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Trip to Rome & Florence: December 2011

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My boyfriend and I will be making our very first trip to Italy this coming December.
I've been vigorously perusing these boards (and other sources) and trying to make a list of restaurants based on the numerous trip reports posted here (thanks to everyone for so generously sharing information and experiences).

We are still at the very preliminary stages in terms of researching these places. However, I do seem to have managed to build up some sort of list. However, some of these places haven't been reviewed by anyone here in a while.

Am turning to you all for feedback on these places. Maybe some place has changed hands and isn't what it used to be. Places I've missed that are newer perhaps. Or just plain missed.

Dinner:
La Rosetta
Checchino
Palatium
Agata e Romeo
Trattoria Monti
Le Colin Emilliane
All'Oro
La Campana
Il Convivio
La Piazetta
La Gensola
Piperno
Da Michele
Il Fico
Vino e Camino

Lunch:
Pizzarium
Pizzeria de Remo
Bafetto
Sforno
Gioia Mia Pisciapiano

Advice on which of these we should prioritize would be very helpful. Plus, looking to add to the list as well.

We've rented an apt close in the Piazza Navona area and are hoping to take public transportation as much as possible.

We are also going to Florence but haven't even begun researching restaurants for that part of the trip.

A million thanks in advance.

-----
Da Michele
Via Cesare Sersale, 1, Naples, Campania 80139, IT

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

Trattoria Monti
Via di San Vito,13a, Roma , IT

Palatium
Via Frattina 94, Roma , IT

Agata e Romeo
Via Carlo Alberto 45, Rome 00185, IT

La Rosetta
Via della Rosetta, 9, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

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

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

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

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

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

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  1. Pizzarium and other pizza al taglio places are OK for lunch, but sit-down pizza, such as Remo, is evening only.

    That's quite a long and varied list. How long are you staying and are you willing to spend once in a while?

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: mbfant

      Staying a little over 2 weeks and yes, we are willing to spend once in a while. We were thinking of doing maybe 2 (or max 3) dinners at more upscale places and hoping to stay at under or around €80-€100 total for 2 pp.

    2. my perennial advice to managing a visit to Rome - think about where you plan to be a lunchtime each day. Focus on identifying restaurants in that area. or conveniently nearby Think about eating a leisurely lunch at least a few days, following local custom - have your lighter meal in the evening. In order to reduce the caloric load, we usually order a total or 4 dishes plus maybe a contorni (veg or salad) for the two of us, informally sharing judiciously.

      Churches, stores, etc in Rome tends to shut down around midday and dont reopen til say 3 [this doesnt apply to major archeological sites or San Pietro) so a relaxed lunch approach fits in to local custom as well as allowing you to rest your weary feet, tho note, because days are short in Dec. you will want to do your church touring (if any) in the am, because by 3 its getting dark..

      Most of the places on your list have been discussed here repeately. It you click on the links to the right or do a search you will find the discussion.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jen kalb

        That's great advice. I have been grouping these by location using google maps and making notes on what spots they might be close to. But yes, my plan is to figure out a plan for the day (with some room for flexibility and impulse) and then have a few restaurant options in the area.

        I did check the other threads and have notes next to the restaurant names but some of the reviews are older and possibly dated.

        The number of restaurants that have been discussed here is a bit overwhelming and I was hoping to get some (somewhat) consistent "must-eat-here" picks.

      2. You've certainly done some research! But your dinner list is very upscale oriented. Places like La Rosetta and Agata e Romeo are very pricey, and not necessarily where I would send people these days. In fact, your list seems at first glance a bit dated since you are missing some of the newer, interesting places often talked about on this board.

        But getting back to your original list, the lunch places you list are mostly all pizza places, and so closed at lunch time. Is there a reason that you put all pizza places for lunch? If you are touring around, it is kind of nice to sit down and rest and have a real meal (even if you're not going to order three courses). Take Jen's advice, and find places that are near where you are going to be (a lot of apps these days do that for you, if you have a smart phone)

