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Jul 28, 2012 07:24 PM


If you could have one dinner in Rome where would you choose?

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  1. Very hard to say.It depends on the time of year, and of course budget. But in the end, it's a very personal question, with a very personal answer. So, here are the three places that I return to over and over:
    Perilli - classic Roman in Testaccio
    La Gensola - my favorite fish restaurant
    Taverna dei Fori Imperiali - it's my local, and I love it as much for the food as for the location and warm welcome.

    9 Replies
    1. re: minchilli

      How do you feel about Peir Luigi and Da Felice?

      Hello from Rosie Schwartz!

      1. re: RUEdeLUX

        I love Pierluigi, as much for the food, as for the location. The piazza where Pierluigi is located is one of the prettiest in Rome.

        Da Felice is located in Testaccio, and so features hearty Roman fare. There are two other places in the neighborhood that I prefer: Perilli and Flavio Velavevodetto

        And hello to Rosie (is that you?)

        1. re: minchilli

          Thank you for the reply! I am Rosie's niece, she speaks very highly of you. My husband and I have one night in Rome and really want to make the best of it.

        2. re: RUEdeLUX

          I ate recently at Pierluigi for a special meal and felt quite underwhelmed by the experience based on they hype I had read here.

          The atmosphere was lovely in the little piazza but the food was only good, not great, not outstanding and the service for our table was fairly poor. Not to bash, but if you are American and over 50 years old I'm sure your service will be great... we witnessed this at many tables around ours. Considering the amount of money we were spending on both food and wine I was surprised how effectively we were ignored to the favour of the aforementioned tables.

          If I wanted something special in Rome it would not be here, I did provide my recommendation and justification earlier in this thread.

          1. re: vanderb

            We had dinner at Pierluigi twice this summer and found the food to be as great as always, and the service wonderful. What does being American and over 50 have to do with the service. We eat there every summer and they are very welcoming to all.

            1. re: dlgc809

              The service we received was very poor compared to the tables in our near vicinity that contained Americans over the age of 50. I am qualified to decide as to who this demographic is, as I work for an American company and work with American's every day, age was an observation I will stand by. Does this happen every night at the restaurant, I don't know, but on the night we were there it did.

              My wife said she was interested in fresh fish, the waiter rolled his eyes and pointed at a couple of items on the menu while tapping his order pad, no offer to show us the fish, no explanation that there were far more varieties inside waiting on ice. We only found out about the fresh fish when another table with the aforementioned demographic was brought a tray of them, and then we saw the full monty (ie: fish counter) on a trip to the washroom. Tried to ask questions about some of the menu items and received indifferent and very brief explanations no better than the menu. Trying to get additional water or wine was not simple as the tables containing the aforementioned occupants had the waiters full attention and devotion. No issues getting the bill though, very prompt for delivery and payment.

              Compared with our other meals and the service we received in Rome this was pretty much the bottom. Not sure what else I can say, this was my experience the night I was there. If I returned to Rome, which I will, I will not dine here given the much better alternatives.

              1. re: vanderb

                I think your problem had to do with your waiter, not the demographic you discribed. Lorenzo and or his father are there every evening, why didn't you ask for assistance when you were not pleased with the service. They would have been more than happy to solve your problems. They are very hands on and from what we can see care deeply that everyone enjoys their meals there. Remember they are in a tourist driven business and have not been in business for so many years for no reason. We fit into your discription, we are well over 50 and proud to be American and feel we get the same service as everyone else does at Pierluigi.

                1. re: dlgc809

                  The problem was likely due to the multiple waiters we had, one to take the wine order, one to open the wine, another for our food order, multiple people bringing food and no one in particular pouring wine and water. Lorenzo was very busy that evening with a table of New Yorkers and a birthday celebration at another, that being said, I don't complain at the restaurant as it causes further disruption to the experience. If people are unable to do their job without a kick in the butt from the boss, then it's not a business (restaurant or otherwise) that I will do business with again.

                  I have nothing against Americans or people over the age of 50, my observation was just that, an observation. On that particular evening that particular demographic was getting the lion's share of the good service, but it could easily have been groups of Italian business people or a group of Japanese tourists. But the service was most definitely not the same for all tables on that evening.

                  I'm done, not going to justify my personal observations any further.

                  1. re: dlgc809

                    Mine is always Al Viminale located on Piazza del Viminale,very much a local hangout with great flare for local food,love the trippa there.

          1. Also depends on the day of the week and what you want. There is no single restaurant that is an absolute must. There are some very good high-end creative places, some nice bourgeois classic places, some very good trattorias, modern and traditional, and some pizzerias, also available in modern and traditional. Within each category there is a group at the top any one of which would be highly satisfying. While all can be classified as Italian or Roman (or some other region), some of the more modern ones are more satisfying to locals who want a change than for a newcomer or occasional visitor looking for the most typical.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mbfant

              But certainly you have a favorite place, don't you? If you were to leave Rome, what would you miss the most? (I'm not trying to be annoying here, just curious. :)

              Although I guess I'd miss particular dishes rather than a restaurant.

              1. re: mbfant

                I'm with Maureen on this one.
                There is no one "absolute must place to dine". Rather, there are numerous places that can satisfy my mood on any given day. Having a broad knowledge base obviously helps.

              2. Just spent a long weekend in Rome recently, had many meals at varying places but would absolutely return to Settembrini (Via Luigi Settembrini, 25) for another meal(s) if I'm back anytime in the future.

                Wonderful setting in a relatively out of the way location (for tourists), very diverse and I assume not Roman menu, with a lot of wonderful options. The ingredients, preperation and care in plating were all outstanding and provided us with one of the most memorable meals in Italy. And if you finish your meal without the homemade gelato you will have missed one of life's great pleasures and regret it forever.