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Jun 5, 2012 10:16 AM

Rome Restaurants - Did Research, have final list - feedback would be great!

Hi All -

After researching the archives I have a final list of restaurants: would love feedback and your favorites if you had to choose a handful. thank you!

Piperno - dinner
Checchino dal 1887 - heard this should be taken off from another thread and was curious why. Is there another restaurant you recommend instead that is similar?
Antico arco - lunch or dinner
Al Moro - dinner
Il fico - dinner
Dar poeta - dinner
Taverna Dei Fori Imperiali - dinner
Perilli - dinner
Cul de Sac - lunch
L'Asino D'Oro - lunch
Roma Sparita - lunch or dinner
Trattoria Monti - lunch or dinner
Settimio Al Pellegrino - dinner
Flavio al Velavevodetto - dinner

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  1. I enjoyed lunch as well as dinner at Settimio al Pellegrino.

    1. Checchino is one of my favorites. On your list I also like Piperno. haven't been to Settimio in eons or Il Fico, but have no reason to think they wouldn't be good. I like Monti, with reservations, but it IS good. Al Moro has serious attitude problems, food is uneven, but when it's good it's very good.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mbfant

        thanks! do you live in rome? I have reservations at Checchino but was torn between that and Perilli.. have you been to Perilli?

        1. re: jessicablock

          I've lived in Rome for more than 30 years. I have been to Perilli and go often to Checchino, which I much prefer.

          1. re: mbfant

            wow - great to know. ok thinking these are my best bets:

            pizzarium , roscioli for just pizza a taglio/not a full lunch, maybe go to sparita just to share the cacio e pepe and have some wine midday.. if we're in trastevere..

            Dinner: Piperno, Antico Arco, , maybe al moro, Settimio Al Pellegrino, Checchino dal 1887
            Lunch: l'asino d'oro, monti, if cul de sac is more for wine, light apps, i dont think we should include that for lunch since we have such little time in Rome (4 nights before Sicily)... then maybe another classic roman pizzeria.. please let me know if i'm leaving out something amazing! (i removed maccheroni, emiliane colline, dal bolognese, and Baby from the list)

      2. I'd definitely drop dar poeta - your only pizza in rome shouldn't be that. Either eat a real roman pizza at da remo or nuovomondo, or go for a new-wave pizza at gattamangiona, sforno, tonda. Or at least the good (but different) pizza by the slice at forno roscioli or pizzarium. But not dar poeta.

        Make sure you are aware of the different opinions on Taverna dei fori imperiali - some love it, some loath it. (i am in the second camp)

        I would go to cul de sac only for a glass of wine and some cold cuts/ cheeses, no warm dishes.

        Ditch also roma sparita - not only has the food quality gone down after Bourdain, the attitude (read katie parla's blog post) is bad, too.

        My faves of your list above would be checchino, antico arco, l'asino d'oro, trattoria monti, flavio.

        28 Replies
        1. re: vinoroma

          Vinoroma, curious to know why you would drop Dar Poeta, I spent an hour the other night listening to a friend who raved about it.

          I'm in the planning stages for a July trip to Rome... been lurking on the Rome posts doing my research the last couple of weeks. I'm considering one of your wine tastings at this point as well, just need to work out our itinerary to see where we can fit it in. :-)

          1. re: vanderb

            I think i pretty much gave a reason. As to your friend: what's his/her point of reference? Live here? Which other pizzerie did he visit? For me dar poetas pizza is neither here nor there: not thin roman, not thicker neapolian, not one of the other new thicker sourdough styles.... Just weird. With cornmeal. Meh. Add a two hour wait for cramped seating... No, not worth it for me and definitely not as the only pizza choice in rome. Anyone who is here longer and will check out, say 5-6 pizzerie - ok, go ahead have this experience.

            1. re: vinoroma

              What are the new wave pizzas that you cited like?

              1. re: mikey8811

                They all have been discussed here. In short i'd say use of sourdough, unusual/ancient grain flours, long rising times, a thicker style, very good raw material for the toppings, untraditional topping combinations. Not the pizza itself, but as a side note, very good and extensive artisinal beer lists.

              2. re: vinoroma

                Point taken, the friend was a visitor to Rome, never been before, just thought it was, in their opinion, outstanding. I wasn't planning a visit in July, was mostly just curious. Thx

                1. re: vanderb

                  ? why did you say you are planning a visit then?

                  1. re: vinoroma

                    I said "planning stages for a July trip to Rome", not a trip to Dar Poeta. But Dar Poeta had recently been mentioned to me and as a part of my Rome research I saw this post that mentioned the restaurant.

            2. re: vinoroma

              Thanks! Great feedback :) I forgot Pizzarium and Roscioli from the list b/c i consider those "snacks" as opposed to full blown meal. I'll look into da remo or nuovomondo.. Checchino and Flavio are both in Testaccio so I think i'll choose one of those. Thanks again.. appreciate it!

