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3 Meals in Rome, did I select well?

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My fiancé and I will be in Italy for the first time mid December! We are taking a cruise and will have one and a half days in Rome. We are arriving in Rome by train around 10am on Thursday and staying overnight at Artemide Hotel on Via Nazionale 22. My fiancé is a big meat eater and not a fan of seafood unless fried/raw (such as sashimi). I enjoy everything. We would like to try pizza, pastas (my fiancé is interested in papardelle with sausage), classic Roman Food, and desserts such as tiramisu/panna cotta.

Please help me select our precious three meals.

Lunch Thursday: L'Asino D'Oro, Armando al Pantheon or Taverna Dei Fori Imperiali (will be visiting Colossem, Palatine Hills, Roman Forum in the morning/early afternoon, then Pantheon/Spanish steps/Trevi Fountain/Piazza Navona in the late afternoon/early evening)

Dinner Thursday:
Classic Roman Food: Flavio al Velavevodetto, Trattoria Monti, Perilli, Da Felice or Taverna Dei Fori Imperiali (read conflicting reviews on all of restaurants)
Or pizza: PIzzeria de Remo

Lunch Friday: Pizzarium (will be sightseeing at Vatican City)

Also, we love gelato. Which of the following are a musts for ice cream lovers?
Gelateria La Dolce Vita, Gelateria Valentino, La Gelateria Frigidarium, Gelateria del Teatro

Is it worth the trek to Fraschetta Romana on Via del Pigneto 68 for a porchetta sandwich? We both LOVE pork but it's not near any places we're visiting.

Any other suggestions welcome! Thank you :)

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  1. Good research!

    Lunch Thursday: L'Asino d'Oro would be perfect. But make sure you reserve, since their 12 Euros menu is very popular. If you don't feel like a fixed menu for lunch, then Taverna dei Fori Imperiali (which I love) would be a good choice.

    Dinner Thursday: Perilli for sure!

    Lunch Friday: Pizzarium is a good choice for lunch. But..if you want something a bit more than pizza, you can try the newly opened Romeo, or even Sorpasso. You might be a bit wiped after the Vatican, and want to sit down for a meal. Romeo is the new place opened by the Roscioli Brothers along with Cristina Bowerman of Glass.

    Gelato: In Monti is Fattamorgana. Near Vatican is Gracchi. Not far from your hotel is Come il Latte.

    No, do not make the Pignetto trek.

    Have a great time!

    www.elizabethminchilliinrome.com

    1. Enjoy.. a day and a half in Rome is barely dipping the toe into cuisine in Italy, and Rome is only one niche of many..

      Meal structure - the courses - are very different than a US meal, if you are not already familliar with that.. your husband will get his meat after you've had the pasta courses. Tipping is also very different in EU than U.S. And Italians tend to start dinner a lot later.. like after 8:30...

      Remember proper attire for the Vatican, btw..

      3 Replies
      1. re: grant.cook

        Thanks so much for all the advice!

        Revised schedule:

        Lunch Thursday: L'Asino d'Oro (depending on what's on the 12euro menu) or Taverna Dei Fori Imperiali

        Dinner Thurs night: Trattoria Monti, Taverna dei Fori Imperiali or Perilli

        Breakfast Fri: Pizzarium (are they open in the morning?)

        Lunch Fri: Taverna Dei Fori Imperiali if we didn't go the previous day

        minchilli, may I ask if you think Perilli is much better than Trattoria Monti? Perilli has some not so great reviews on trip advisor so my fiancé is hesitant to commit our one dinner in Rome to it. However our friend did post amazing photos from Perilli recently. It's such a tough decision!

        1. re: arnage

          Pizzarium opens around 11, i don't think that is early enough for your breakfast. And if you are at the vatikan, why did you change your mind to eat in the area (pizzarium, romeo, sorpasso are all very good choices) and making the trek back to fori? Taverna dei fori imperiali is not that good a trattoria to try to definitely go - i see you made it an option for all three meals you have! I would say don't go at all, but i know opinions differ, so if you have to go, ditch the asino d'oro lunch and go then.

          1. re: arnage

            It's hard to compare Trattoria Monti and Perilli. They are very different experiences. Perilli is very much an old fashioned Roman trattoria, with huge hearty portions of carbonara, amatriciana, etc. Monti is more refined, with emphasis on some northern Italian dishes.

        2. I adore Taverna Fori Imperiale. It is always a highlight when we take visitors.

          A must for gelato is the mentioned Fatamorgana in Monti. on the chance that it is cold and wet you may decide on something warm instead. The hot chocolate at Grom is very good, it comes in 3 flavors (milk, dark and gianduja) you can add a scoop of gelato and top the entire decadent thing off with a pile of whipped cream.

          and just to complicate your (great) choices. The tiramisu at Flavio is really, truly, outstanding.

          www.gillianslists.com

          1. You have a very short time, Id just like to mention a couple of items:
            You need to book ahead for Asino d'Oro to eat lunch there - we tried to do it online but failed.
            then, I saw a very negative post 2 days before departure. In the end that was enough to keep us from hiking over there even tho there were many glowing reports also.It can be hard to find the trip reports here, there seem to be a lot more recommendations than reports of how folks actually fared with their meals, which is a pity. this thread contains a range of responses http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/852244

            We had a very nice light meal at Urbana 47 - you might want to consider that alternative if you are in the Monti area at lunch time and having a big meal at dinner.

            We really liked Flavio al Velavevodetto on or first visit in September - while I think Armando, our long time lunch favorite is a tad better perhaps, they are both very good and welcoming to tourists, offering traditional roman specialties. Good places to try those. I liked the wine format at Flavio where you can "shop" from the shelves and receive advice.Armando on the other hand is close to the Piazza Navona and Pantheon where you will be likely to be touring .

