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Foodie Visit to Rome

t
tenortom Jul 5, 2011 07:52 PM

Hello and Thank You All for your wonderful descriptions and advice on dining in Rome. You have truly added sparkle to my upcoming trip to Rome for a 3-day voice conference which I've extended to enjoy the food! I'm an opera tenor (have you ever seen a skinny tenor) and Huge Foodie, who writes about dining in San Francisco. I'll be in Rome from July 21-31 and thought you'd be amused at my selections, many based upon your recommendations. What do you think! Thank You so much for your truly memorable and enjoyable food insights...tenortom in san francisco - www.thomasclarktenor.com

July 21 - Thursday
Lunch: Roscioli – 1 pm
Gelato Stop: La Gelateria Frigidarium
Dinner: Perilli @ 8 pm

July 22 – Friday - Conference
Lunch: Volpetti 1 pm - near conference
Dinner @ 8 pm at Checchino

July 23 - Saturday, Conference
Lunch: Volpetti
Gala Evening at Conference

July 24 - Sunday - Conference
Lunch: Volpetti
Dinner - Flavio al Velavevodetto @ 8 pm

July 25 - Monday
Lunch: La Gatta Mangiona (pizza) or L'Arcangelo's (gnocchi) @ 1 pm
Dinner: Trattoria Cadorna – @ 8 pm

July 26 - Tuesday
Lunch: Taverna dei Fori Romana @ 1 pm
Gelato Stop: Il Caruso
Dinner: L'Asino d'Oro or Tempio di Iside or L'Arcangelo @ 8 pm

July 27 - Wednesday
Lunch: La Campana - @ 1 pm
Gelato Stop: Ciampini
Dinner: La Gensola - @ 8 pm

July 28 - Thursday - 1 day trip to Pompei or Naples/Herculaneum

July 29 - Friday
Lunch: Da Danilo for carbonara @ 1 pm
Gelato Stop: Crespino
Dinner: Isole di Sicilia @ 8 pm

July 30 - Saturday
Lunch: Da Sparita or Piperno or Gigetto @ 1 pm
Dinner: Le Maschere - @ 8 pm (opera singing)

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

Trattoria Cadorna
Via Cadorna, 12, Roma 00100, IT

Perilli
Via Marmorata 39, Rome , IT

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

Giggetto
Via del Portico d'Ottavia 21A/22, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

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

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

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

L'Asino d'Oro
Via del Boschetto 73, Rome, Lazio 00184, IT

Da Danilo
Via Petrarca 13, Rome, Lazio , IT

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

  1. mbfant Jul 6, 2011 12:18 AM

    Mine will be a minority voice around here, but as a former choir singer, I feel a kinship and can't keep quiet. I think most of your choices are pretty blah. I like Checchino, La Gensola, and Piperno. L'Arcangelo is OK too. I didn’t like Flavio the one time I tried it, and my Roman husband particularly didn’t like it. Perilli has good carbonara and a certain atmosphere, but overall I find Checchino's food better. I haven't been to La Campana in a while. It goes up and down. I found Gatta Mangiona decidedly not worth the schlep, but it's near the 44 bus and 8 tram, so it's not too bad a trip. I was hoping to love Tempio di Iside, since I can walk there from home, but it was awful -- inept service, mediocre cooking, uneven quality of ingredients. For serious seafood, go to Il Sanlorenzo, but I also love Tuna. Roma Sparita is nothing special, but the piazza is beautiful. By Volpetti, I presume you mean the tavola calda, Volpetti Più, around the corner from the shop. Both shop and tavola calda are closed on Sunday, but both are wonderful. You sound like a candidate for 00100 (www.00100pizza.com), also in Testaccio but several blocks from Volpetti and Via Galvani, but open on 7 days a week from noon to 11 pm. Finally, unless you're planning a trip to Emilia-Romagna any time soon, as a tenor, you should consider including a meal at Colline Emiliane in memory of Modena's favorite son.

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

    Perilli
    Via Marmorata 39, Rome , IT

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

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

    Colline Emiliane
    Via degli Avignonesi, 22, Rome, Lazio 00187, IT

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

    4 Replies
    1. re: mbfant
      t
      tenortom Jul 6, 2011 06:12 PM

      I was thrilled with Your response, Maureen. If there's anything a Primo Tenore wants to avoid, it's "blah!" Thank You for your suggestion of San Lorenzo, it's looks fabulous and definitely not blah. I would never have found it otherwise, and it's on! I will try to go to Colline Emiliane at your suggestion to honor Pavarotti. I sang with him in Aida. Speaking of Aida, do you know what Aida's last name is? Well, it's "Pizza", "Aida Pizza"...har har har (sorry, I made that up), so therefore I'll try 00100pizza.com as well, probably Sunday. Thank You again, tenortom

      -----
      Colline Emiliane
      Via degli Avignonesi, 22, Rome, Lazio 00187, IT

      1. re: tenortom
        mbfant Jul 6, 2011 10:51 PM

        Looks like by the time you leave Aida's surname will be House. I am going to risk getting everybody all riled up by suggesting Grano -- general outrage at a lapse in judgment on their part in the service charge department; it wasn’t as bad as it seemed and there is an explanation, so I forgive them, but haven't the strength to go into it -- and I just love the food and setting, in Piazza Rondanini, and think you'd like it. Once you've been to Checchino, the others in Testaccio are superfluous unless you really need to be in the nabe for logisitcs, though I will mention that I had a very nice lunch at Felice the other day. Bear in mind that Roman food is wonderful, but the lower to mid-level places can get to seem much of a muchness, and you do want to vary your types. Vino e Camino, at the end of Via Giulia, could make a nice change too. And for good, interesting food with a view, and excellent price-quality ratio, I like Circus, atop the Hotel Fortyseven, near the Ghetto and Mouth of Truth.

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

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

        1. re: mbfant
          minchilli Jul 7, 2011 12:09 AM

          I agree, Vino e Camino is a great choice and was going to write that too. But it seemed you had too many choices as it is.
          And I veer from Maureen, in that I prefer Perilli over Checchino. But to each his own.
          Maureen: you must must must explain the Grano situation!!! We have all struck it off our lists (and me off my app) due to the creepy service charge to foreigners. If there is an explanation, and it makes sense, then you must share it. If only for their sake.

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

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

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

          1. re: minchilli
            mbfant Jul 7, 2011 08:26 AM

            I have this second hand, but it makes sense. They have, of course, eliminated it, but they say they didn’t apply it across the board to foreigners, but kept it in reserve for cases when, as does happen, a party of foreigners occupies a table all evening and eat only a plate of pasta each. In such cases, they would apply the service charge. This is not a problem with Italians, who either eat more or know it's not nice to occupy prime real estate without spending. Foreigners may well imagine that if they aren't given a bill, nobody is holding their breath for them to leave, when of course that isn't the way it's done here. End of the story: It was an inept response to a real problem rather than a calculated assault on hapless tourists.

    2. minchilli Jul 6, 2011 12:48 AM

      Wow! I'm so impressed with your research. Well done!

      All in all, I agree with almost all of your choices. But I'll chime in with some comments.

      Like Maureen, I suggest you branch out from Volpetti Piu for lunch. One day try 00100 and the other you should definitely try Rosticeri'

      I'm not a big Roscioli fan these days. The service is rude, and I (and others) have been served rancid cured meat, as well as cheese off it's prime. All at very high prices.

