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Mar 25, 2013 12:05 PM

Rome. Save me from myself

I posted a while back, trying to have time to sort my dinning options out. Here is my Rome dinner schedule. I think its repetitive. anybody out there can confirm this. and make suggestions which to keep, which to drop. thanks
Day 1: Perilli
Day 2: Flavio
Day 3: Pergola
Day 4: Monti

Pergola is a done deal. Thinking the other 3 might be too much of the same food???

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  1. Well, Perilli and Flavio both serve traditional Roman food, but you are in Rome, it makes sense to have Roman cuisine a couple of times - there are plenty of different diishes to sample in two meals without repeating. I could argue you may not want to visit them on adjacent days. Monti serves a different cuisine, of the Le marche region, quite different from the Roman so that will not be a repeat.unless you are very limited in your food choices.

    I always recommend doing some of the main "dining" at lunch time rather than the evening - it fits the local lifestyle and touring better in our experience, and pizzerias (mostly an evening thing in Italy) and winebars are available at night for lighter meals and evening strolling..

    1 Reply
    1. re: jen kalb

      Excellent. thank you so much. i will move the days around a bit. we actually have quite a few options for lunches etc.

    2. I would definitely choose either Flavio or Perilli, not do both. Hard to tell you which one, since I like both but for different reasons. Flavio has outdoor seating, if that matters to you?

      Maybe you want to try something a bit more modern? Like Tre Zucche or Osteria Monteverde? (a bit of hike, but both worth it)

      1 Reply
      1. re: minchilli

        Now I am getting confused again. LOL.
        My thought was that they were very similar in food type and prep. But they were both HIGHLY recommended.
        Right now.
        Day 1: Perilli
        Day 2: Monti
        Day 3: Pergola
        Day 4: Flavio (last night in Italy BTW)

      2. I would ditch Perilli and Flavio and sub in Agustarello (also in Testaccio) and Cesare al Casaletto (the absolute best trattoria in Rome right now). Cesare is a bit further than Osteria Monteverde and Le 3 Zucche (neither of which are particularly good) but absolutely worth a trip. And super easy to reach: just take tram #3 from Largo Argentina or Viale di Trastevere to the end. Agustarello is more rustic than Cesare. Both serve cucina romana, but the styles and atmospheres are so different. back to back shouldnt be repetitive

        19 Replies
        1. re: katieparla

          Totally agree on Perilli, Flavio, and Tre Zucche (so not worth the schlep), but Agustarello? On our last (and I do mean last) visit we had watery involtini and tasteless amatriciana, quite an achievement. Still haven't been to Cesare. I was finally going to go, but it was the day they were closed.

          1. re: mbfant

            If I were the OP I would be pulling out my hair right now. Maureen, where do you think the OP should go for his Roman chow fix?

            So much of this depends on whether the person has visited before and has experienced the Roman cuisine at all. Sending folks out to suburban restaurants for variations on themes when he may not even have heard the theme itself before seems a little nutty. If someone has not had pasta cacio e pepe, say, or coda alla vaccinara in Rome before before why is Perilli, Armando, Checcino, Flavio or Roscioli say, not a good choice. Or is Cesare THAT good? Sometimes having a standard of comparison (what is the dish supposed to taste like) is as important to the experience as having great food.

            but I guess in the end it all depends on what the OP is looking for.

            1. re: jen kalb

              Rome will be the last stop after 8 days in Italy. 4 days in Rome to end the trip. Having said that, we arrive a little late in the day so trekking across Rome the first night for Cesare probably isnt going to happen. So, I will put that for our last night in Rome and drop Flavio. Perilli has been well reviewed, so not sure what others in that area would be better?

            1. re: vinoroma

              @vinoroma yes! tram number 8. forgive me? just look at the post hour and I think you'll understand.

              @mbfant Re: Agustarello. Every place in Testaccio/Rome/Italy has a bad day...except Cesare. Always spot on.

              @jen kalb i think OP deserves the best possible experience and cesare has better food, wine and atmosphere than aforementioned places. I have eaten all the bad food in rome so visitors don't have to:)

              1. re: katieparla

                Katie, I didn't like Agustarello the first time I tried it years ago and only went back because Iris dragged me there. I just hate it, and I don't say that about many restaurants. I don't think I've ever encountered a bad day at Checchino, which has been the same for generations.

