Rome report - a handful of places
Hey all. My wife and I were in Rome for 5 days May. This report is about a month late, but I wanted to provide feedback here nonetheless since this board was super helpful for trip planning. Here’s where we ate:
Enoteca Cavour 313 - one of the oldest wine bars in Rome, with full menu. Had Carpaccio with basil salsa verde, parmesan, peppers. Very good.
Da Augusto - Piazza de' Renzi, 15 PH: 06 580 3798. In Trastevere. This was a favorite… Some Italian friends brought us there for dinner. We had to wait in line for an hour outside… they don’t take reservations, nor do they even have a waiting list. It’s the honor system, and you just line up by the door. This place was packed all night. It was simple food, with very few ingredients in each dish. Not-too-sweet deserts, including the best tiramisu I’ve ever had. Awesome rigatoni, very memorable in it’s simplicity and perfection. The best tripe I've ever had. Here’s someone else’s blog about this place: http://tamarindandthyme.wordpress.com/2009/11/28/da-augusto-rome/
Caffe Propaganda - near the Colosseum on Via Claudia. +39 0694534255. Trendy gastro-bistro. Food looked great, but we were full so we just had cocktails. Had a great Caipirana, and a nice champagne cocktail.
Beppe e i suoi Formaggi - Jewish quarter. http://www.beppeeisuoiformaggi.it/ It’s a cheese shop with a restaurant on the side. Best lunch we had in Rome, hands down. Best cheese plate of my life. Had a Goat cheese plate that was revelatory, anchovies with a special butter of some sort; duck & foie terrine w/ a bitter greens salad, and a bottle of Umbrian wine. There was even an amazing bread served that contained orange peel and anise. Very cool.
L’Asino d’Oro - Monti District. Via del Boschetto, 73. “Umbrian Soulfood”. Great… very homestyle. Had lamb stewed with artichoke that tasted like someone’s grandma made it; also had wild boar in a chocolate & cinnamon sauce that was like an italian mole. The proscuitto app with almonds had a balsamic reduction that was a tad overly sweet. Very nice amuse of mashed potato w/ cheese & olive oil. Yes they had donkey on the menu- a classic Umbrian food. I was chicken but would love to hear how it is.
Hotel Locarno - via della penna 22. Charming bar with a nice patio. Had the best negroni of the trip there, although it wasn’t cheap. Good spritz (aperol) too.
Osteria Dell'arco - Piazza Savona, 5. near Porta Pia. osteriadellarco.it. Had a gorgeous starter of a sardine wrapped in leek. Great Artichoke soup, with fava and fresh pea. Had a nice large pasta (almost udon sized), with bacon and asparagus & pecorino. Also had a saltimbocca w/ salad of bitter greens, which came with fruit (strawberry/kiwi/melon). Dessert was an icecream with an eggnog flavor (for lack of a better description) and berries.
Here’s some Bourdain-depicted places we also hit:
Pizzarium - pizzarium.fi. Back side of the Vatican. A+. Had awesome combos, including Burrata & Spicy Salami from Naples; prosciutto, mushroom, mozzarella & garlic. It isn’t thin crust, it’s more like California artisanal crust.
Roma Sparita - In Trastevere. romasparita.com Hard to get a reservation… it was fully booked when we tried to drop in.. Had very good Cacio e Pepe; ok fried zucchini flowers w/ anchovy & cheese, and fantastic buffalo mozzarella.
Frachetta Romana. Via del Pigneto, 68. iporchettoni.com. This is the awesome pork place from the Bourdain episode. Well worth the trip out of the way since you can get 100g of porchetta for €2. They had horse too, but the porchetta looked too good to skip.
Gelateria dei Gracchi - gelateriadeigracchi.com. Great gelato is everywhere, so we didn’t know if it was worth it to seek this one out particularly, but it was good nonetheless. Flavors we had were lemon, rice&honey, wild strawberry, and regular strawberry.
In summary, we had many good meals. However the ones I'll remember the longest will be Da Augusto, Beppe e i suoi Formaggi, and perhaps Frachetta Romana.
Please pardon my spelling/typos! Hope someone finds this hasty report helpful!
Nope, we didn't actually make reservations anywhere! We had very good luck, however Roma Sparita nearly didn't seat us, and once they agreed to they put us inside at their crappiest table. I'd recommend a reservation there. Also, Da Augusto doesn't take reservations at all... just get there early or expect to wait in line.
I imagine that if you were in Rome a couple of months ago you probably wouldn't always need restaurants reservations, but I think if you're vacationing during high season (as we are) it would definitely be a good idea.
I tried emailing a couple of restaurants for reservations and never heard back....so I guess phoning is the way to go.
Thanks for reporting back, sounds like you had a 100% perfect time!
I loved hearing your report about Osteria dell'Arco, which I don't know at all. All of the dishes you described sounded delicious and interesting. I'll check it out, so thanks for that.
And also very glad you managed to try the orange rind bread at Beppe. It's my newest obsession, and they don't always have it, so you were very luck.
I didn't realize Beppe served lunch so thanks very much for reporting back. On my most recent trip to Roma, I was lucky enough to be invited to dinner where perfect glistening white balls of mozzarella from Beppe were served, and I simply never have tasted mozzarella that wonderful. I will definitely make it a lunch stop my next trip to Rome. Very helpful indeed!
The pistachio at Gelateria dei Gracchi is fantastic ... you can tell it's popular because it's the only one with a "double wide" bin! There is gelato everywhere in Rome but not a lot of great gelato. The good news is there is great gelato within walking distance of most neighborhoods. Stay away from "Blue Ice" ... and Frank Zappa's "Yellow Snow", hey, not a bad name for a gelateria!