      I love and endorse your choices of Perilli, Flavio Velavevodetto, La Gatta Mangiona, La Campana, Trattoria Cadorna, Piperno, Gigetto, L'Asino D'Oro, L'Arcangelo and La Gensola. I have been to all recently and had great meals.

      If you are an adventurous foodie (and it seems you are) I would suggest heading further afield to try Tre Zucche or Giuda Ballerino (the trattoria, not the restaurant) for dinner one night.

      Gelato: You are missing some of the best, including Il Gelato (Torce). Depending on your singing breaks, you could conceivably head over to the one on Viale Aventino, not far from Testaccio. And by Crespino I think you mean San Crispino, which is not nearly as good as others these days.

      Have a great trip!
      Elizabeth
      _______
      www.elizabethminchilli.com

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

      Trattoria Cadorna
      Via Cadorna, 12, Roma 00100, IT

      Perilli
      Via Marmorata 39, Rome , IT

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

      Volpetti Piu
      Via A. Volta, 8-10, Rome, Lazio , IT

      Giggetto
      Via del Portico d'Ottavia 21A/22, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

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

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

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

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

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

      2 Replies
      1. re: minchilli
        t
        tenortom Jul 6, 2011 06:20 PM

        It was a great honor to receive your response, Elizabeth. I have been following your blog for some time and have your Rome App! I'm not sure where Rosticeri' is, but I'll try it. I'll be suffering from jet lag and lay overs on the first day which is why I'm looking for a lively place for lunch and came up with Roscioli. Can you suggest any other exciting place for the revelatory state of arriving in Rome but ready to keel over for a first lunch, something with élan and no rude waitstaff? Da Gino's perhaps, or Armando's? Thank You for recommending Tre Zucche! It's looks like a keeper. It's a thrilling elucidation in joie de vivre to read your food blogs...tenortom

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

        1. re: tenortom
          minchilli Jul 7, 2011 12:14 AM

          Thanks so much for the kind words about blog and app!
          I mentioned RosticceRi as an alternative to going to Volpetti Piu every day. It's in that neighborhood and is the same type of tavola calda / rosticceria as Volpetti. But a bit more upscale. It's located on Piazza Testaccio 24 - Via Mastrogiorgio 75 (the corner of those two streets)
          Lively lunch place for your first day? If it's not too hot, then I would go to Pierluigi and sit outside. (I know others will not agree) But a plate of perfect spaghetti alle vongole and a glass of white wine in a gorgeous piazza with professional waiters....that's a soft landing.

          -----
          Volpetti Piu
          Via A. Volta, 8-10, Rome, Lazio , IT

          Pierluigi
          Piazza Dè Ricci, 144, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

      2. vinoroma Jul 6, 2011 03:21 AM

        ok, here goes my 2 cents:
        I still love Roscioli and have a feeling you will, too. That day's gelato stop could be Corona, literally around the corner from Roscioli. Perilli, Checchino, Flavio, Felice, Agustarello, tutti frutti, fiaschetteria (all in testaccio, the last esp. good if one night you feel like a cold dinner only) all have their lovers and haters here, me personally I'd go for Checchino. But there are also 2 very good sit down pizza places in that area, da Remo and Nuovo Mondo. (I'd in general suggest changing your dinner time to 9).
        After one lunch at Volpetti, I'd branch out. I do like 00100 (although they did change their dough a bit, I find; but the suppli and tripizzini are still unbeatable) for one of the other lunches in the area, and another could be a visit to the market and grazing.
        L'Asino d'Oro, La Gensola and La Campana are musts, according to me.
        Wednesday you should add Il Gelato (Torce), the new location at Piazza Monte d'Oro, close to Campana.
        Agree with Tre Zucche and Giuda Ballerino, add Osteria Francescano, Barrili 66.
        And if you one night feel like finer dining without compeltely breaking the bank, there is All'oro and Antico Arco.....

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

        Perilli
        Via Marmorata 39, Rome , IT

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

        Remo
        Piazza di Santa Maria Liberatrice, 44, Rome, Lazio 00153, IT

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

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

        L'Asino d'Oro
        Via del Boschetto 73, Rome, Lazio 00184, IT

        Nuovo Mondo
        Via Amerigo Vespucci, 15, Rome, Lazio , IT

        12 Replies
        1. re: vinoroma
          steve h. Jul 6, 2011 04:09 PM

          Roscioli does have its charm. First timers need to know that it is primarily a salumi and cheese shop. I'm ok with that and enjoy lunch at a two-top next to the cold case as shoppers wander into/out of the shop. Wines are good (it's a wine shop of some note, too), service can be spotty, burrata is superb. Pastas can be very good. Bread, of course, can be top of the heap.

          Well-off Roman workerbees like to gather after the end of the business day in the back where there are crowded tables, bad art and overworked service. It's all good in the sense that the young professionals seem to clear out by 8 or so and things return to a mere frantic pace.

          I like the place. Lunch, with all its distractions, works best for me. Pasta can be exceptional.

          Edited to add: mbfant's call on Colline Emiliane is spot on. It's a window into a modest but intriguing luncheon destination. As Yogi Berra says, "You can observe a lot just by watching."

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

          1. re: vinoroma
            t
            tenortom Jul 6, 2011 06:29 PM

            Thank You so much for your advice, Vinoroma! I've been appreciating your passionate reviews. I will check out your pizza and gelato places. As far as wine, I'm a HUGE oenophile, passionately loving red wine especially, but not knowing Italian reds well enough. I like big, super and powerful reds. I'm dying to taste Valentini's Rosso and Trebbiano if I can find, or afford, any. And the holy grail of wine would be finding a Fiorano Rosso by Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi, prince of Venosa. Do you know if there is any around or is it all gone? I know Checchino's has his Fiorano Bianco which I look forward to trying. I'd love any red wine suggestions! Thank you, again....tenortom

            1. re: tenortom
              vinoroma Jul 6, 2011 11:44 PM

              "passionately loving red wine especially, but not knowing Italian reds well enough" - well, you know, there are things you can do to change that, cough. Btw, I am not here to change your tastes, but it is one of my life passions that I want white wines of Italy to be appreciated more by everyone. No better time to try some whites than at the end of July in Rome!

              Valentini is not that rare & expensive if you don't want to go too historic. Checchino, Roscioli, Antico Arco, Arcangelo should have some, you can buy bottles at Costantini and Trimani (the former has better prices). I know Primo does but can't really recommend the place when I think of the food.

              As to Fiorano..... the bianco does exist, as the 14,000 bottles were divided mostly among some Roman merchants. The red exists only in some private collections. I was lucky to drink an 88 a year ago at a special tasting and it was the best red (see here what it won against: http://www.bibenda.it/upload/news/002... ). I can ask some people, if you are serious - it will cost you an arm.

              Thinking about red wine suggestions I realized Palatium is missing in your list. That could be your first lunch and you can check out some really nice reds from Lazio. Cerasuolos can be just the right thing for your taste. Also look for (not at Palatium, elsewhere) for Aglianico del Vulture or Sicilians and Sardenians.

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

              Palatium
              Via Frattina 94, Roma , IT

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

              1. re: vinoroma
                mbfant Jul 7, 2011 08:29 AM

                Palatium is a good idea, probably more for food than wine. But that reminds me: in Testaccio, Divinare, the wine bar, for a glass, a light lunch, or dinner.