        About your dinner choices, specifically:
        La Rosetta: is good, but VERY expensive. Can easily run 180 a person. A better fish choice is La Gensola.
        Your other dinner choices: Piperno, Vino e Camino, La Campana, Trattoria Monti and Palatium all good and I've been to recently.
        Of your pricey places, definitely go to All'Oro, which is currently one of the best 'new' places in town. I would also add Glass to your list, which is 'new' and very good.
        L'Asino d'Oro is missing. This would make a good choice for either lunch (fixed 12 e. menu) or dinner.
        I look forward to responding to your Florence queries too!
        Elizabeth
        www.elizabethminchilli.com

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

        Trattoria Monti
        Via di San Vito,13a, Roma , IT

        Palatium
        Via Frattina 94, Roma , IT

        Agata e Romeo
        Via Carlo Alberto 45, Rome 00185, IT

        La Rosetta
        Via della Rosetta, 9, Rome, Lazio 00186, IT

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

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

        21 Replies
        1. re: minchilli

          Sorry Elizabeth, can you please clarify what do you mean with "new"?

          Glass maybe is "new" for many CHers (I was surprised to see few discussions about it as I already wrote here - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8040... ) but opened more than 7 years ago, having the same chef more or less for 5 years. All'Oro opened in April 2007.

          But maybe is just my bad English comprehension and "new" has different meanings.

          I'll add some comments on the OP during the next days.

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

          Glass Hostaria
          Vicolo de' Cinque, Rome, Lazio 00153, IT

          1. re: tavoleromane

            Not so sure what is new about All'Oro or Glass...I'd say La Rosetta is not actually all that amazing. It is outrageously overpriced and mainly frequented by tourists. For fish, Il Sanlorenzo is excellent. It is quite expensive, but that is normal for good fish restaurants, and the crudi are outstanding. If you want to stay under €100 for two, that would be a challenge, but with a couple of antipasti and 2 primi you might be able to do it. you might even be able to squeeze in a couple of glasses of wine for that price.

            For pizza, pizzarium is a must. Sforno is also only open for dinner and it is pretty great. For more great neapolitan style pizza and fritti i suggest Tonda and La Gatta Mangiona. I know Maureen didnt care for her meal at la gatta but i was there on the same night and had a lovely meal and eat there very often and really love it. that said, i do think the experience tends to be better for regulars...for roman style pizza da remo is still my favorite.

            other favorites are: enoteca provincia romana (great for lunch), palatium (ditto), roscioli (book ahead, order burrata and carbonara), glass (book ahead, might be tough to stay under €100 for two, but it can be done-going over budget a bit is worth it tho), da danilo (for cacio pepe & carbonara), l'arcangelo (suppli, gnocchi on thursdays), beppe e i suoi formaggi (cheese plates), il goccetto (wine and cold starters), il bacocco (suggested by vinoroma! loved this place. you can go for snacks or a full meal), mesob (best ethiopian food in rome, dinner only), checchino (coda alla vaccinara and trippa alla romana),

            le colline emiliane and trattoria monti are nice for sunday lunch. so is flavio al velavevodetto (i think mixed reviews on this board).

            www.parlafood.com

            1. re: katieparla

              I just want to print this out and give out as a hand out to all my guests.

              1. re: vinoroma

                no don't they'll think im illiterate or allergic to caps:)

              2. re: katieparla

                Do you need to book ahead at Roscioli for lunch too? Or just dinner?

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

                1. re: hmast

                  book dinner at least a couple of days in advance. i recommend booking at lunch, too, so you can request a table in the back on the ground floor (rather than in the front near the deli cases which are tight and subjected to lots of traffic, or the basement which is just kind of sad IMO)

            2. re: minchilli

              Hi

              Sorry to jump in on this post. I am in a similar position and will be in Rome for 4 days next week. Haven't been in many years. So far I have dinner reservations at:

              Trattoria Monti
              Checchino dal 1887

              I need another 2 places for dinner (on Sunday and Monday) and am unsure which places are open and need to be booked in advance.

              Also, I would like to fill the lunch spots/ daytime meals with good prix fixe places or lighter eats like pizza and snacks - although reading Jen Kalb's comments it seems that lunch should be the longer meal. I am happy to structure the sightseeing around the meals and not knowing where these places are would be more than happy if anyone could help plug in the sights around the places in a way that is logistically friendly.