                Jen, in Testaccio I always return to Checchino. I re-tried Perilli a while ago after a long absence (due to disillusionment) and was not impressed, though I would keep it in mind for Sunday night emergencies. I recently discovered Pecorino, at the end of Via Galvani, across from the new market. It seems worth keeping an eye on.

                1. re: mbfant

                  @mbfant agree with perilli and love checchino for certain dishes (trippa, coda) but haven't had a great meal there recently. they insist on serving me overcooked pasta, which im sure you will agree is sacrilege. can we all agree that testaccio isnt that satisfying as a dining destination pls? :)

                  1. re: katieparla

                    Yes, Testaccio should not be the pilgrimage destination it has become. I started going there 30 years ago because it had the nearest good market to where I lived, but it was mainly known for Checchino, famous for offal, of course, but it had a Michelin star and was also famous for its wine cellar. BTW I've never had mushy pasta there.

                2. re: katieparla

                  @ katieparla

                  Why do restaurants like this have bad days

                  1. re: allende

                    every restaurant does. even the "best" have awful days for banal reasons: personell no-shows, chef has a bad day or a fight with SO, loyal clientele overlook shortcomings, consistency isn't a priority, it's raining, chef is trying to quit smoking therefore cranky, produce delivery doesnt show up, the list goes on.

                    1. re: katieparla

                      Totally disagree. Every restaurant does not have awful days.

                      To paraphrase what my friend Andre Soltner once said: "my restaurant is only as good as the last meal I served a customer."

                      1. re: allende

                        What you/your friend say doesn't contradict the fact that restaurants all have a bad day sometime. The bad ones do not care, the good ones strive not to have any bcs they are aware of the consequences (like your friend), but things happen, like what Katie wrote, and so much more. A restaurant is not a machine.

                        1. re: vinoroma

                          A restaurant is not a machine.

                          Soltner just ran a little restaurant in Manhattan, but never ever had a bad day.

                          Nor have Pescatore, La Buca or Lorenzo etc.

                          1. re: allende

                            I think there is a difference and it has to do with the depth and training of the staff, especially in the kitchen. Lutece may have been small (I dont remember it as that small!) but he had a wonderfully well drilled and trained team. The sickness, vacation or bad mood of no one person could have affected its good functioning. I am sure th other places you mention are similarly well organized. It seems like many smaller or lesser places, even if they are capable of excellence, are prone to suffer if a key person is not present or out of sorts. Either they cant or wont make the investment in staff and training, or maybe they have a more informal management style that does not scale up well. ..So I think its most likely a function of professionalism and organization

                            we make excuses for restaurants we like but the truth is, they just are not on the same level

                            1. re: jen kalb

                              Your last sentence sums it up very very well.

                              My comment about Lutece (a little restaurant), was meant to be facetious; "little" as in "a little nothing restaurant" :)

                              Andre missed 5 days in 34 years.

                              Nice article about him in this week's New Yorker.

                            2. re: allende

                              I wouldn't call Andre Soltner's Lutece 'a little restaurant in Manhattan'. His restaurant was as close to perfection as there was in Manhattan. He had an exact standard and I've had couple of meals that were merely very good.Those were what I call his 'bad' days. His other days, he and his staff were unbelievably good. Always gracious and generous.

                              1. re: PBSF

                                Read my post above. I was being facetious about "a little restaurant." Lutece was, as you said, as close to perfection as there was... in my mind, not only in Manhattan, but in France and Italy as well. I remember when I took some of my Italian restaurant owner friends there in 1985. They were simply blown away... and these were people who were good friends with Pierre Troisgros, Alain Chapel

                                Andre was not only as close as you can get to perfection in a chef, but in a person as well. Just a great human being. Simone, his wife, as well.

                                Miss the place dearly. Tonight, I'll just have to make do with a great place outside of Barolo :)

                                1. re: allende

                                  I knew you were be facetious. I just want to put in my two cents worth for Mr. Soltner and his staff. Thanks for mentioning his restaurant.

                3. re: katieparla

                  Very spirited discussion from my topic.
                  So, some changes.
                  Drop Perilli and change to Colline Emiliane
                  Drop Flavio and change to Trattoria Da Cesare

                  sound better to you guys?