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Rome for my Better Half's 40 birthday....i dont want to screw this up!

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Thank you all for this incredible resource (especially Vinoroma, Elizabeth and Katie)! I dont know how I could have done this without this board! I am taking my beautiful wife to Rome for her 40th birthday. We both agree that we want simple excellent Italian food. We are staying at the Boscolo Palace Hotel in Via Veneto. l Below is my tentative itenerary and would welcome any and all comments.

We arrive Friday morning.

Friday : Lunch- Pizzarium
Dinner- Flavio

Sat: Lunch Rosciolli- A little confused, we are not looking for a huge lunch but want a few dishes along with some meat and cheese, do we make reservations for the restaurant or can we just grab a seat at the counter?
Dinner -La Gensola

Sunday: Lunch-Perrelli
Dinner- We are thinking we are going to not want another huge meal. Might wing this meal or go for pizza or to an enoteca around our hotel, would welcome any thoughts.

Monday: Lunch- Beppe e Soui Formaggi
Dinner- Colline Emiliane or maybe Tattoria Monti

Thank You!

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  1. You get points from me for taking your wife to Rome for her 40th--my husband did the same for me. Not to be picky, but watch your spelling if you want to find things (Perilli, Roscioli, Beppe e Suoi Formaggi). Your picks sound similar to my own on my last trip--nothing high-end, good solid choices, but some might say you should have more variety. Generally, and especially for lunches, I would plan my sightseeing destinations, then plan lunch around them.

    For Roscioli, I would recommend a reservation. If you just want a quick bite, you might want to try Roscioli Bakery instead. If you go to the restaurant, the burrata is a must.

    Trattoria Monti is closed on Mondays, so that won't work. I haven't been to Colline Emiliane and can't compare, but I did have a fine dinner at Trattoria Monti in April.

    Sundays are not the best night to wing it; many places are closed. I would agree that you might not want a big meal after Sunday lunch at Perilli, but perhaps you might consider an enoteca like La Barrique or Al Vino Al Vino.

    I would certainly think about the famous 12-euro lunch at L'Asino D'Oro, but that would have to be Friday, as they're closed on Mondays, and I think the lunch deal is weekdays only.

    4 Replies
    1. re: lisaonthecape

      Lisa, thank you for your reply. You might have confirmed my belief that I might over have trattoria'ed. I think I might switch and go to Favio on Monday and try L'Asino D'Oro on Friday. My concern is that my wife specified she does not want anything too eclectic.

      1. re: lisaonthecape

        Curious.
        What do you get for a 12 euro lunch at L'Asino D'Oro?

        1. re: allende

          a little welcome, which never has been anything other than a slice of bread with a ricotta cream. A soup, a pasta, a secondo. bread (tozzetti from Roscioli), bottle of water, glass of wine (white or red choice). coffee & dessert can be added at regular prices, nothing else is available. Fridays the pasta & secondo tend to be fishy. Obvsly the soup, pasta & secondo are small portions. I always get out of that lunch feeling "not hungry anymore but not bursting yet". 1% of the time it is great, 98% it is good, 1% have been failures (I have been going once or twice a week for 2 yrs now) - it is a great lunch deal in the area.

          1. re: allende

            It's a fixed menu--from my limited experience, it generally looks to be soup, some type of pasta, and a meat or fish course. You also get a bottle of water and a glass of wine. The food is generally Umbrian-leaning. Some might say that the portions are on the small side, although I found them just perfect for me.

        2. Is one of these supposed to be a birthday splash? I would not be impressed by this group for an important birthday, though overall the trip to Rome is itself impressive of course. But I would want at least one occasion to dress nicely etc. Rome does not really go overboard with eclectic. All'Oro could be an idea.

          1. thanks for the nice words SeanL!
            yes to reservations at Roscioli, for any date & time.
            Beppe is closed on Mondays, as is Trattoria Monti.
            l'asino d'oro keeps on changing its monday opening/closing. lunch deal has been extended to saturdays (unless they have changed it again!).
            agree with Maureen - if there is to be a special birthday dinner, none will suffice, except if you put Roscioli for dinner. Or you can add Glass or Metamorfosi. former closed mondays, later sundays.

            2 Replies
            1. re: vinoroma

              Glass (don't like) and Metamorfosi (like) both seem too avantgarde for expressed desires (not eclectic). I suggested All'Oro because they're a little closer to actual Roman food (those "Rocher" of coda alla vaccinara!). Even Convivio would be closer. Or Agata. Obviously these are another price range from OP's original group.

              1. re: mbfant

                Yes, these were my suggestions for if they want to have one big splurge bday dinner. I missed the non-eclectic wish, but if so, you are right. All'oro would then be my choice.

            2. we are in Rome the second week Oct. staying on Via Veneto (Grand Marriott) - are any of these delightful sounding places remotely close to where we're staying?

              1. Hi Sean L.

                I'm taking seriously the subject line of your post -- that you don't want to "screw this up" -- and that you welcome any and all comments, so I will suggest to you that you consult your wife about what she wants, unless you know for certain she loves surprises.

                It's been suggested here that a dress-up restaurant should be in the mix for a birthday, but I for one would not feel the need for that for my birthday -- my focus is food and romance, which I've enjoyed in Roman pizzerie -- and would not want to pack for dressy.

                I also would want some real flexibility in the eating agenda. The combination of travel and a lot of restaurant going is not always great for the stomach. In particular I would find the all cheese lunch at Beppe e i soui Formaggi an appetite killer prelude to a dinner at someplace as rich as Colline Emiliane.

                I can't help you out with specific recommendations for restaurants in Rome, because I live and work another part of Italy and when I go to Rome, I'm not interested in things like fish or food from Emilia-Romagna because that's what I got most of the time elsewhere.

                But I do want to suggest you run all this by your wife well before hand and get her input, and not be afraid to rewrite the plan on the ground, depending on mood and stomach cues, however you pack.

                2 Replies
                1. re: barberinibee

                  Thank you all for your help. It is indeed a special occasion that we are celebrating together. That being said my wants romantic more than formal and what could be more romantic the a fall weekend in Rome. So below is my revised itenerary:
                  Friday: Lunch-Pizzarium
                  Dinner-la Gensola
                  Saturday: Lunch-Roscioli
                  Dinner- All'Oro
                  Sunday: Lunch-Perilli
                  Dinner- Pizza or enoteca around our hotel. (need help here)
                  Monday: Lunch- still don't know
                  Dinner- Favio

                  Also want to have a pre-dinner drink at Aroma Saturday evening.
                  Thanks again for everyone's help.

                  1. re: SeanL

                    I think Perilli and Flavio two days in a row might be a bit much, but if it's your only shot at the Roman classics and you know what you're getting into, far be it from me to stop you from having carbonara one day and amatriciana the next. There are worse fates.

                    Don't plan Monday lunch. Keep a couple of fallbacks in your pocket, but see where you are when hunger strikes. A good bar might be all you want.