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

                1. re: vinoroma
                  t
                  tenortom Jul 7, 2011 11:10 AM

                  Thank You for your wine advice, Vinoroma! You know, I just am addicted to red wine and having lived in San Francisco so long, I developed a palate for seriously profound reds. I do love Brunello di Montalcino but which is often too expensive here. I did have a superb Brunello here in San Francisco the other night at our "new Roman" restaurant, Locanda. While in Rome, I would loved to try a Valentini vintage made while he was still alive, one of his "Noble Red Wines of Italy." I have read a lot and had some contact with Charles Scicolone who has a wonderful Italian wine blog:
                  http://charlesscicolone.wordpress.com...
                  Charles' insights into Valentini and Fiorano Rosso are superb. I want to try a bottle of Valentini's red, his Cerasuolo and Trebbiano d'Abruzzo as well if I can find them. I don't think I could afford a bottle of the Fiorano rosso. A shop here in San Francisco told me they could get a bottle for $800! I'm perfectly willing to try some Italian whites. In fact, I have a friend accompanying me on the trip who is a huge white wine lover. I always tell her jokingly that drinking white wine is like drinking salad dressing..ha ha. She is definitely looking forward to the Italian whites!!! So far, my favorite white wine is white Chateauneuf du Pape which I think can equal the profundity and struture of a red, truly a white wine for a red wine lover. Now, if You could recommend me an Italian white wine similar Chateauneauf du Pape Blanc....tenortom

                  1. re: vinoroma
                    t
                    tenortom Jul 8, 2011 10:22 AM

                    Hello, vinoroma. Are you by chance related to vinoroma.com which does wine tastings in Roma? I was interestedly reviewing that site!....tenortom

                    1. re: tenortom
                      vinoroma Jul 9, 2011 07:21 AM

                      yes, that's me.

                      1. re: vinoroma
                        t
                        tenortom Jul 9, 2011 07:48 AM

                        OMG! I was considering booking your Italian wine tasting!!! I already had you written into our schedule for possibly Monday, July 25, 5-7. We are a group of 5, but one person doesn't drink wine, so I'm trying to figure out what to do with her (she does drink beer). Che coincidenza!!!

                        1. re: tenortom
                          vinoroma Jul 11, 2011 12:15 AM

                          ciao tenortom, write me an email please so we can discuss privately.....

                          1. re: vinoroma
                            a
                            atcpa Jul 12, 2011 10:25 AM

                            vinoroma, while reading this thread I got so excited about a possible wine tasting event that I emailed the wrong person (because I can't read Italian). Then, I got to the correct website and got even more excited that your site is in English! You may see my at the same time as tenortom. I'm off to discuss with my family. :)

                            1. re: vinoroma
                              t
                              tenortom Jul 12, 2011 10:36 AM

                              I've been out of town for a few days, Vinoroma, and will e-mail you soon! tenortom

                  2. re: vinoroma
                    t
                    tenortom Jul 6, 2011 06:31 PM

                    Thank You steve h. for your response. I just love all you Foodies! I was thinking Roscioli might be fun for a first lunch just off the plane with jet lag. I was interested in the fauna and ambiance as well, with maybe a plate of carbonara and wine. Are there any other "exciting" places you might recommend? Thanks again, tenortom

                  3. tavoleromane Jul 7, 2011 04:54 AM

                    That's a very interesting and qualified discussion!

                    I'll try to contribute adding a couple of addresses outside city center, since I've understood from your list you are willing to move around the city to enjoy some special food.

                    La Fucina (dinner) has a "tasting" pizza offer that is unique in Rome. Also as far as prices but it worth every penny in my opinion. Best way to get there is with a taxi or you can get tram 8 and a few minutes walk after.

                    Acquolina in Fleming district is another choise for "serious seafood", mentioning Maureen suggestions.

                    I'm aslo curious to have some more information concerning Flavio al Velavevodetto dislikes. Is it about food? Or service/atmosphere? But maybe it would worth a separate discussion.

                    Anyhow Flavio remains one of my favorite places to eat Roman food, especially during the summer when you can seat in the striking terrace or patio.

                    Enjoy food and your stay in Rome tenortom!

                    -----
                    Acquolina
                    Via Antonio Serra, 60, Rome 00191, IT

                    La Fucina
                    Via G. Lunati 25-31, Rome, Lazio , IT

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: tavoleromane
                      mbfant Jul 7, 2011 08:35 AM

                      We found the food ranged from not memorable to mediocre (the crostata di visciole for dessert was quite good, though) and the service inept. We went only once, but I doubt could ever drag my husband back there. It wasn’t terrace weather, but I went and looked and was underwhelmed. I think Perilli is pretty mediocre too (yes, the carbonara is very good), but better and the service was great at our fairly recent dinner there.

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

                      1. re: mbfant
                        tavoleromane Jul 7, 2011 11:47 AM

                        Thank you for your additions Maureen. I always like to share opinions and experiences about food also when completely different as it is in this case and for 00100 pizza too if I remember well.

                    2. l
                      lsernoff Jul 8, 2011 08:20 AM

                      ile:///Users/louissernoff/Documents/Travel/Rome%20Trip%20Food/Rome%20Dining%20Report%20.webarchive

                      Perhaps the OP would find my recent report on a number of the restaurants mentioned in this thread to be of interest. If my attempt to paste it above was unsucessful, you can find it posted on this board on May 20th.

                      1. t
                        tenortom Jul 15, 2011 09:28 PM

                        Hello, Chowhounds di Roma and Thank You for your fabulous suggestions! Tenortom is about to hit the Roman culinary scene big time....here's my tentative revised schedule. I didn't include gelato or coffee stops, but there will be many. Thank You All again, so much! Any further advice appreciated!

                        July 21 - Thursday

                        Lunch: Pierluigi @ 1:30 (confirmed for 5)

                        Dinner: Perilli @ 8 pm (confirmed for 5)

                        July 22 - Friday (1st Conference)

                        Lunch: Walk to Volpetti Piu

                        Dinner: Checchino dal 1887 - 8 pm (confirmed for 5)

                        July 23 - Saturday (2nd Conference)

                        Lunch: Walk to 00100pizza.com

                        Dinner: Estill Gala

                        July 24 - Sunday (3rd Conference)

                        Lunch: Walk to RosticceRi for lunch pizza near conference

                        Dinner: Taverna dei Fori Imperiale @ 8 pm (for 6)

                        July 25 - Monday

                        Lunch: La Gatta Mangiona - pizza

                        Vino Roma - 5-7 wine tasting

                        Dinner: La Campana @ 8:30 - reservation requested

                        July 26 - Tuesday

                        Lunch: Trattoria Cadorna

                        Dinner: L'Asino d'Oro

                        July 27 - Wednesday

                        Lunch: Colline Emiliane

                        Dinner: La Gensola

                        July 28 - Thursday

                        Lunch: Palatium

                        Dinner: Aquolina - one star Michelin seafood restaurant

                        July 29 - Friday

                        Lunch: Piperno or Da Danilo or Da Gino or Gigetto

                        Dinner: Vino e Camino (or Isole di Sicilia, or Tuna or Flavio al Velavevodetto)

                        July 30 - Saturday

                        Lunch: All'Oro

                        Dinner: Tre Zucche

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

                        Palatium
                        Via Frattina 94, Roma , IT

                        Trattoria Cadorna
                        Via Cadorna, 12, Roma 00100, IT

                        Checchino dal 1887
                        Via di Monte Testaccio, 30, Rome 00153, IT

                        Perilli
                        Via Marmorata 39, Rome , IT

                        Volpetti Piu
                        Via A. Volta, 8-10, Rome, Lazio , IT

                        Giggetto
                        Via del Portico d'Ottavia 21A/22, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

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

                        Colline Emiliane
                        Via degli Avignonesi, 22, Rome, Lazio 00187, IT

                        Pierluigi
                        Piazza Dè Ricci, 144, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

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

                        L'Asino d'Oro
                        Via del Boschetto 73, Rome, Lazio 00184, IT

                        All'Oro
                        Via Eleonora Duse, 1, Rome, Lazio , IT

                        Da Danilo
                        Via Petrarca 13, Rome, Lazio , IT

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

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

                        16 Replies
                        1. re: tenortom
                          perk Jul 16, 2011 01:39 AM

                          Please report back and tell us how you did!

