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Nov 4, 2012 02:38 PM

Romantic weekend in Rome with delicious food. Where?


I'm going to Rome with my husband this spring, and of course I've already started planning which restaurants we should go to.

We're staying for 3 nights.

We're looking for 3 romantic restaurants for dinner, with slow food/proper "homemade" italian food we'll never forget. Where should we book our table?

Thinking a max budget of 40 euros per person for a couple of dishes and a bottle of wine

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  1. What's your and your husband's idea of a romantic restaurant? People on this board have different feelings about what makes for a romantic night out in Rome.

    18 Replies
    1. re: barberinibee

      Good question!

      No bright lights, and not to crowded.
      We like intimate, relaxed, restaurants with good atmosphere (and of course good food and service!). We like both rustic and the modern decor.

      Candlelight or a great view perhaps?

      But the food/wine is number one

      1. re: tiram

        PierLuigi is one of my go to picks for a nice night (or long lazy lunch) out. It is in a beautiful piazza, there are killer cocktails at a snazzy bar and the fish based menu has never disappointed.
        Piazza Dè Ricci, 144

        I had lunch yesterday at Metamorfosi. It was just lovely. Creative, beautiful food, excellent service, chic, clean space.

        Have breakfast or stop for tea at the beautiful jewelbox that is Coromandel

        start your evening with a glass of prosecco at

        1. re: gmcguireinrome

          I think it would be very hard to stick to a max of 40pp with wine at Pierluigi. Even without wine it would be hard.

          That budget, to my mind, is quite tight. I couldn't think of anyplace fitting the description at that budget, an am hoping one of the Rome residents will drop by.

          I like the food at Armando al Pantheon, but it tends to be crowded. I'll suggest Il Drappo for its quirky charm, but be aware the cuisine is Sardegnan and, again, it might push right up to the edges of your budget or go over. There are copious pictures in the "galleria" section of their website, but alas, no prices on the menu.

          and descriptions of the food from some diners (not me) plus photos:

          1. re: barberinibee

            Agree for Pierluigi, agree for Caffe della Pace - though even there the price of a couple of aperitivos had my heart racing! But romance in Rome needn't come expensive - I had a pizza with the wife just down the road from Santa Maria there, sitting out on a beautiful spring evening, and nothing seemed to be lacking. The food is fine at Armando's but it's never struck me as particularly romantic. You never know, sometimes - after faithfully following a (very expensive) list of eating suggestions for Paris on my last trip, in the end it was the small bistro we fell exhausted into by chance on our last day that remains in our hearts.

            1. re: SpudJW

              I agree that I would not describe Armando as romantic, which is why I suggested someplace else. I can also find dining on Roman pizza and house wine romantic, but most of the good pizzerie I can think of are crowded, busy and not candle-lit etc. I asked tiram to elaborate on "romantic" precisely so the suggestions weren't what the rest of us find romantic. But maybe others know of a good pizzeria that isn't crowded, or brightly lit or frenetic.

              Other than pizzerie, what Roman eateries fits tiram's description at 40pp wine inclusive? I'm not saying it doesn't exist. I'm just drawing a blank.

              1. re: barberinibee

                Thank you for your suggestions everyone!
                Is 40euros pp too little, even for only two dishes each, and sharing a bottle of wine?
                How much should we budget on?

                I'm more used to Tuscan restaurants, so I can't quite remember the prices in Rome

                Previously I've eaten places like Spirito DiVino, which had lovely food, but maybe wasn't so romantic (plus there was almost only americans dining, which was a bit strange)

                1. re: tiram

                  It is often difficult to find Roman menus with prices online, but I found this one just to give you an idea of typical prices for a sit-down, non-pizza meal in a nice-decor place in the historic center. I would imagine they also offer a house wine -- which will certainly be cheaper than ordering a bottle of a list. You need to factor in service and VAT.


                  I've not eaten there so I'm not suggesting it as my personal recommendation, and it might not be what you are looking for in terms of intimacy or tourist impact. Just have no idea. (I think you might be able to find out more about it on Elizabeth Minchilli's website.)

                  But I do think the prices are representative for the center if you are not looking for a high-end place, and if any of the Rome regulars think this menu isn't representative, I hope they will correct me.

                  1. re: barberinibee

                    Here is another place I've been hoping to try, but it does have an online menu with prices, so I'm passing along the link for that reason (don't know anything about the ambience).


                    I consider those prices just about rock bottom for a recommended sit-down dinner place in Rome's center.

                    1. re: barberinibee

                      I am a BIG fan of Taverna Fori Imperiale. It is charming and authentic and serves really good food. I think with the (good) house wine you can make the 40 p/p price point. The neighborhood is also full of atmosphere. (full disclosure - It's where I live) You can have an apertivio in the Piazza Madonna dei Monti at the fountain, and walk home on the edge of the beautifully lit forum.