              The other places on my list are:

              La Gensola
              Hostaria Da Benito e Gilberto (recommended by a friend - also a seafood place like La Gensola?)
              Piperno (is this too similar to Cecchino)
              Le Colline Emiiliane
              L'Asino d'Oro (is the 12 EUR menu sufficient or is ala carte more representative of the strengths of the place?)
              Palatium (more for lunch than dinner?)
              Pizzeria da Remo
              Pizzarium
              Perilli
              Taverna Forte Imperioli
              La Campana

              The last 3 I found from Frank Bruni's NYT articles in which Elizabeth, you were mentioned.

              I initially considered Hostaria Glass and All'Oro but they seem like neo Italian food (and I didn't really want anything that inventive as I'm heading off to Barcelona afterwards - hopefully trying El Celler De Can Roca and Sant Pau)

              Are reservations necessary or can I just walk in? Also, is Sunday dinner a no go?

              More importantly, what are the signature dishes to order at these places so I don't double dip and can really have the best (or better) in class of a dish. I eat anything and like offal. I figure the tortino and large raviolo type pasta at Trattoria Monti, oxtail at Cecchino but don't know about the others.

              Also, your suggestions as to where to have the best pastries and snacks around will be appreciated (gelato - Giolito, Ciampini & San Crispino, I presume).

              Thanks

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

              Trattoria Monti
              Via di San Vito,13a, Roma , IT

              Palatium
              Via Frattina 94, Roma , IT

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

              Perilli
              Via Marmorata 39, Rome , IT

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

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

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

              1. re: mikey8811

                Among the places you mentioned, I definetely would not miss Pizzarium (for pizza by the slice) and Palatium (I went a couple of times for dinner and liked it). Pizzarium is a must as you'll never get a chance to eat a pizza like that (Gabriele is doing 100% spelt flour) again. Palatium proposes products and wines from Lazio.

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

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

                1. re: cristinab

                  What should I order at Palatium and Pizzarium (potato pizza(?) what else?).

                  Also, are reservations required for lunch?

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

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

                  1. re: mikey8811

                    Palatium doesn’t take reservations at lunch, or didn’t last time I checked. Nor are they eager to see you much before one o'clock. Try to arrive a couple of minutes before one. Pizzarium is a standup pizza al taglio. Reservations are irrelevant. Perilli and La Campana are both open Sunday evening, though neither would be my first choice any other night of the week. Likewise Giggetto I believe is open Sunday evening, though I prefer Piperno (not like Checchino), open only Sun lunch, then closed till Tuesday. I believe even Remo is closed on Sunday evening.

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

                    Palatium
                    Via Frattina 94, Roma , IT

                    Perilli
                    Via Marmorata 39, Rome , IT

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

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

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

                    1. re: mbfant

                      Hi

                      Right now my schedule looks like:

                      Fri

                      Lunch - Pizzarium (or La Gensola if it is closed on Monday)
                      Dinner - Trattoria Monti

                      Sat

                      Lunch - L'Asino D'oro
                      Dinner - Checchino

                      Sun

                      Lunch - Piperno
                      Dinner - empty slot

                      Mon

                      Lunch - La Gensola (if open, if not Pizzarium)
                      Dinner - Remo (are reservations required? Do they have an e-mail or website?)

                      What would you order?

                      Also, what is a good choice for Sunday dinner?

                      Maybe Remo I should skip as I haven't been able to fill in Palatium or Colline Emiliane.

                      Feel free to suggest substitutions in my current choices please.

                      1. re: mikey8811

                        L'Asino d'Oro doesn't have the 12 euro lunch deal on saturdays (in case that is important for you). Remo doesn't take reservations. Either you have to be there when they open, or be prepared to wait in line. I don't know if monday lunch is the best time for la gensola, even if they are open - fish and monday is not impossible but a tough thing to get right.

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

                        1. re: mikey8811

                          Sunday lunch at Piperno is a good idea -- you can have a nice walk before or after. But I can tell you if I have Sunday lunch at Piperno, the last thing I want is another restaurant meal in the evening. Plan on something light.

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

                          1. re: mbfant

                            Hi

                            It looks like Pizzarium is open Sun night. I'll brave the crowds and try that. Is it a good idea or will they have run out of the signature stuff by then?

                            Also it seems like Palatium is open for Monday lunch so I'll put that in - do they take reservations?

                            Re. The overeating, yes, that's a concern & endemic to a visitor with overzealous eating plans. Based on the places I have listed for dinner, are there any which offer set lunches other than L'Asino D'Oro? If so I can maybe save a little cash and lighten my stomach too.