                          1. re: tenortom
                            t
                            tenortom Aug 17, 2011 11:43 AM

                            Thank You All for your wonderful suggestions, our Rome trip was stellar! Kudos especially to Elizabeth Minchilli, Maureen Fant, Katie Parla and Hande Leimer for their invaluable recommendations to the Roman wine and culinary scene which helped make our gastronomical trip to Rome spectacular. Being a huge foodie and experienced restaurant critic in San Francisco, I yearned to explore the Roman culinary offerings as much as possible in our short 10 days. I began my research months before the trip, spent hours trolling the internet looking for dining tips in Rome, then hit the jackpot with tips from Chowhound Rome. As soon as our list began to gel, I decided to start making reservations both online and by telephone from San Francisco. In my tentative Italian nurtured by years of Italian opera singing, I formulated a few key phrases for reserving: "Buon Giorno! Sono di San Francisco; vorrei prenotare un tavolo per cinque persone..." After Elizabeth's recommendation for Pierluigi as a "soft landing" lunch location after the long flight from San Francisco (and her mention of "linguini vongole," a longtime favorite of mine), I decided to call Pierluigi from San Francisco to make the reservation. Pierluigi answered my call and was extremely helpful, generous and forgiving of my challenged Italian. "Si, la riservazione e confirmata" and we were in for lunch on July 21. I was excited. My second call was to Sora Lella, the wonderful restaurant on the island in the Tiber, for lunch on Monday, July 25. Again, I repeated my phrase: "Sono di San Francisco e vorrei fare una prenotazione..." One of Sora Lella's owners answered and was again extremely welcoming and gracious, even excited that someone from San Francisco was coming. I started to feel more secure in feeling my way with my spoken Italian on the basis of the wonderful reception from both Pierluigi and Sora Lella via telephone. I had read David Downie's book Food Wine Rome in preparation for our gourmet tour of Rome. He recommends Gino as being the archetypal Roman trattoria not to be missed. Gino sounded exciting, so I decided to try calling them for a reservation. When my call to Gino was answered and I started into my phrase...."Buon Giorno! Sono da San Francisco"...I was promptly hung up on in my ear. I was taken aback. I tried another call and as soon as I said "Sono di San Francisco," got hung up again in my ear. Flummoxed, I waited 20 minutes for another try, but once again, was hung up on as soon as I said "Buon Giorno!" and was told perfectly clearly: "Ti senti male" in a nasty voice before hanging up in my ear again. So Gino's got scratched off the list. I then called La Gensola and was received with open arms, so polite and welcoming. I received the same welcoming response from l'Asino d'Oro and Perilli. I was able to reserve Checchino dal 1887 online successfully with gracious return e-mails from Francesco Mariani. I was excited to try Maureen Fant's recommendation of Colline Emiliane (in honor of Pavarotti) for lunch and made the call. As soon as I started in on my phrase: "Buon Giorno! Sono di San Francisco e vorrei..." whoever answered the telephone suddenly said in a loud nasty twangy voice: "O, TA TA TA TA TA TA TA" and hung up in my ear. I was startled but decided to try again. As soon as I announced myself with "Buon Giorno!", another hang up. I persisted yet again, but when my call went through, their message machine suddenly came on and announced in English: "You are not qualified to make a reservation." I was stunned. I called again but as soon as my Buon Giorno was heard, I was again immediately switched to the message machine: "You are not qualified to make a reservation." After three such reservation attempts, Colline Emiliane thus got scratched from the list. I was taken aback and then became worried about our upcoming culinary experiences and truly wondered what kind of reception we'd receive. Becoming intimidated, I decided to make any further reservations upon arrival in Rome, hopefully with help from the hotel concierge.

                            We stayed at the Hotel Kolbe, which was ideally located in a quiet enclave near the Roman forum and Circus Maximus. The concierges could not have been more helpful or pleasant. Arriving there at noon on Thursday, July 21, after nearly 24 hours of being on the plane or waiting in airports, we were greeted warmly by the staff. We freshened up and headed straight over to Pierluigi via taxi for our luncheon date at 1 pm.

                            Pierluigi's reception could not have been more fabulous and we were welcomed royally. What a relief. I've rarely had such a warm, loving welcome anywhere. It was truly our introduction to Rome and to Rome's culinary treasures. I ordered my first wine in Rome, a wonderful bottle of 2003 Brunello di Montalcino, Castel Giogondo. The Spaghetti alle Vongole Veraci were perfectly prepared, a delightful repast and respite just off the plane. Exceedingly fresh vongole adorning perfectly al dente pasta. My partner Russell had a sumptuous seafood pasta with scampi, cozze, gamberi and vongole stunningly prepared and presented, a tad salty he thought, but delicious. Dishes did seem to be generally saltier in Rome than in California. Both the generously warm reception and fabulous food and wine made a perfect and delightful start to our visit to Rome. Photos from our lunch at Pierluigi can be seen here:

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                            Our first dinner was scheduled Thursday evening at Perilli, Elizabeth Minchilli's favorite restaurant. Upon arrival, we were so warmly received, the perfect ambience of a Roman restaurant. After I announced that I am an opera singer, they became downright sycophantic. One of Perilli's servers, a distinguished and dignified elderly gentleman heard about my opera singing and immediately wanted to talk about opera. He was bantering to me about his favorite singers, Franco Corelli and Leontyne Price. I told him I had sung in Aida with Leontyne and Luciano and he was so excited. Once I told him of my favorite opera recording, Andrea Chenier with del Monaco, Tebaldi and Bastianini, he was completely won over. I ordered our first Barolo in Rome, an exquisite Cordero di Montezemolo Monfalletto 2006, fabulous and powerful. We were in heaven and were doted upon. The dishes were marvelous. I had my first Carbonara copiously served in a huge bowl, and my first Coda alla Vaccinara in Roma at Perilli, both superb. We also ordered our first Rigatoni alla Pajata, an absolutely stellar dish, sumptious and delicious. We had Carciofi Romana for an appetizer, it was divine. The Carciofi had been braised and marinated and were perfectly tender, the essence of artichoke flavor, beautifully presented on Perilli's china. Photos from our dinner at Perilli can be seen here:

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                            My Estill Voice Conference started the next day, Friday, July 22, in the Aventine, a short distance from our hotel. For lunch, we walked over to Volpetti's in Testaccio and tried Volpetti Piu, the taverna calda. The offerings (as well as the servers) looked a little intimidating, so in a halting voice I announced "Vorrei un pezzo di pizza" in probably hilarious Italian, but I was understood and received cuttings from two delicious-looking pizzas, mushroom and mozzarella. Despite language difficulties, we were warmly received and from behind the counter to our table, the gentleman who had cut the pizza brought me a bottle of aqua gassata without my even asking. The pizza was superb, especially the pizza with mozzarella, thickly layered and delicious. We also went there the next day and had the octopus salad, which we saw being devoured by a few Roman locals, but we found them a bit too rubbery. The lasagna was also a little disappointing, as it was rather ordinary, but Volpetti Piu was the perfect introduction to every day Romans eating out for lunch. Photos of our lunch at Volpetti Piu can be seen here:

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                            Friday, July 22, we dined at Checchino dal 1887. The experience totale at Checchino's was both riveting and unforgettable. Checchino's was put on the map for me as an oenophile destination by the great Italian wine expert, Charles Scicolone of New York. I had discovered Charles' wine blog in my search for an Italian white wine comparable to a white Chateauneuf du Pape. As a confirmed red wine lover, I had been amazed when I discovered the white version of Chateauneuf du Pape with its deep intensity and full bodied structure fullly resembling the reds I love so much. Charles immediately told me to go to Checchino's to try Fiorano Bianco. (Charles Scicolone writes informatively about the stunning historical significance of both Fiorano Rosso and Fiorano Bianco on his blog: http://charlesscicolone.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/the-fiorano-rosso-dinners/). Checchino dal 1887 is located next to the ancient slaughterhouse site in Testaccio and is famous for its Quinto Quarto offal offerings. But my goal was finding the Fiorano Bianco Charles Scicolone advised me about. Arriving shortly after 8 pm, early for Romans but just right for us, we were welcomed graciously by Francesco Mariani. Ambience at Checchino's is delightfully welcoming, the picture of Roman Gemütlichkeit. We immediately were seated and received menus, but I had to specifically request the full wine list: "Puo portare la lista dei vini per favore." It took me awhile to locate the Fiorano Bianco which has its own section under Vini Fini towards the back of the extensive wine list. There it was, Fiorano Bianco, years 1971 through 1976. Francesco recommended we start with 1976 listed at 50 Euros. OMG, 1976! A 35 year old bottle. Francesco brought out the wine and began a superb presentation, carefully unsealing the old cork and then priming the glasses, then sipping himself to determine the quality. His contentment was all too obvious and he then presented a tasting glass to me. The glorious amber color and legs of the wine were startling. I swirled and smelled the wine and then tasted. OMG. The best white wine I've ever tasted. Francesco Mariani already knew what my reaction would be and he smiled knowingly. Fiorano Bianco was poured all round and we toasted our arrival at destination Checchino. We had been so fixated on the Fiorano Bianco, we'd almost forgotten the food, Francesco Mariani's presentation of the wine had been so expert and entertaining, a real showstopper. An unforgettable oenophile moment. Soon we were imbibing our Fiorano Bianco with carbonara, caccio e pepe, ciccoria (absolutely delicious, a slightly wild and peppery fibrous green). Soon we had finished our first bottle of Fiorano Bianco and were ready for a second. This time, Francesco recommended the 1975 Fiorano Bianco at an incredibly bargain price of 40 Euros. This time, the cork split in half despite Francesco's careful attempt at removal. He immediately went into surgical extraction and after removal of all the cork, decanted the entire bottle. This time Francesco did not taste the wine, but smelled only, giving a delighted, knowing smile. He brought a tasting glass for me to try and OMG, the 1975 was ever deeper in amber and delicious. "The taste of chestnuts in automn!" remarked Francesco. Soon I was tasting the spectacular 1975 Fiorano Bianco with Coda alla Vaccinara, a signature dish at Checchino dal 1887. Coda alla Vaccinara is oxtail, and Francesco's brother, Elio has marinated it for seven hours reducing to the most delicious tomato sauce I've ever tasted. In fact, I've never encountered a tomato sauce more intense and concentrated, more deep, dark, rich and flavorful than at Checchino's. Later we learned that chocolate had been added to the sauce as well. An absolutely superb destination dish and the combination with Fiorano Bianco utterly devine. Dining at Checchino dal 1887 was the archetypal culinary experience of a lifetime. We decided we had to return our last night in Rome. Photos of our dinner at Checchino dal 1887 can be viewed here:

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                            Saturday evening, July 23 was the Estill World Voice Conference held in a stunning location atop the Palazzo della Assicurazioni Generali on Piazza Venezia. The view toward the Victor Emmanuel monument was spectacular. A wonderful buffet dinner was provided, including copious burrata, fabulous fresh peeled figs. We relished a wonderful cooling breeze unusual for Rome in July. Photos from our superb Estill World Voice Gala can be viewed here:

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                            Lunch on Sunday was at the unusually named www.00Pizza100.com, a little hole-in-the-wall in Testaccio, and a short taxi ride from the Voice Conference. The pizzas were single-portioned sized and muffin-like. Nice chewy dough, but otherwise nothing special and not worth the detour. I wish instead we'd gone to Claudio Torcè's Gelato store Viale Aventino 59 just around the corner from our conference on Via di San Saba which we only discovered we had been right next to after coming home. Drat! Photos can be viewed here:

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                            After reading Elizabeth Minchilli's review of Trattoria Cadorna (http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.com/2011/04/trattoria-cadorna.html), we realized it was a must visit. Sunday night, July 24, found us at Trattoria Cadorna, near the Porta Pia. After a wild and fun taxi ride there, we settled down to our table. Despite being a party of 5, we ordered Antipasto for 2, on Elizabeth's recommendation. ("It will be more than enough to feed the entire table," I remembered her saying.) She was right. Soon our large table began being filled with great-looking antipasti--warm breadsticks, mozzarella, eggplant, and more--and there wasn't enough room for the final dish. I ordered a delicious Le Casalte 2007 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano followed by a yummy 2006 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino, both superb bottles. Warm breadsticks were unique during our Roman visit. (Indeed, most of the bread we were served in Rome seemed surprisingly lackluster). Trattoria Cadorna's antipasti was delicious and copious though, and I loved it. Our pasta dishes were impressive as well: carbonara and caccio e pepe were superb, the carbonara delectably enhanced by delicious guanciale, big salted pieces of smoked pig cheek. The Abbachio Scottadito platter was a lamb-lover's dream: tasty morsels of grilled lamb on-the-bone, some of the most delectable lamb ever. Desserts incuded a wonderful panna cotta, but a SPECTACULAR tiramisu, oozing with creamy and runny custard. Service was hectic but welcoming, but became superb once an elderly gentleman began to serve us, lovingly warm, the owner, I presumed. I loved Trattoria Cadorna and it stands out as one of our most delightful dinners in Rome. Our photos from Trattoria Cadorna can be viewed here:

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                            Monday, July 25, the Voice Conference was over and we planned a rich culinary day: Lunch at Sora Lella, Wine Tasting with Vino Roma and Dinner at Roscioli.