              1. re: vinoroma

                Hi - me again. So, we arrive at FCO at 12:30 on a Thursday.. for lunch that day, will restaurants be open or do most close by 14:30? I figure if we drop our bags at the hotel we could eat somewhere by 14:00.. Maybe on that day we should just grab pizza a taglio versus a sit down lunch at somewhere like Monti (which isn't even Roman cuisine, right)?

                My 4 dinners i THINK are all set : Piperno and Checchino for sure... What would you suggest between Taverna Dei Fori Imperiali, L'Arcangelo, Le Montecarlo, Al Moro?

                Lunch: Depending on where we are.. Pizzarium, Roscioli, Monti, L'asino, Pizzeria Leoncino, Settimio Al Pellegrino

                Please let me know if you have any additions or other suggestions.. thank you!

                1. re: jessicablock

                  Hi Jessica,
                  Jumping in late here: From your original list I would know off Il Fico and Dar Poeta.
                  I much prefer Perilli to Cecchino. Everyone I ever send to Perilli says it's the best meal they've had in Rome. Certainly the best carbonara.

                  Of your dinner choices above, I'm a big fan of both Taverna dei Fori Imperialii but also like Moro. The problem with Moro is that they don't always treat tourists very well, unfortunately. Taverna will welcome you with open arms.

                  Lunch choices sound good. But you might have trouble getting into L'Asino for a last minute lunch, since it tends to book up. Although it's gotten better now that they have tables outside for summer.


                  1. re: minchilli

                    Thanks Elizabeth! I dropped il fico and dar poeta. I made lunch reservations already at l'asino so we should be covered. Can you elaborate on why you like perilli better than checchino? From your app I decided to add leoncino. Do you think that could be a good lunch option for the day we arrive? Thanks again!

                    1. re: jessicablock

                      Why do you have to have a lunch reservation for the day you arrive? It seems so stressful to have to be someplace right away. Take a walk and go to a bar and have a sandwich, then take a nap and plan a nice dinner.

                      1. re: mbfant

                        i dont have a reservation for the day i arrive. I have one at L'Asino a couple days after we arrive. We arrive on Thurs... and I have that reso on Saturday.. I was just thinking of possible options (such as Leoncino) for the day we arrive as we don't get into the city until about 13:30. Most places will be closing around 14:30

                        1. re: jessicablock

                          I would just do pizza al taglio or something. Where are you staying?

                          1. re: mbfant

                            yeah thats what i was thinking..depending on how we feel we'll either grab pizza a taglio or maybe if we're up for walking we'll go to a lunch spot. Whenever I'm in europe, i actually walk a lot the day i get there and end up napping later in the afternoon and have dinner around 21:30 or 22:00.. we're staying at the st regis and then after sicily, we're returning for another 2 nights and staying on via veneto.. i'm familiar with Rome since I lived there for half a year but feel free to share any good spots near st. regis....thx!

                      2. re: jessicablock

                        Why do I prefer Perilli? I think it's a less formal setting, very authentic Roman. Checchino is very good too, and has a much much better wine list. If given a choice I will always choose Perilli, but that has as much to do with the food as the ambiance, which I love.
                        Leoncino is good for lunch, if you want to sit down and happen to be in that neighborhood. But if you are staying at the St. Regis, and will be getting in late, a fun lunch would be right across the street at Dagnino. It's located in the sort of underpass right across the street. Better known as a Sicilian bakery, they also have an excellent tavola calda, with great melanzane parmigiana, pasta al forno and arrancini. It's like stepping back in time to the 'sixties. In a good way.

                        1. re: minchilli

                          This is great to know.. we can just pop over after settling in.. thanks for the recco! Will make things much easier instead of rushing over to a different area.. Leoncino did look amazing though!

                          1. re: minchilli

                            is the whole restaurant sicilian or just the bakery? We're going to Sicily for a week so will just save sicilian food for then...

                            1. re: jessicablock

                              Don't worry about Dagnino being Sicilian. It's a very good place to know about very near your hotel. It's not a restaurant, it a big bar/caffè/pasticceria/tavola calda that has a sufficient variety of prepared food so you can get a meal at off hours.

                              I think Checchino has better food than Perilli. I used to go there 25 years ago but then stopped because we just felt the food wasn't that great. We returned a year or so ago to give it another try and still didn't think it was that great. One comparison is the pasta sauce made from the tomatoes in which oxtail, coda alla vaccinara, stews for several hours. The tonnarelli con sugo di coda at Checchino are a fresh pasta with a rich tomato sauce imbued with meat flavor. Perilli's version was rigatoni with a sort of watery sauce with pieces of meat and some bones. I may be exaggerating in my memory how watery it was, but it definitely didnt have the richness of Checchino's. Perilli's carbonara is very good, but nothing else we tried was memorable. I will grant you, that was one meal. Perilli has a certain old-trattoria ambience, but Checchino has been there for 150+ years, plus they pour the wine correctly.