                            The only place missing now is Colline Emiliane - should I do this in lieu of Piperno on Sunday lunch or Cecchino Dal 1887 or simply forgo it?

                            Any recs for pastries, pannini or snacks?

                            Also, I get the impression that Ciampini is the best for gelato, followed by Giolitti and San Crispino? I prefer chocolate, caramel & nut flavours to fruit.

                            Thanks

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

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

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

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

                            1. re: mikey8811

                              pizzarium is open only till 9pm and is only a by the slice place, with no seating. Nothing wrong with it and I love it, but just wanted to make sure you understand that and do not await a sitdown dinner.
                              palatium does take reservations but in a very round about way that is practically not accessible to non-italian-residents (I have explained it in an earlier post). best to show up a few minutes before 1pm and hope to get a seat.
                              Ciampini is very good, especially for the nut flavors and I absolutely detest Giolitti & San Crispino. Better is Torce's il Gelato in the vicinity.

                              1. re: vinoroma

                                Vinoroma, yes thanks. I understand that Pizzarium is a by the slice place. I figure I will have stuffed myself enough at lunch to have a light dinner.

                                Can you direct me to your earlier post about reservations at Palatium?

                                I'll give Torce's il Gelato a try too.

                                Any thoughts on what to order at the places I have listed or which ones have a prix fixe or will be ok for a lighter meal?

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

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

                              2. re: mikey8811

                                You can always order fewer courses. You may wind up eating more with a set lunch than with more selective ordering.

                                1. re: jen kalb

                                  Hi Jen

                                  Yes, that's true. Which of the places can I get by with ordering just a main or 2 courses at most and still get a good representation of the food? For example L'Asino D'oro only does the EUR 12 lunch on a Friday but not ala carte and only does ala carte on Saturday.

                                  Also, is Roscioli worth going to in lieu of any of the lunch establishments I have listed? I see it is also a patisserie - will I be able to find cornetti, bombolini and cannoli there? Again, Piperno vs. Colline Emiliane?

                                  -----
                                  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

                                  1. re: mikey8811

                                    mikey, I think we confused you a lot:

                                    L'Asino d'Oro does the 12 Euro lunch tuesday thru friday. On these days, at lunch time, there is only the 12 euro menu and no other option.
                                    Monday thru saturday evenings and saturday for lunch, there is only the a la carte option.

                                    There is no roscioli that is a patisserie. There are 2 Rosciolis that are bakeries, and one that is a deli & bistro-type restaurant. They are all owned by the same family (cousins etc). The roscioli everyone is referring to is the deli & bistro. It is definitely worth going for lunch and/or dinner. They are not going to have any of the sweets you mention. The bakery that is close to the deli will have cornetti, sometimes I also see bombolini but never cannoli.

                                    Nowhere will just a main be enough - whether to get you enough food nor to give a good representation. In Italy mains are just a meat or fish dish, without any sides, which you will have to order extra.

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

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

                                    1. re: vinoroma

                                      Hi vinoroma

                                      Got you. What I meant to ask was is the 12 Euro lunch at L'Asino d'Oro a good representation of the food? Because I just get off the plane after a long flight and can do L'Asino d'Oro or La Gensola on either Fri or Sat lunch. If the 12 EUR lunch is decent then I'll be happy to do that on Fri and then La Gensola on Sat lunch when I have recovered.

                                      OK I think I got confused about Roscioli. I will try the bakery. Is there a pastry shop that is famous for the sweets I mention?

                                      -----
                                      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

                                      1. re: mikey8811

                                        Hi

                                        Just finalising things here. I will probably go to the Appian Way by the Archeobus on Sun or Mon and miss out on 1 meal. Now, I notice that at Trattoria Cadorna which is liked by many, I can order the same dishes like pasta with pajata and coda alla vacchinera as served in Checchino Dal 1887 which is located quite far away from all the sights. Is it a good substitute? I'll probably save some money too from what I understand about the Checchino prices.

                                        Also, Piperno or Colline Emiliane? Opinions please as I get on the plane in 12 hours.

                                        Thanks

                                        -----
                                        Trattoria Cadorna
                                        Via Cadorna, 12, Roma 00100, IT

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

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