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Glass-Hostaria in Rome

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Dual birthday celebration for my husband and me on last Sunday in September. We're hardened new Yorkers so we always expect wonderful food but always want that "something" more that makes a restaurant experience a great one. Hi or low cuisine, price, locatio not as important as its own uniqueness. So feel free to recommend any you love. Well be in Rome for 4 days.

We hear that Glass Hosteria is marvelous. I'm having trouble accessing their web site. Any recent diners out there?. Other suggestions welcome for birthday lunch and dinner. Thanks.

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  1. We are headed to Rome right now after 5 days in the heaven that is aka The Amalfi Coast. My heart breaks to leave here and is only cheered by thoughts of the planned meals in Rome. . . Starting with dinner tonight at Glass Hosteria. I will try to report back in the morning!

    1. Must make this brief as there is a ton of eating to do today! Ate at Glass last night and it was one of the best meals of my life. You willbe blown away.

      1. My wife and I ate there in mid may and had a great time. The food was first rate in taste, freshness and presentation. The staff was very friendly and helpful for two people whose italian is pretty creaky. We took advantage of one of the tasting menus which allowed us to try a number of their dishes. The composition of each was explained to us by our server and the individual dishes were served at a pace that didn't make us feel rushed.
        Physically the design of Glass is very interesting as well.
        Overall it was a highlight of our stay and Rome and i can unreservedly recommend it.

        1. Hi doubleffs, you can have a look to the detailed post I wrote some time ago about Glass Hostaria: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8040...

          I have been there also more recently and if possible their cuisine is further improving. Is the 2nd michelin star coming?

          Note that Glass is open only for dinner and it is closed on Mondays.

          __________
          www.tavoleromane.it

          1. We were there in March. I thought it was quite good. I thought All'Oro was better. I was also highly impressed with L'Archangelo -- the suppli and gnocchi exceeded all expectations. I thought Antico Arco was fine enough -- I was hopeful for better, and it was a bit disappointing (although their bread selection was quite nice). For pizza, I'm not sure I would return to Sforno, but I would absolutely travel the distance to Gata Mangiona.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Nancy S.

              wondering, can you say a bit more about what you ate and liked about these places and why you preferred one over another?

              1. re: jen kalb

                In March, my husband and I, along with our well-traveled 15 year old daughter (who has an excellent palate), and spent a week in Paris, followed by a week in Paris. This is where we ate in Rome:
                All'Oro -- our first night. I like the room and service. Our reservation was for 9pm, and the restaurant was filling up with what seemed to be locals. We ordered the tasting menu. Everything was tasty and the flavors and seasoning were complex and correct, though I would have preferred to have the proteins less cooked, especially the quail. I would return.

                Gata Mangiona -- our second night. This was excellent. Again, 9pm reservation and we arrived to a full house of locals. The service was excellent and the suppli and pizzas were superb, as were the desserts (tiramisu and a creamy pudding with chocolate).

                Third night -- we bought ingredients from the Testacchio market (vegetables, eggs, pasta), Roscoli (cheese, wine, butter, oil, vinegar), Tricolore (bread -- which was brilliant) and Panella (jam tart -- which was disappointing. We cooked in our apt.

                Glass -- fourth night. The place is modern and reminded me of restaurant design circa 1990s. The service was good and responsive. The pastas were a good texture, but the flavors were not suble or delicate, but not in a rustic way. I craved nuance in the ravioli with aged Parmesan, and my daughter's choice with oysters and leeks was a bit heavy. My husband and I thought our scallops were over cooked, even though we asked for them to be rare. The tiramisu was not excellent -- a modern take that was lacking in attributes. I felt that the place was trying too hard and not achieving. Also, many, many tourists.

                Sforno -- fifth day. We ordered the same type of courses as Gata (suppli, pizzas, tiramisu), but Sforno's rendition of each paled in comparison. Service, though, was great and the place was lively and filled to the brim with locals.

                L'Arcangelo -- sixth night. Sublime. We each had suppli to start then gnocchi. I've never had better. I like the place. Again, we had a 9pm reservation. We were the first ones in the restaurant, which filled up completely by 10. Also, again, all locals but us. Desserts were fine, but not special.

