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Nov 5, 2011 09:35 AM

New Years in Rome

Any restaurant recommendations for a great dinner before Fireworks in Rome?

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  1. We were in Roma 3 years ago--10 days before and 10 days after New Years. We asked around for recommendations from folk we knew there--and settled on Ristorante il Gabriello--on Via Vittoria 51 about mid-way between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo (where the fireworks were that year anyway).

    We decided to try il Gabriello first--had a wonderful tasting menu (seafood) with wines paired with each course. It was a no-brainer to make reservations for New Years Eve. The ristorante is run by two brothers--one is the chef the other runs the house. After our first (of 3!) meals, we asked about the menu for New Years--we received a sort of outline of what they might serve--13 courses all paired with wine. Upon arrival on NYE, we noted the servers were different--much younger. Also, every table except ours was filled with "regulars." Fabulous food and wine--we were thrilled. As we started to leave for the fireworks, Claudio (the run-the-house-brother) stopped us--"must stay for the party" he said. We sat down, a bottle of sparkling was brought, and we started hearing a guitar and some singing. As we went around the corner of the room, 15-20 folk were singing at a long table--it was the owners' extended family. There were the young servers (children, nieces, nephews) probably grandparents. etc. Anyway, in addition to fabulous food, it was special to be around family and friends welcoming in the New Year. We heard the fireworks, but decided this was too unique to leave.

    Without rival, this is the most memorable NYE we've even had.

    We decided that our final dinner for that trip had to be "with the family." We were treated like family--with some eyes that were blinking and throats that had to be cleared as we left. Ah.....

    Il Gabriello
    Via Vittoria, 51, Rome, Lazio , IT