            In addition to the above, we really like Trattoria Monti. they dont take res at lunch so if you want to go you need to either make a reservation (for dinner) or show up at 1 pm for lunch. They fill up fast. If you go, make sure to check (and make a note if any interesting) posted specials before you go in - they may not advise you.

            Hope we will hear back about your trip! Good eating!

            15 Replies
            1. re: jen kalb

              Thank you so much everyone for weighing in. That's so interesting that Grom has hot chocolate! They only serve gelato in nyc so hopefully we'll be able to check out the hot chocolate.

              we are now thinking of this schedule:
              Lunch Thursday: L'Asino D'Oro (check first to see what the 12e lunch is if it's not appealing will cancel reservation and go to Taverna Dei Fori Imperiali

              Dinner Thursday: Flavio al Velavevodetto, Trattoria Monti or Perilli

              Lunch Friday: Pizzarium (will be sightseeing at Vatican City)]

              We tried calling so many times for reservations but many restaurants never answer the phone, including Trattoria Monti and Vini e Vecchi Sapori. Perilli told me to call back closer to the day even though we're only calling 2 weeks in advance :(

              Are Giolitti, San Crispino, Gelato del Teatro still musts for gelato?

              Thanks everyone and we will definitely report back.

              1. re: arnage

                People differ about this, but you might find gelato doesn't sit well on the stomach in cold weather, and if you feel you can't resist, you might want to time your gelati experiements clear of any really good (or expensive) meals you are planning. I have found gelato especially doesn't sit well after a very cheesy-dairy meal like pizza or one of Rome's cheese-laden pastas dishes.

                It surprises me that no one thus far has mentioned that tiramisu and panna cotta are not Roman in origin. People argue about the exact origin of tiramisu, but at least agree that is from the region of the Veneto, Panna cotta is a dish from Piemonte. Which isn't to say that nobody in Rome makes it as well as they make it in other regions (or in the states), or that Romans haven't taken to eating it too, but you seemed focused on sampling the Roman classics and local specialties so I thought you might want to know that. I'm stumped as to what a local Roman dessert is other than fruit (and don't know which fruits are are good in Rome right now), but maybe you'll discover that on you're own (or someone else here knows). I would imagine there are local Christmas treats coming into the shops and bars.

                1. re: barberinibee

                  I found this for you:

                  http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2012/05...

                  1. re: barberinibee

                    Other than the seasonal sweets that started now and will go till march (bigne, frappe, castagnole, pizzarelle), a very roman dessert is torta con le visciole - sometimes only in crostata form, sometimes (rarely) in my preferred version with ricotta. The jewish bakery in the ghetto has the best of this.

                    1. re: vinoroma

                      where do you think are the best places to experience these sweets freshly made?

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        The seasonal ones? Roscioli, regoli, innocenti.... The usual suspects. (good pasticcerie of rome)

                        1. re: vinoroma

                          Thanks vinoroma. Crostata di Visciole e Ricotta looks like a meal in itself!

                          http://www.profumidalforno.it/portal/...

                          1. re: barberinibee

                            it is better than you think - nothing like on that link, the real thing is this: hmm, the only fotos seem to be on ta, and the link is impossible. please look for forno boccione on ta and look at the fotos.

                            1. re: vinoroma

                              Ah! Very interesting. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the ricotta cheesecakes one finds in NYC are long lost cousins of this Jewish Roman torta. Like most Italian-American pastries in NYC that originated in Italy, the alterations are profound, but there are some curious traits that give away the origins.

                              I realize there is more than one ricotta torta in Italy, and this one is probably owes as much to Napoli, but this is what I am thinking of in NYC:

                              http://venierospastry.com/Merchant2/m...

                            2. re: barberinibee

                              and here's another fun link to a similar recipe with video

                              http://www.labna.it/crostata-di-ricot...
                              no it doesnt look like the pics on ta from forno boccione - that one looks like a tasty snack

                              There is also a recipe for Torta Ebraica di Ricotta, with visciole. in David Downie's Rome cookbook - from the chef at Dolceroma - it has a domed top and sounds like it would produce an item much more like the pic on ta.

                              there is also what looks like a lovely recipe for torta di ricotta in Maureen Fant's book.
                              Since I cant be in Rome right now all these recipes inspire me to go out and find some good ricotta, preferably sheeps milk to give it a try.

                              thanks for all the inspiration!

                      2. re: barberinibee

                        Along the same lines, I definitively DID NOT ENJOY the granita di caffe con crema from Tazza d'Oro after a winter lunch a few years back. All I remember is a cold, greasy sensation, - Its sullied the perfect memory of this experience in the summer heat.

                        1. re: jen kalb

                          Thanks for all the tips! We will definitely have to check out a bakery such as Roscioli, and perhaps the granita di caffe con crema if it's not too cold.

                          1. re: jen kalb

                            I sometimes think that the stones of Rome retain the nighttime cold, making the breezy shady alleyways refrigerator-like the following afternoon even if it is overall sunny and mild. If you customarily take a gelato or granita to eat while strolling, it can hit the stomach like lead on even the nicest winter day. Much better to get something hot or warm.

                            1. re: barberinibee

                              I agree with the conclusion, not sure about the theory! its not so pleasant eating something cold after a meal, in cold weather, outdoors. thats enough for me. warm desserts in winter are the thing.

                        2. re: arnage

                          @arnage, if you like tart greens, keep an eye out for puntarelle salad which is in season - grea refreshing contrast to the rich foods of rome, with its tart anchovy-garlic dressing. chicoria is also in season