                Antico Arco -- last night. This is a big and modern place. Lots of tables and activity. Also, lots of tourists. I thought the food was ordinary, except for the house baked bread. We had scallops with tomato sauce and polenta -- not a successful combination, the sauce was not delicate and overly reduced, the polenta was flavorless and the scallop over cooked. We also had the egg with cauliflower and truffle. Again, the flavors were off, and odd, with an abundance of what was probably truffle oil. We also had pasta with cheese, black pepper and fried zucchini flowers -- what a mess, gloppy, oily, salty, disappointing. Dessert was not much better -- icy sorbets and an average apple tart.

                Gelato -- we liked Il Gelato the best. Gelato del Teatro was ok. We did not like Grom or Gracchi.

                Great pre-dinner drinking at Remiglio, Settembrini. We also went to Cul de Sac, Cavour 313, Il Bacocco, which were ok, but I wouldn't return, purely based on atmosphere. Cul de Sac was filled with tourists eating early dinners at 7:30pm and the other two were empty but for us.

                Please excuse any typos.

            2. Just returned from dinner at Glass. It was supposed to be a celebration, so my disappointment is quadrupled. Fortunately my husband liked what he ordered (pastrami di lingua, gnocchetti, scallops) but got very antsy at the slowness and warm temperature. Nothing I ordered had any taste (insalata di mare ai sapori del gazpacho, spaghetti with goat cheese, which was OK, overcooked dentice with tasteless eggplant). We skipped dessert. The crowd looked like all tourists.
              And it had been a while since I had walked through that part of Trastevere, which has become one big outdoor restaurant. We crossed Ponte Sisto, where things were quieter, and eventually walked past Roscioli. I said sooner or later we're going to have to go there, so Franco read the menu, nixed it (burrata is not an incentive), and we came home.

              6 Replies
              1. re: mbfant

                We stayed in that part of Trastevere last year (not intentionally) and the atmosphere didnt inspire confidence. Reminded me of parts of the west village and left bank that are wall to wall cafes and full of noisy young people.

                at least your husband liked his food.

                1. re: jen kalb

                  jen,

                  How can you stay in some place unintentionally? (Not taken to the prison there, I hope.)

                  The last time I walked through Trastevere it was the night the last pope died and it was as mbfant described it tonight, even back then. (Lucky me, I was eating at friend's house.)

                  1. re: barberinibee

                    not that its of general interest but the apartment rental agency did a switcheroo on us at the last minute. We had planned to stay in Testaccio but when we calledthe prior day to schedule a key pickup (not before) they told us that the owner of the rented place had pulled the rental. I dont know if I believe it, and Im not sorry to have seen the corner of Trastevere we stayed in, but we wouldnt have chosen the place we wound up.

                2. re: mbfant

                  Well, at least we agree about Glass.

                  1. re: mbfant

                    I can't comment on the food, but I do think you know better than comment on the tourists - almost all michelin starred (or that level) places in Rome have a majority of international clientele - how many romans can afford those prices? I think only All'Oro (very much based on the roman tradition with their dishes) and Giuda Ballerino (very outside) might be exceptions (and not on all nights, either) to that.
                    At least Franco liked his food. And for god's sake, please do not take him to Roscioli. Why do it when we all know that you (and him) are not going to like it?

                    1. re: vinoroma

                      The only reason I'd take him to Roscioli, and I'm not in a hurry to do so, is that he is my habitual dining partner and he has practically given up traveling without me, so I would have to abandon him to go to a place I probably won't like either. As I said, no hurry. I'll be happy to abandon the idea altogether. As for Glass, of course I'm going to comment on the tourists. People want to know who goes to a place. I don't go to such expensive places all that often (hence my pique that I had a lousy time when I wanted to celebrate) but when I do I'm not aware of quite such a preponderance of foreigners, even though, as you say, there are always a great many. Anyway, even if I liked Glass, it wouldn't be the sort of place I would recommend to foreigners, since people are always complaining about restaurants that they could find in New York or Sidney. I think a comparable restaurant in New York would be a lot better.

