Traditional food in Rome
Please recommend some traditional trattoria type restaurants in Rome. Even after a few trips and much searching, we haven't found much we really like in Rome and are usually much happier with restaurants in Florence.
A typical meal might be an antipasto, pasta, wine and desert. Something in the general range of 70-80 euros for two people.
Termini, Villa Borghese and Pantheon neighborhoods.
I know what you mean about the food tasting flat.
I thought the antipasti buffet at Hostaria Nerone in Rome was a standout for freshness, with knockout veg. The pastas were homey comfort food. Didn't have secondi. I recall the house wine being fairly awful -- but not as bad as some! It's near the Colosseum, so don't know if that's convenient.
I adored my meals at Settimio al Pellegrino, which again might not be in your target areas. The menu is very limited and the food is extremely simple (the decor even more so), the service was rather grumpy. It hit all the bells for freshness and "just made". I was especially enamoured of gnocchi at Thursday lunch and an endive soup at dinner (dead of winter, so I doubt it is a regular item).
No; I wouldn't consider that inexpensive for the lunch you described, although it would obviously depend on your food and beverage choices and, more importantly, where you choose to eat. You could certainly lunch for less. For example, L'Asino d'Oro is widely considered one of the best bargain lunches in Rome at only 12 euro per person, but (1) it is prezzo fisso, so no choice; (2) some consider the portions small; and (3) it is a solid performer but won't dazzle you.
Trattoria Monti , not far from Termini, might be up your alley, fine pastas and antipasti as well as good meats, veg and wine. I cant say about dessert, we are not big lovers of Italian restaurant desserts.
Agree with Minchelli on sora margherita, tasty ravioli and other homemade pasta, admittedly not the most refined but good, inexpensive good baby lamb and other roman dishes - we liked, lunch only I believe, friendly, crowded and inexpensive.
We also like La Campana and Armando al Pantheon for lunches (they are open for dinner as well, but we have not tried and we like what we presume is a less touristic feel at lunchtime.) The former has an appetizer array, the latter has excellent traditional roman pasta and meat dishes, and both have desserts we have enjoyed, a rarity in inexpensive italian restaurants.
Here are my favorites:
Taverna dei Fori Imperiali (Monti)
Costanza (Campo dei Fiori)
Nino (Spanish Steps, a bit more upscale)
I also like Vino e Camino and Renata e Luisa. Not fully 'trattoria' in the rustic sense, but really good and within your price range.
These are both very rustic trattorias. Better for lunch in my opinion.
Hope this helps!
Costanza for lunch
Antipasto: a smoked provolona that was, as my wife put it, "disappointing"
Prima Piatti: rigattoni with black truffles and sausage. Delicious
fettucine with porcini mushrooms. Boring
Wine: Pinot Grigio. Fine
Coffee: very good
Service: very well done
Atmosphere: nice, we appeared to be the only non-Italians
Can you talk more specifically about where you've eaten before in Rome and why these places disappointed you? Also, what was it you found in the restaurants of Florence that was more to your liking? It might help others figure out exactly what to recommend for Rome in the neighborhoods you've mentioned.
In Florence we liked:
Nella: riboletta, gnochhi al gorgonzola, penna al pesto
Natalino: carpacchio, sformatino, fiochino (purses with pear and gorgonzola cream sauce)
Trebbio: mozzar bufala, rigatonni amercina, roast pork and potatoses, ravioli
4 Leoni, salads, pecorini miele, carpaccio, fiocchetta (similar to Natalino)
In Rome, restaurants we have tried tend to be duller and less tasty or not the best quality.