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Jul 10, 2012 09:19 AM

Rome Trip Report

Hello All,

I'll keep this somewhat brief (will update my blog with additional commentary later). Our trip to Rome was unbelievable. It was great to be back in the city I studied in 7 years ago. Thank you to everyone who helped out with restaurant reccos. We also had an incredible time in Sicily.. I recommend going if you've never been! We went to Taormina, Mt Etna, drove across to western Sicily (Trapani, Erice, Favignana, San Vito lo Capo, Scopello, Marsala). What an incredible island.. land is so rich and full of culture. I love how Italians eat what's in season all the time and look forward to different parts of the year where they eat certain foods. On our trip we went to:

Pizzarium - just as wonderful as everyone says. We tried a variety of pizzas, suppli, and beer.

Armando Al Pantheon - went early so we could watch Italy/Germany afterwards (ended up watching in Piazza del Popolo with thousands of Italian fans.. amazing experience!) We had two of the pasta specials (one with a ragu and the other with arugula, mozzarella, tomatoes...perfect for a hot night) and the coda vaccinara.

Trattoria Monti - LOVED. I had the house antipasti which was delicious and my boyfriend had lamb brain and fried zucchini. Started with rigatoni with pecorino, pepper and sausage. Amaro for digestive.

Checchino - excellent for carbonara and amatriciana. Although it's not the season for tripe, we couldn't let a trip to Rome go by without having trippa a la romana. Excellent but heavy in that Roman heat. Panna Cotta for dessert was divine.

L'Asino D'Oro - wow, a steal is right! Glass for wine, water, amuse bouche, antipasti, pasta, and main coure for 12 euro is insane. We had this crema di broccoli crostini as the amuse bouche, followed by a chilled bean/bread "soup". Next, ravioli, meatballs with onions, and finally a strawberry tart. Exquisite meal.

Second half of the trip we arrived into the city by 3 and meandered our way to trastevere. Had pizza a taglio at 2 places.. one of which was Renella. YUM! excellent pizza con patate, pizza con fughi, mozzarella, e rughetta.

Roscioli - salume antipasti was to die for.. we can't get raw pancetta in the States so this and the mortadella were unreal. Also loved the various sopressata. The burrata of course was perfect with the roasted grape tomatoes. We had carbonara and cacio e pepe. Very good! I couldn't let a trip go by without tiramisu so we ordered that for dessert and it was excellent.

Settimio al Pellegrino - wonderful, simple trattoria food. Cicoria was remarkable as were the pastas con pomodoro and the ossobuco. Perfect place for lunch, definitely hit the spot.

Ivo a Trastevere - great choice for our last night. I ordered the Paesana (olives, sausage, mushrooms). Boyfriend had the capricciosa. A little suppli on the side. A favorite for sure! Love that thin Roman crust.. pizza was not soggy at all.

We also stopped in at Forno Campo dei fiori and roscioli bakery for small tastes in the morning.

I'll miss the bars in Rome. Crema cafe, espresso, cappuccino, cornetto.. So wonderful. Rosioli was fabulous but I prefer the pizza bianca at forno campo dei fiori.

Thanks again for your help, CH. Photos can be found here:


Let me know if you have problems accessing the link.

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  1. Thanks for the report.

    I cannot access the link:
    "403. That’s an error.

    We're sorry, but you do not have access to this document.
    That’s all we know"

    2 Replies
    1. re: Maximilien

      try this one..

      I think it's because you need a Google Account to view the first link.

      1. re: jessicablock

        It works on facebook, (I have a google account)


    2. Thanks for the report Jessica.
      I myself will be returning in September after having studied there is 2002 and 2006. Will use your great and concise post for reference.

      1. I cant view that link either . I hope you report on the Sicily end of the trip, would be very interested to hear about your eating there.

        thanks for the report!

        1 Reply
        1. re: jen kalb

          The facebook link works from what I've been told.. check this:

          The food in sicily was delicious. So different on the east coast than the west coast! Both amazing.

        2. FYI for those who couldn't view on Google. You can view using FB as it's a public album:

          1. Thanks so much Jessica, for reporting back in. It sounds as if you fit a lot in, in such a short time. Glad you made it to both Ivo and Renella in Trastevere, two of my favorites.

            The best thing about deciding which pizza bianca you like best (Roscioli or Forno Campo de' Fiori) is that you have to keep going back and forth to re-taste. :)


            8 Replies
            1. re: minchilli

              Yup, it was amazing. We walked everywhere from the Veneto to Trastevere.. some of those restaurants were totally unplanned... Stumbled upon Renella and it turned out to be in your app when I looked it up later that day! Missing Rome big time and can't let so much time go by without returning. Still longing for my cappuccino/cornetto in the morning. Really tough to get a decent one served in that small ceramic cup in NYC. Thanks again for your tips!

              1. re: jessicablock

                Which was the brains dish from Monti in your pics? The mains were uninspiring when I was there and didn't enjoy the place as much but your meal sounded great.

                1. re: mikey8811

                  I had a dish with brains and funghi porcini there that was fantastic last visit.

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    Hi jen,
                    Brains, by themselves, have a soft, mild texture but not much in the way of flavor in my book. I'm ok with them as filler/extender because they are so neutral and inoffensive. Is there such a thing as tasty brains? Or is the taste a by-product of the other pan ingredients and the sauce?
                    I'm not an expert. Just asking.

                    1. re: steve h.

                      Ive always liked fried brains, since I first had them in a hungarian restaurant many years ago they do take to frying with a crisp outside and creamy interior. . Like sweetbreads they have a mild pleasant flavor. they were super in the porcini dish I had,

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        Deb and I just returned from a few days in Pest. Lovely city, nice people, very good food and wine. The folk there set the bar for creative ways to prepare duck and goose liver. I need to go back.

                  2. re: mikey8811

                    I didn't include the lamb brain in the FB batch. Here it is attached. He loved it. It was a lot with the fried brain AND the fried zucchini so he left a little bit over. Forgot to mention in my original post that he also got the duck carpaccio before the lamb brain secondi. Yes, lots of food.. it was our first sit down lunch in Rome so we went a bit overboard. Was delicious though.

                    1. re: jessicablock

                      Nice, I was just wondering how they were done. Have had them crumbed or battered and fried - I guess that is trad Italian.

                      I also forgot to mention - noticed in your Pizzarium pics a batch with scampi - that looked pretty good but it didn't look like you guys had any.