                  2. I cannot recommend Glass highly enough. In addition to eating there an a very regular basis and being shamelessly obsessed with the ravioli filled with 60 month aged parmigano reggiano cream, I also send friends and clients (New Yorkers included) and they always give the restaurant high marks (except for my friend Maureen, who you may have read did not care for her recent meal). I have always had stellar service, excellent/flavorful/thoughtfully prepared food and i don't think there is a better fine dining deal to be had than the 5-course tasting menu for €65. if you have difficultly accessing the website then you may be navigating from an ipad (just a guess). the site is flash and i cannot see it on my apple devices but i just checked and it works fine on my mac. Glass is one of the few establishments that replies to email and you can reach them at infoglass@libero.it. i think it is worth noting that i met well traveled food obsessed clients this morning and they were very excited to show me a photo on their iphone of their seafood salad, which they said was spectacular.

                    _________

                    www.parlafood.com

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: katieparla

                      Have they ever tasted Pascucci's seafood salad? I thought Glass's was pretty much tasteless, but even if you put that down to personal preference, there was no excuse for my dried-out dentice. Service was good in a youthful, obsequious sort of way, but I expected someone to ask if we wanted an aperitvo, which nobody did. Ah well, I promised to try it again. Ma non c'è due senza tre. Next time I'll choose Pipero, Metamorfosi, or good old Agata or Angelo. The celebration was because I had, a mere 90 minutes before sitting at the table, sent off the book ms.

                    2. Bruce Palling on WSJ about Glass Hostaria:
                      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001...

                      __________
                      www.tavoleromane.it

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: tavoleromane

                        So he gives her A for effort, but wasn't blown away by his dinner.

                        1. re: mbfant

                          "She is also convinced that fermentation of food is the next new frontier in the culinary world."

                          Ah yes, stranger and stranger. Will we have kimchi next?

                          1. re: allende

                            a bit too breathess, given all the cheese, bread, salumi, pickle, wine and beer makers out there, not to mention all the asian traditions. No reason for her not to play with miso a bit, but its hardly going to be a new frontier.

                            interesting review of the Glass cuisine and the rome scene

                            1. re: jen kalb

                              His view of the Rome scene seemed to me to boil down to the notion that Roman food is all the same. I would, instead, say that many traditional Roman restaurants have indeed been repeating themselves for five or more decades, but he seemed not to know that the traditional food of this region includes much, much more than you ever find in restaurants. Thus the traditional restaurants should be blamed not so much for being traditional as for too narrowly circumscribing the local tradition. I was pleased he didn't like Flavio, since Franco and I seem to be the only other people in the world who don't either.

                              1. re: mbfant

                                Yes, you definetly are a voice out of the choir! I checked the ratings all over the net and starting from Trip advisor all the way to important blogs like Parla, Gambero rosso, everyone seems to like Flavio. Nothing wrong with that though: I am for democracy and bless different opinions! I personally went to Flavio and had a very good traditional meal (can't remember exactly what as too much time has gone by but the memories are of a very good meal. I have neglected Flavio for Cesare al Casaletto lately, but need to go back). I also had the opportunity of speaking with him about his philosophy and was quite impressed with the determination he had in proposing the tradition as it is, making sure his ingredients were the best and the atmosphere was "light" but not crass. What impressed me was his wasy of being supportive of the tradition without being too narrow-minded. As a matter of fact, he appreciated all the creative cuisines developing in Rome. I remember thinking that his philosophy took intelligence and maturity, virtues of which very few people are equipped with. I also know he's just bought a new place in Prati.

                                1. re: cristinab

                                  We went once and found the atmosphere unpleasantly crowded and noisy, the service distracted, to put it charitably (plus we saw other tables getting foods we had neither seen on the menu nor been offered), and, most important, the traditional secondi—coda, involtini—boiled and watery. Who needs it?

                                  1. re: mbfant

                                    Nobody needs that! You have been so unlucky... I went to check on my notes and we had a delicious coda alla vaccinara and succulent meatballs. But then, again, I must have been just lucky and so were my friends who had cacio and pepe and tagliata among other things and they said they had a very good meal (they told me they had lunch). What I remember is that it was fairly unexpensive: another good point in his favor.

                                    1. re: cristinab

                                      When I drag Franco to a restaurant stra-recommended on this board and he hates it, I get very teed off and never return. He loves Checchino, so that is where we go in Testaccio (I love it too). He did like his dinner at Glass, however. This time I'm the one who really hated the place.