                              1. re: mbfant

                                Thanks for the added detail.. That sounds like a perfect place if we end up eating after 14:30.. I'm hoping to make it to our hotel by 13:30 but if that doesn't end up happening, tavola calda at Dagnino is great to know. I looked it up on Tripadvisor and the reviews are terrible but that's why I stick w/ Chowhound. You guys definitely know what you're talking about :)

                                For dinner I think we'll try Piperno, Checchino, Taverna dei fori imperiali. Still need to choose one more.. it'll be a Sunday night. Are Settimio Al Pellegrino, Al Moro open? I think Taverna actually is open on Sunday so maybe we'll save that for Sunday and go to Al Moro or Settimio on a Saturday night...

                                1. re: jessicablock

                                  Perilli is open on Sunday ... I don't think I've every eaten there NOT on Sunday. Same goes for La Campana

                            2. re: minchilli

                              quick follow up on this.. if we were to have a late lunch.. we could either stop by dagnino as you recommended.. but what about Roscioli (bakery) or Pizzarium? Aren't they open straight through dinner?

                              1. re: jessicablock

                                If you are staying near Termini, Pizzarium is across town east of the Vatican. Save it when you visit the Vatican. It does open through the afternoon.

                                1. re: PBSF

                                  thanks.. yes, I know it's in prati just wanted to make sure it stays open through the day. I think Roscioli does as well.

                                  1. re: jessicablock

                                    Yes, roscioli bakery opens 7am and is open till at least 8pm, sometimes a bit longer

                                2. re: jessicablock

                                  Pizzarium is actually easier to reach from Termini than Roscioli because you can take the Metro line A practically door to door. Take it from Repubblica, nearer your hotel than Termini, to Cipro. It's very close.

                                  1. re: mbfant

                                    on the other hand, she could take a tram/bus to close to Roscioli and then walk around a bit - it depends on where she want to be at that time of day on her first day in rome

                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                      True - We're from New York City.. huge walkers! I'll be into exploring rather than just rushing to the destination so we'll probably walk and make our way over to either one depending on what we feel like eating.. thanks! Great to know in case we decide to hop on public transit.

                      3. I've been a casual visitor to Rome for the past 20 years and been to quite a few places on your list, though most only a single visit. Enjoyed Perilli, Roma Sparita, Checchino, Piperno, Monti and Flavio very much. I'll add Dar Poeta also but it is true it is not worth the long wait. Interesting that this post has been dominated by the few Roman residents and blog writers and how you drop/switch a place on cue when one of them post an opinion. Quite telling when you asked if mbfant lives in Rome. I have enjoyed reading their posts and their deep knowledge of the Roman dining scene can be valuable but I think there is more to this board and to this forum. Sometimes a casual visitors perspectives and opinions are valuable. I also understand that on such a short visit, one doesn't want to as you put it 'waste' a meal. But to put such pressure on every meal to deliver might not be the best mindset when going out to eat.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: PBSF

                          Thanks for your input.. I'll probably only go to testaccio once on this visit.. either Perilli or Checchino. I'm not really dropping/switching places on cue.. i just know that i don't want creative/noueavu/ "stylish" Roman food so once an expat or Roman comments on that, I can easily add or remove from the list. Whereas in Paris, I may want that type of ambiance and cuisine, in Rome, I prefer the classic/local Roman trattorie... Also, I had already made the reservation at L'Asino a week ago.. Dar Poeta and Il Fico were never really on my list.. i just threw them out there after reading some of the recent reviews and then decided based on the feedback and where I'll be staying that it's not realistic for the few days i'm in town... thx again for your feedback/advice though!

                          1. re: jessicablock

                            Maybe you would be interested in reading tenortom's report on both checchino and perilli in his trip last year - down at the end of this thread.

                            1. re: jen kalb

                              Good call.. Very helpful! Thank you..

                            2. re: jessicablock

                              I really like the Pizza Amatriciana at Dar Poeta ... we live in Rome and I really like all the new pizzerie, but I go back to Dar Poeta for this one pizza. I always go with my Roman friend, who somehow makes reservations (but taken only after 8:30) ... I think he "knows a guy who knows a guy" as we used to say back in the Bronx.

                          2. Hi,

                            I was wondering about Taverna dei Fiori Imperiali as well...I had heard it had "gone downhill" since it's growing popularity...I believe it's #12 on TripAdvisor now...which always seems to be a kiss of death of sorts!!

                            Any recent info would be great :)

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: jev58

                              FYI for all those with the negative view of Taverna dei fori imperiale - came across this article that's worth a read:

                              1. re: jessicablock

                                yes, I was wondering whether folks who post on this board would comment on recent meals. Elizabeth is recommending it on the current Colosseum thread for example.