                  2. re: barberinibee

                    I dont think Armando is conventionally romantic, but for a first time visitor (I well remember this experience) there's a romance to the whole experience of the city, that extends to its traditional dining places (of coursethe leisurely drinking of that bottle or carafe of wine, not so expensive, maybe say 14E for a a bottle of a Lazio wine) necessarily plays a role). These restaurants have a timebuffed and civilized atmosphere (lots of people have enjoyed eating there for a long time) and the food is excellent.. Just being in that ambiance (remembering particularly all those years ago La Campana and Orso 80 (latter I have not visited for years so am not recommending) was wonderful. So I would not rule out these places because they do not have candles and people canoodling at the tables.

                    1. re: jen kalb


                      Can't tell if your post is really directed at me, or if perhaps you just hit the reply to my post in order to respond to tiram, but I am not looking to "rule out" any place for tiram, just sharing my reactions, and I am sure tiram is grateful for your input. (I don't think this is tiram's first visit to Rome.)

                      I'm not much interested in conventionally "romantic" places either, and find Rome a truly romantic city with every visit, but while I highly enjoy eating the lovable food at Armando, I don't react to the space as romantic. It does seem to me that every time I have eaten there it has felt crowded and busy, perhaps because the tables are close.

                      Here's some pictures of the interior of Armando al Pantheon so tiram can have a looksee


                      Do you think Armando al Pantheon is in the 40e pp/w wine range? I can't remember the prices very specifically and they don't publish their prices online.

                      tiram has already stated that food trumps all other considerations, and I too highly recommend Armando al Pantheon for food. In this case, though, for a romantic dinner at Armando, definitely book a later seating, which is much more conducive to lingering.

                      1. re: barberinibee

                        I posted in response to the comments about Armando. We were just there, had a lovely late Saturday lunch (they were very accomodating when we showed up with no res and let us in at 2 finding a corner for us) had a relaxed meal (no push to finish) and left with a very mellow feeling. its still in the slowfood book and the pricing is reasonable. It can get busy but we have never felt crowded there. Maybe in the evening (when there are more foreign tourists and you can understand everything they are saying) it might feel more crowded? we were at Flavio's on the same trip - it served very comparable food and we loved it, but I wouldnt have called that experience romantic - the acoustics and ambiance were very different..

                        Like we all agree Romance is a function of personal taste. At this stage a candlelit dining room means I wont be able to read the menu and will get sleepy as the night goes by if the pace of the meal is leisurely!

                        1. re: jen kalb

                          I've never eaten lunch at Armando, or at Flavio's at all, so can't comment on the ambience. I've really just been reacting tiram's clues about what she might prefer in terms of lighting, intimacy, etc etc

                        2. re: barberinibee

                          I agree the city in itself is romantic (and the language...)! If Armando has great food we'll check it out. It looks very nice.

                          This is my third but my husbands first visit to Rome. If you know somewhere that's over our budget, but we shouldn't miss, please mention that as well. We're Norwegian, so we're used to high prices....

                          Who knew traditional delicious food would be this difficult to find in Rome?

                          1. re: tiram

                            I don't think traditional delicious food is difficult to find in Rome. Had you just asked for that without qualifiers, you would have been given a long list or referred to past threads where that has been discussed many times. You can still look up those threads, but many of them will only name restaurants without any mention of price or any description of the space.

                            1. re: tiram

                              Armando is a decent restaurant, especially for lunch. I usually make a reservation for the next day: I walk in, give my first name and there you have it. Lots of tourists early, lots of locals later. Your waiter will guide you through the menu but my take is you order off the specials. Their signature dessert (a torta) can be very good.

                              This is not fancy dining but it can be very satisfying.

                  3. re: gmcguireinrome

                    Metamorfosi is nice and the food is good, but it is not romantic. (IMO)

              2. I'm going to interpret 'romantic' as being a place that I would like to go to with my husband! So here goes:

                Coramadel: new and very intimate setting. Fixed menu, I think is 35 Euros.

                Vino e Camino: I love this place. The food is excellent and the setting is very cozy and warm. The tables aren't one on top of the other either, so it feels special.

                I love Taverna dei Fori Imperiali, but I wouldn't call it romantic. It is usually booked solid, and so can often feel a bit cramped. But great food, if you go you will love it.

                Pompiere: Located in the Jewish ghetto, has very good traditional, home style cooking. Feels fancier than it really is, since it's located on the piano nobile of Palazzo Cenci and so the rooms are sort of grand and some are frescoed. I love their saltimboca alla romana.