                            Sora Lella on the Isola di Tevere turned out to be a stellar visit with fabulous food and service. As we were seated and purusing both menu and wine list, the owner came to our table to introduce himself and say that he had personally answered my reservation request from San Francisco. I was still busy overlooking the wine list when the waiter rather insistently recommended the burrata. Noting my initial hesitation, the waiter quite insisted we order burrata, explaining how fresh it was. The owner suddenly appeared at our table to tell us he had specifically and specially ordered this burrata from his source in the countryside in honor of our visit. Knowing we were coming from San Francisco, he said he knew this was a must try. It was incredibly touching that Sora Lella specifically ordered fresh burrata for us, and it was superb, so fresh and soft, and stood alone perfectly round in a center dish with its sour cream flavor, served simply with arugula and olive oil. Simply stunning and worth the trip. As we were finishing this delectable burrata so surprisingly presented for our visit, our table suddenly received suppli a la romana for the entire table, on the house! Delicious crunchy mozzarella stuffed rice balls, breaded and fried. I had ordered a delicous 2007 Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Asinone, Toscana. We were receiving the royal treatment, absolutely delightful. The caccio e pepe was perfection; the signature Tonnarelli pasta with sausage, walnuts and guanciale was heavenly. Russell had the cuttlefish as a main course, which was tasty, though a bit on the rubbery side. We ordered Roman Bacalà for the entire table which was intensely flavored and delicious. A highlight of our visit to Sora Lella were the desserts, a stunning panna cotta with fragoline di bosco, and the most delicious nocciola gelato I have ever tasted. We fought over it! Our visit to Sora Lella was simply stupendous, completely delightful with sumptuous food, superlative, nearly adoring service and delightful atmosphere. If Sora Lella were in San Francisco, it would become my Stammlokal. In fact, I tried to convince the owner to open a branch in San Francisco. It'd be a huge hit. Photos of our luncheon at the superb Sora Lella can be seen here.

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                            Monday afternoon, we delightfully partook in Hande Leimer's Vino Roma wine tasting. We had a Fabulous Time with Vino Roma! It's no accident that Hande Kutlar Leimer's Vino Roma wine tastings land near the top of exciting things to do in Rome. Who wouldn't want to do wine tasting in the Eternal City. But Hande makes her Vino Roma wine tasting event a not-to-be-missed major Roman attraction. Her warm and human personal touch and delicious wine presentations render the event unforgettable. After demanding hours of touring Rome, nothing is better than arriving da Vino Roma for a wonderfully refreshing and relaxing wine tasting. Hande's reception with open arms, her wit, intelligence, sophistication and superior wine knowledge make for a sensational relaxing and stimulating multicultural oenophile delight. I am an experienced wine aficionado, but Hande opened my eyes with her invaluable insights and experience. Hande's generous six different wine offerings, 3 white and 3 red, helped fulfill a life long dream of becoming more familiar with Italian wines. Her presentation of wines from Sicily and Etna showcasing their enticing minerality and her recommendation of Anglianico del Vulture from Basilicata were especially illuminating helping me discover new favorite wines. Thank You, Hande, memories of your beautiful wine knowledge and generosity will last a lifetime. Thank you for all your fabulous dining tips as well. Thank You for arranging restaurant reservations for us, for calling taxis, giving directions. You are so lovingly generous and so full of revelations. What better location for your fabulous revelations than your beautiful venue Lungotevere in Roma and what could be more fun than having Hande's Vino Roma share her wines with us. We had a marvelous time! Photos from our tasting at Vino Roma can be viewed here:

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                            I had read about Roscioli, the deli and wine enoteca on Via dei Giubbonari, and despite some reservations from others, was encouraged to go by Hande Leimer. Hande generously offered to make us a reservation post Vino Roma wine tasting with a special waiter she knows. I was especially interested in Roscioli's wine list, as I was dying to try Valentini wines only to be found at Roscioli. After we were seated, I was eyeballing a Gaja white wine at an opposite table. Imagine my delight when the lady at the table brought the wine over for me to taste! Perusing the wine list, voilà, I found Valentini's Trebbiano d'Abruzzo which we promptly ordered. I also ordered the Carbonara which was perhaps the most unusual in Rome, delightfully creamy, "dry" and delectable. I was stunned by Valentini's Trebbiano d'Abruzzo--it was spumante! Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined it'd be spumante. It was coolingly delicious and we quickly finished every drop. Next: Valentini's Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, recommended by Charles Scicolone and especially featured in Sheldon & Pauline Wasserman's vast tome "Italy's Noble Red Wines," noting that "Valentini's Montepulciano d'Abruzzo stands with the best wines of Italy." After reading about Valentini's wines in Charles Scicolone's blog (http://charlesscicolone.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/the-legendary-edoardo-valentini/), I knew I had to try it. The waiter seemed stunned when I pointed to the 110 Euro bottle. "Well, it's our best wine," he said. Soon I was imbibing one of the world's most delicious red wines with a delectable and heavenly beef tartar. The Valentini wines truly made Roscioli an oenophile destination and Roscioli's was the only place in Rome where I saw them. We ordered gelato for dessert, but my nocciola gelato there was grainy, expensive and disappointing, nothing like the sublime homemade gelato at Sora Lella. We were delighted with our visit to Roscioli, though, and the presentation of the deli items including the prosciutto was stunning. Photos from our visit to Roscioli can be viewed here:

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                            After a tiring day touring the Vatican, the evening of Tuesday, July 26 found us taking a taxi to L'Asino d'Oro for the evening meal. L'Asino d'Oro turned out to be the most non-traditional of all the restaurants we visited. Chef Lucio Sforza is from Orvieto and the cuisine is Umbrian. We were greeted by affable waiters and immediately served an amuse-bouche on the house, what seemed like Umbrian potatoes mashed and formed into a ball and topped with what seemed like mascarpone sauce. Scrumptious. Upon the waiter's suggestion, I ordered a 2006 Còlpetrone Montefalco Sagrantino which was stunning. Half way through the meal, the waiter also brought half a bottle of Orvieto white for us to try, on the house, dry, slightly sweet, big, fruity and slightly effervescent. Such exceptional generosity from such an exceptional restaurant with fabulous service. My partner, Russell, ordered tripe which turned out to be one of the most spectacular dishes of the entire trip. Stunningly succulent tripe deliciously prepared from slowly braising with reduction sauces. Two other entrees, however, were not so good: carmelized ribs which were overcooked, tough, chewy and glazed with an oversweet sauce, and dried out fish balls. Dessert was wonderful, though, two types of tiramisu, with chocolate or with coffee, and lemon balls with what seemed like gelatinous rhubarb squares. Highlights were the wonderful service, full of joie di vivre, and the spectacular braised tripe. Photos of our dinner at L'Asino d'Oro can be seen here:

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                            Wednesday, July 27, had us touring the Roman forum during a spectacular thunderstorm where it poured buckets, absolutely drenching us, but providing unusual cooling breezes during the end of July in Rome. For our evening meal, we headed over to the Sicilian trattoria La Gensola in Trastevere, initially having trouble finding the restaurant around the corner from Piazza Gensola. We were naturally earlier than most Romans, but not the first to be seated. Soon, the place was bursting with patrons at what must be one of the world's greatest seafood restaurants. The waiter was a bit surly but good-natured and he really knew his stuff. He offered us the "catch of the day" which was a red Mediterranean sea bass which he immediately presented raw on a plate before me to show off the fish (see photo). We decided to share this fish as an initial appetizer which worked out perfectly. Freschissimo! One of the freshest fish I have ever had, paired perfectly with a light tomato and pepper sauce and covered with thinly sliced vine-ripened tomatoes bringing out the fresh, clean flavor. I've never seen a fish presented with such a generous mound of tomatoes on top helping satiate my tomato craving. Despite the season, I was surprised not to see many fresh tomato salads in Rome. After the fish, we were presented with a delicious dish of calamari on the house! Then we shared an absolutely stunning seafood pasta, one of the best we'd had in Rome: spaghetti ai ricci di mare, worth a return trip on its own. We also had delectable monkfish with an applesauce compote, fabulous gamberoni rossi, 8-10 succulent, garlicky, sweet and tender shrimp, and grilled Scampi, sensationally prepared and oozing with butter and garlic, truly a destination dish and the best I've ever tasted. I had a delicious swordfish in a tomato reduction sauce which I sloshed down with a wonderful Don Anselmo 2005 Anglianico del Vulture, a favorite new wine after recommendations from Hande at Vino Roma. Dinner was concluded with a wonderful vanilla gelato and chocolate. Photos of our visit to Osteria la Gensola can be seen here:

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                            Thursday, July 28, we toured the spectacular Capitoline Museum and had plans to dine at Giggetto that evening. Our concierge called many times, only to find out later that Giggetto was already closed for summer vacation. The obvious alternative was Piperno which we immediatley booked. In the heart of the Jewish Ghetto of Rome, our head waiter was Gentilissimo Claudio, watching over our table and doting like a loving Jewish mother, surely the most loving and warm service we've ever received. Things started off in spectacular fashion when Claudio immediately brought us appetizers of Carciofi alla Giudea and Fiori di Zucca Fritti, plates of fried artichokes and fried, stuffed squash blossoms, full of mozzarrella and more than a hint of anchovy. Russell had tripe again, more traditional than at L'Asino d'Oro, but succulent and delicious. For wine, we had Greco di Tufo and a splendid Radici Taurasi Riserva 1999. I ordered Coda alla Vaccinara prepared sans the traditional tomato/celery sauce, but in a natural, au jus sauce that enhanced the flavor of the oxtails. The meat, however, was not as tender as at Perilli and Checchino, still delicious. Our partner, Linda, whom I always dub "fish face" for her fish predilection, was led by Claudio to the fish case where she chose Rombo (turbot). This turbot was presented by Claudio uncooked, cooked and then de-boned, a spectacular fish presentation with one of the most fresh, succulent flavors. An incredible and singularly unique presentation. We were also presented with deliciously braised spinach. I had a superb tomato salad and Russell had Abbachio Scottadito, again delicious. For dessert, we had tiramisu and vanilla gelato with the most copious serving of fragoline di bosco I have ever seen. Both food and service at Piperno were sublime. How we wish we could go more often. Photos from our visit to Piperno can be viewed here:

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                            Our dinner on Friday, July 29 was at La Sella del Diavolo, just north of the Piazza del Popolo, a favorite restaurant recommended by Chef Fabio who had conducted a cooking class a couple of our party attended while we were at the voice conference. La Sella del Diavolo is Sardinian and features scintillating seafood. We were wonderfully received by the Chef's hostess wife, Irene, who took us under her wing. Linda ordered Vermentino, and I ordered my first Pio Caesare wines, a delicious 2005 Barberesco and a sumptuous 2005 Barolo, both stunning. Irene brought us especially delicious fried baby calamari, exceedingly crisp yet tender, and perfectly cooked. We swooned over these baby calamari which had just a dusting of lemon juice, best we ever had. I was going to order my favorite linguini vongole, but Irene said one could get linguini vongole everywhere, but the squid ink gnocchi only at Sella del Diavolo. She convinced me to order the squid ink gnocchi and once again I received a destination dish. The squid ink gnocchi were truly succulent and flavorful, absolutely the best I've ever tried. A mixed seafood platter for two arrived including calamari, scampi, prawns and fish, impressively prepared and instantly devoured. La Sella del Diavolo is a bit off the culinary radar, but with such a hearty recommendation from a great chef and such stellar seafood, La Sella dell Diavolo deserves to become a seafood destination. Prices were extremely reasonable and the dishes truly outstanding. Photos from our visit to La Sella del Diavolo can be viewed here:

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                            Ritorno al Checchino

                            Saturday night, July 30 was our last night in Rome. Sadly, we had to leave this great City with its spectacular people, art, history and culinary delights. Every single restaurant we had visited was stunning. Cecchino dal 1887 became our very own special food and wine destination which we had to visit twice. This night we consumed three bottles of the divine 1975 Fiorano Bianco (only three!). Franceso Mariani, Sister Mariana and Chef Elio were all sparklingly receptive. I again had to order the sublime Coda alla Vaccinara to try that magnificent tomato sauce reduction and falling off the bone meat. Linda had a fabulous plate of salumi including a stunning soppressata, spicy, garlicky and delicious and she devoured every speck of her favorite caccio e pepe. I had a simple salad of divine cherry tomatoes, Russell again ordered Abbachio Scottadito, sparingly presented but delicious tasting. We once again had Carbonara, Penne Arrabbiata, again tried and enjoyed the Rigatoni alla Pajata, veal chops, veal scallopine, all incredibly prepared and graciously presented. We were invited afterwards to visit Checchino's unbelievable wine cellar housed amid the chards of ancient Rome in Testaccio. It was hard to leave Rome. We had a sensational time dining everywhere with fabulous food, incredible warm and loving service amid incomparable ambience. The trip was an absolute delight highlighted by culinary escapades beyond belief. Thank You All for your wonderful suggestions which made our trip to Roma sensational. Pictures of our final visit to Checchino dal 1887 can be viewed here:

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                            Trattoria Cadorna
                            Via Cadorna, 12, Roma 00100, IT

                            Checchino dal 1887
                            Via di Monte Testaccio, 30, Rome 00153, IT

                            Perilli
                            Via Marmorata 39, Rome , IT

                            Volpetti Piu
                            Via A. Volta, 8-10, Rome, Lazio , IT

                            Giggetto
                            Via del Portico d'Ottavia 21A/22, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

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

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

                            Colline Emiliane
                            Via degli Avignonesi, 22, Rome, Lazio 00187, IT

                            Pierluigi
                            Piazza Dè Ricci, 144, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

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

                            L'Asino d'Oro
                            Via del Boschetto 73, Rome, Lazio 00184, IT

                            1. re: tenortom
                              vinoroma Aug 17, 2011 12:14 PM

                              Tom, thank you so much for what is easily the most detailed, longest, all encompassing and uptodate trip report ever! There is valuable information here and i know how time & energy consuming it is to write such a report. Thank you!

                              1. re: tenortom
                                minchilli Aug 17, 2011 10:41 PM

                                What an amazingly detailed report! Thank you so much for taking the time to report not only on each place you visited, but every dish and wine as well. I so enjoyed looking at all your photographs on facebook, now I have the full report. This thread will be referred to for years here on chowhound!

                                I'm so glad that all of our recommendations worked out so well for you. And FYI, you were remembered as fondly by the restaurants as they were by you. I was in Perilli a few weeks ago and they were going on and on about my 'friends' that I had sent there. I finally figured out it was your group. This never happens! So you see, you left your mark on Rome as well.

                                Just one correction (since people will be looking at this thread for advice) : the wine at l'Asino d'Oro was Colpetrone (not Copetrone). one of my favorites from Umbria.

