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Nov 20, 2012 08:47 AM

Need Six Trastevere Meals for Writers in Hiding

Headed for a week in Trastevere - leaving in a few days - with a writer friend to finish a book. So we will be two women eating for a week around there, and though food is not meant to be the main agenda of the trip, knowing me I will obsess...

Coincidentally spent last week in the same area for the Rome Cinemafest, enjoying meals at Roscioli, Nonna Betta, and someplace in Testaccio that I forget but was great.

Didn't get to try Paris and Antico Arco, where I had reserved, but ate too much at lunch for dinner those nights.

Have stayed on and off in the area for ten years, only a few days at a time. I had a nice Easter dinner at Sabatini once, and many pizzas at bir i fud. Have walked by Antica Pesa ten times but never had the nerve to go in, it seemed so quiet.

So what should I be reserving for Sunday through Friday, blowing out lunch or dinner but probably not both...? Should I return to Nonna Betta or try another carciofi fry place? Is it finally time for Antico Arco and Glass? Should I try Antica Pesa finally?

Am I missing the point? Give me your top six in Trastevere, knowing that I have read every Trastevere thread on the board. My friend eats meat, I don't, but I can make do usually anywhere.

Thanks, guys!

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  1. Sorry, but I've never met a serious writer who could or should keep to a meal schedule or honor a restaurant reservation. I suggest you shop and cook (quietly) and let your friend write. She may or may not join you for dinner.

    2 Replies
    1. re: barberinibee

      HA - that's funny, as I am the one on deadline :) Food and wine is how I survive - those little pacts I make with myself keep me going throughout the day - if I can only finish X pages I get to eat -- !!!

      1. re: Margaret Santa Monica

        Ah, I see.

        Well, I would certainly take advantage of artichoke season with more than one adventure and if you have not shopped at Beppe i suoi Formaggi and need a head-clearing walk, it is inspiring.

        I hope others will chime in.

    2. Here are some of my favorite spots in or near Trastevere:
      Glass: much talked about on these boards
      La Gensola: Truly great fish place.
      Bir & Fud: Good for a beer and their antipasti. They also have pizza, but it's not my go-to place for that.
      Forno Renella: An easy place to pick up pizza to go, by the slice (pizza al taglio)
      Da Enzo: Old fashioned trattoria, not touristy, and great food.

      Just across the river, in the Ghetto:
      Gigetto: For carciofi alla giudea.
      Pompiere: Very much a Roman place, located on the second floor of Palazzo Cenci. Roman classics. I love their Saltimboca.
      Beppe e i Suoi Formaggi: Mostly cheese and wine, but just about the best cheese in Rome.

      Hope this keeps you fed!

      5 Replies
      1. re: minchilli

        Thanks, Elizabeth! I always see La Gensola on this board but never go as I don't eat fish. The other writer I am with does, though - are there enough things to cobble by as the fishless friend?

        Is Gigetto better than Nonna Betta? And what is the deal with Antica Pesa, only because it's literally about five doors down from where I stay every time I come...?

        Thanks for the help, guys! Margaret

          1. re: barberinibee

            Thanks for all the help, guys! Our "nice" dinner took us to Spirito di Vino on a very rainy night - as guests of some expat friends - which was lovely and very vegetarian friendly - and as a plus had an amazing Puglian wine list. Had my first bottle of Graticciaia, something I have never found outside of Salento.

            More casually, we loved Gigetto - more fun than Nonna Betta, though I loved the carciofi at both - and grabbed pizza at La Renella and Bir i Fud.

            Some quick lunches at Da Augusto (my friend's old go-to place when she lived in Trastevere) one great and one not so great, but discovered puntarelle, which I had somehow never encountered before, and am now growing in my garden as a result!

            And the writing was very productive, best of all! Thanks!

            1. re: Margaret Santa Monica

              Thanks so much for checking back in. So glad to hear you liked Gigetto, which often gets a bad rep here on Chowhound. And glad you worked some pizza in too.


              1. re: minchilli

                Thanks, Elizabeth. Also guys -- I forgot Antico Arco -- best meal of the trip, and a lovely if spooky walk up from Trastevere. The ceci soup was glorious - and the cacio i pepe with zuccini blossom and lasagna also amazing. But it was another rainy night and the soup was the thing.

      2. Funny to see this thread now - the books got finished, and I've been back since then - additional thoughts -

        Paris Restaurant had great fritti in a lively spot.
        A family member did have a lovely if quiet meal at Antica Pesa.
        I still like Antico Arco every time I go.
        And I've still never made it to Glass. :)