splurge restaurant in Rome
My SO and I will be in Rome for 3 nights in late April (over a weekend). We are looking for our splurge restaurant, for us that is 300-375 EU for both of us including wine. Ideally we would like a tasting menu with wine pairings. Looking for innovative food, interesting, not stuffy atmosphere. Romance not required. We are staying in Trastevere, but have no problem getting around if necessary. We don't want to have to pack a suit jacket for my SO. Is this reasonable, or will I be shocked by the prices?
My wife and I tried Pipero al Rex for the first time last night and It would be hard to imagine a place fitting your requirements better. It was elegant, romantic (only about eight tables in a very small room), with impeccable service and a really excellent tasting menu (one of the items, a single large raviolo, stuffed with lamb and mint and topped with a light sauce of pecorino cheese, and assembled in the kitchen just before serving, was for both my wife and I a "top ten of our lives" dish). Each dish was beautifully plated, presented with an full explanation of what was being served (for example, a housemade foccacia with lemon essence was served with the explanation to sniff it before eating it), and flat out delicious--not a single item was even as bad as "well that was okay". We had the 80 euro tasting menu, a bottle of the 06 Avignonesi Grande Annate (60 euro), and a terrific sherry to finish with. Total bill was 250 euro and worth it.
Our background is that we live/work a month or two each year in Rome and travel largely to food-interesting places when on vacation. We are hard core foodies who also own a winery, so we are always impressed by a good wine list--Pipero's was terrific.
Lastly, a nod to Katie Parla. I often have found that places I love she is lukewarm about and places she loves leave me only mildly interested; but yesterday we tried 8 different pizzas (with Roman friends) at Pizzarium and then dined at Pipero--both of which Katie is a huge proponent--and both were really exceptional.
Pipero al Rex
Via Torino, Roma, Lazio 00184, IT
I've not yet been at Metamorfosi but it is at the top of my "wishing list".
Have a look to this post, it is in Italian but there are many high quality photos:
And yes, Settembrini and Glass are other great options for what you are looking for.
I'd add Pipero al Rex and Open Colonna too, both not far from termini train station.
You'll remain within your budget not exceeding with the wines selection.
Out of topic: I've read in another thread you will be in Bologna and Modena too, don't miss Bottura's Osteria Francescana!
Via Luigi Settembrini, 25, Rome, Lazio , IT
Via Milano, 9/a, Roma, Lazio 00184, IT
Via Giovanni Antonelli, Rome, Lazio 00197, IT
We haven't been to Pipero yet -- what's it like? We loved Pipero in Albano the one time we went, but that was the week it snowed and everybody canceled their reservations so we and our two friends were alone (took the train, not afraid of a little snow) with Pipero and Caceres standing on their heads to please us, and succeeding. Metamorfosi was a little disappointing, mainly in the secondi. I'd add All'Oro to the list. I love Open Colonna but wonder if it might stretch OP's budget. One dinner at Glass was a bust so haven't been back.