                                www.elizabethminchilli.com

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

                                1. re: minchilli
                                  vinoroma Aug 18, 2011 12:02 AM

                                  yep, I had the same effect at Checchino: They raved about my friends who ordered the 75 & 76 wines - so we drank the 75 together to be able to discuss it more thoroughly! :)

                                2. re: tenortom
                                  f
                                  Forgetherestaurant Sep 1, 2011 10:55 AM

                                  Great review! Helpfull and rich of details... Thank you..

                                  1. re: Forgetherestaurant
                                    j
                                    jcendres2 Sep 10, 2011 12:16 AM

                                    I am so impressed with this. It's really helping me plan my last minute short trip. My mouth is watering already!! .I will be in Rome in 2 weeks and want to taste fabulous, authentic food (moderate to expensive). However, I will be traveling alone. Can you tell me which of the restaurants recommended above you feel would be most welcoming to a single diner for dinner? Dining alone is a new and somewhat daunting experience for me but I have had good luck here in Seattle and want to keep eating fine food as it's an integral part of my travel experience. Suggestions?

                                    1. re: jcendres2
                                      z
                                      zerlina Sep 10, 2011 08:42 AM

                                      I've never had a problem dining alone in Rome. Restaurants tend to be more welcoming if you've made a reservation for dinner, even if only the day before or morning of. On Friday and Saturday evenings, reservations are almost a necessity.

                                  2. re: tenortom
                                    waxyjax Sep 10, 2011 02:14 AM

                                    i admit, i normally skim long trip reports on CH - but yours was an amazing read! sad i didn't see it earlier as I'm currently in rome. i'm proud to say some of my picks overlapped yours but will definitely hit up some of your other recommendations before i leave here :)

                                    1. re: waxyjax
                                      t
                                      tenortom Sep 10, 2011 07:59 AM

                                      Thank You for enjoying! Wow, I'm still dreaming of Rome weeks later and wish I w454 there now as well! If I were, I would immediately go back to every single place. I could not believe Trattoria Cadorna--the abbacchio scottadito, the tiramisu! The wine at Checchino's, the Coda alla Vaccinara!! The Carbonara and scintillating reception at Perilli, the seafood at La Gensola and La Sella del Diavolo, the remarkably loving service and fish at Piperno, the special personal reception and food at Sora Lella, their incredible gelato, the fabuous service and tripe at l'Asino d'Oro, the incredible wine list at Roscioli!...OMG! Wow, thanks for helping me relive it! Cheers & have fun!

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

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

                                      1. re: tenortom
                                        s
                                        shakti2 Dec 14, 2011 01:36 AM

                                        Hi Tenortom, I’m just back from a stay in Rome and just wanted to add my appreciation for your lovely lengthy post.

                                        I had been quite daunted about planning our meals because I travel with a companion who is not an admirer of the traditional meat-heavy Roman trattoria menu and because I saw so much coverage on this board about Roman disdain for customers who are not Italian-speaking regulars with deep knowledge of each establishment’s special dishes. Your enthusiasm was a heartening counterpoint and your pictures were so extremely useful in giving a feel for what to expect at each establishment.

                                        We ate at Pierluigi, Perilli, Cadorna, Roscioli and La Gensola, and generally liked them all. However, La Sella del Diavola was a real stand-out and we would never have found it without you. Their handling of seafood is excellent – like you, we enjoyed the fried moscardini but we also admired the raw fish, the pulpo, the taglioni with bottarga and with vongole, the mixed fish grill. Their service also deserves a special mention – attentive and professional and they did this classy thing of quietly absorbing the price difference when they substituted a better bottle of wine for one we had picked and which had run out. And prices are indeed very good relative to their fish-oriented peers in Rome.

                                        Do please try Tempio di Iside next time. We live in Asia and consider ourselves to know a bit about fish here but Tempio was revelatory.

                                        1. re: shakti2
                                          t
                                          tenortom Dec 14, 2011 10:28 AM

                                          Just thrilled to receive Your post, Shakti2! How wonderful to be able to dine at those wonderful restaurants in Rome! La Sella del Diavolo is truly a stand-out Sardinian seafood restaurant with sensational presentations and superb service. I'm delighted that You loved it. Tempio di Iside was definitely on our list, but time just ran out. Hopefully, we can visit it on our next trip to Rome! Thank You again for your report and I'm delighted You enjoyed my posts.

                                          1. re: tenortom
                                            mbfant Dec 14, 2011 12:58 PM

                                            Where is Sella del Diavolo? I know it's the nickname of a Roman tomb in a piazza somewhere in the part of Rome known as the African Quarter, because of the street names (Tripoli, Mogadiscio, Libia, etc.).

                                            On the strength of the recommendations here I dragged my husband to Tempio di Iside, which is near our house and for which I had great hopes. Unfortunately it was pretty much of a disaster. He was totally unimpressed by the food (so was I, but at least I was trying to like it) and the room was noisy and the service inept.

                                            1. re: mbfant
                                              t
                                              tenortom Dec 14, 2011 01:14 PM

                                              Via Flaminia 46. In case You missed it, here is my original review:

                                              Our dinner on Friday, July 29 was at La Sella del Diavolo, just north of the Piazza del Popolo, a favorite restaurant recommended by Chef Fabio who had conducted a cooking class a couple of our party attended while we were at the voice conference. La Sella del Diavolo is Sardinian and features scintillating seafood. We were wonderfully received by the Chef's hostess wife, Irene, who took us under her wing. Linda ordered Vermentino, and I ordered my first Pio Caesare wines, a delicious 2005 Barberesco and a sumptuous 2005 Barolo, both stunning. Irene brought us especially delicious fried baby calamari, exceedingly crisp yet tender, and perfectly cooked. We swooned over these baby calamari which had just a dusting of lemon juice, best we ever had. I was going to order my favorite linguini vongole, but Irene said one could get linguini vongole everywhere, but the squid ink gnocchi only at Sella del Diavolo. She convinced me to order the squid ink gnocchi and once again I received a destination dish. The squid ink gnocchi were truly succulent and flavorful, absolutely the best I've ever tried. A mixed seafood platter for two arrived including calamari, scampi, prawns and fish, impressively prepared and instantly devoured. La Sella del Diavolo is a bit off the culinary radar, but with such a hearty recommendation from a great chef and such stellar seafood, La Sella dell Diavolo deserves to become a seafood destination. Prices were extremely reasonable and the dishes truly outstanding. Photos from our visit to La Sella del Diavolo can be viewed here:

                                              http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?se...

                                              1. re: tenortom
                                                b
                                                bjadler May 10, 2012 09:59 AM

                                                Thank you SO MUCH for this amazing thread. We followed much of your advice as well as that of the remarkable Hande Leimer of vinoroma, whom we learned about in this thread. Our only disappointment was La Gensola. Maybe we hit an off night as our fish was bland and far inferior to anything else we ate in Rome. We also discovered a lovely little place in Trastevere almost by accident - Le Mani in Pasta, owned by a Sardinian. We at the best buffalo mozzarella, proscuitto and pasta of the trip there! Thanks!

                                                1. re: bjadler
                                                  d
                                                  debkurt May 22, 2012 08:31 PM

                                                  We are headed to Rome in a few months, and I want to thank you for this report. Two years ago, we had a few disappointing meals, and I hope to do better this time.

                                                  thank you

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