making a reservation isnt a bad idea at lunch and at dinner it is essential

          Nonna Betta: several readers have reported bad meals there. i am a regular and i have observed the way tourists are given less attention. it's off the app and im not recommending it anymore. i will continue to go and eat mountains of fritti tho

          Palatium: love this place. very busy and bustling at lunch. good atmosphere and excellent food and wine

          L'asino; Great for lunch or for al fresco dining

          Da Gino: havent been!

          Armando: good for lunch

          Piperno (just for carcofi): this place is WAY past its prime, although if you want to eat in the ghetto it is one of the few places that serves half decent food. and there is a patio outside which is absolutley lovely.

          Antico Arco: kind of fine dining. great food. ask for a table in the main dining room

          Settembrini: good primi but i dont get what all the fuss is about

          L'Arcangelo: MUST go there for gnocchi on Thursday. the carbonara and cacio e unto (gricia) are very good. arcangelo cooks his pasta very al dente fyi. get the suppli appetizer (lots of bits of chicken liver yum!). secondi are very inconsistent but when the coda is done right it is the best in town

          Snacks:

          Forno Campo di fiore: great spot but i prefer forno roscioli which is on via de chiavari. the good news is you can easily do both! they are a 5 min walk from one another

          Pizzarum: i recommend this for a meal rather than a snack

          00100 (on our Testaccio market day): check out the trapizzini (tho i think their quality isnt hat it used to be, they are still a unique concept). if there is focaccia pugliese, try a slice

          you will be too late for artichokes in the beginning of July but there will be fiori di zucca instead

          i hope that is helpful--and coherent! it's late an im exhausted:)

          -----
          Antico Arco
          Piazzale Aurelio, 7, Roma 00151, IT

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

          Palatium
          Via Frattina 94, Roma , IT

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

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

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

          Sforno
          Via Statilio Ottato, 110, Rome, Lazio , IT

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

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

          La Gatta Mangiona
          Via Federico Ozanam,30, Rome, Lazio 00152, IT

          3 Replies
          1. re: katieparla

            My report of 5/20/11 (Rome Dining Report-May, 2011) failed to note that the Gnocchi Amatriciana were on L'Arcangelo's menu for a MONDAY lunch. They may now be an everyday item. We failed to take advantage because I was obsessed with carbonara and my wife preferred her amatriciana with pasta rather than gnocchi. Our loss may be the OPs gain.

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

            1. re: sernoff

              that is excellent news!!!

            2. re: katieparla

              Belatedly, I wanted to thank all who chimed in here. As the trip approaches, I feel more and more armed against the dreaded bad meal. The Thursday gnocci at Arcangelo is pretty exciting. And the updates on what's hype and what's real are invaluable. I know that Rome questions clog this board all the time - but the wealth of information is both staggering and exciting.

              Thanks again.

            3. I would agree with the "don't go" crowd on Roscioli (and I spend a month and a half in Rome a year and speak Italian very well). You have a 50/50 chance of lousy food and crappy service or great food and freat service. In my opinion, those are lousy odds.

              But more important is the fact that the best coffee my wife and I have ever had in Rome--and we sometimes walk an hour to get it--is right around the corner from you. Bar al Banchi Vecchi is so much better than the usual tourist traps and by your second or third day you will be treated like locals. Great pastries, local crowd, no gimmicks, just nice people and terrific coffee time after time

              1 Reply
              1. re: GeraldI

                We were at Nonna Betta in October, it was the worst meal I've had in Italy, hands down. Went for lunch, barely a soul in the place and the carbonara was just plain awful. Giggetto next door was a thousand times better although I know it's not always on people's lists, have always enjoyed every meal we've had there.

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