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Roman restaurant off Via Cavour, circa 2003

PinotGringo Apr 24, 2013 07:09 AM

In the summer of 2003, when I was still in high school, my father and I visited Rome. While walking near the Forum one day, we dropped into a restaurant for lunch on a whim. It turned out to be one of the best meals of the trip, only topped by when we returned the following night for dinner.

My father grabbed a matchbook with the restaurants name on it, but has since displaced it. We both find it frustrating that we know of this place we really liked in Rome, but we don't know the name of it and haven't had the funds to return and track it down ourselves. I'm sure as a result we have put it on a bit of a pedestal, as it was a fairly modest restaurant, but I thought I'd ask here to see if anyone knows it. Also, this was ten years ago now, so there's a possibility that it has since closed.

Things we know for sure:
- it was off Via Cavour, or very near there
- it wasn't very stylish or very antico
- it was probably down a little alley, or at least had an alcove where it had some outdoor seating with soft lighting. I seem to recall there being either a tent or some vines above.
- it served an appetizer with zucchini and eggplant, grilled with balsamic and oil
- it also served a pasta arrabbiata

Things my dad remembers that I don't:
- it was called Il Forno something, or just Il Forno (I mark this as maybe because it did not seem to serve anything out of a wood stove)
- It had a smorgasboard-style buffet as well as a menu

Hopefully one of you can help me with this shot in the dark!

Thank you.

  1. minchilli Apr 26, 2013 08:18 AM

    I'm pretty sure you are referring to La Piazzetta, Via del Buon Consiglio. It was opened about 2000 by some former waiters from Nerone. I haven't been there in ages, but it pretty much fits your description.

    I'm not sure if this link will work, but here is the street view from Google:


    4 Replies
    1. re: minchilli
      mbfant Apr 26, 2013 01:32 PM

      I wondered if that was it, but the Forno business put me off. It was started in exactly 2000 by Franco Bartolini, who had been the waiter at Nerone for twenty years. Franco left a few years ago and I haven't been back since. I hear conflicting reports. Our crowd has pretty much reverted to Nerone, but I loved La Piazzetta.

      1. re: mbfant
        PinotGringo Apr 26, 2013 01:53 PM

        That must be the source of the confusion. We loved it, glad to hear it's still around, even if it's under new ownership.

      2. re: minchilli
        PinotGringo Apr 26, 2013 01:52 PM

        With the further info from mbfant, I'm guessing that my father met the owner, Franco, and misremembered the name of the restaurant based on that! Thank you so much.

        1. re: PinotGringo
          minchilli Apr 30, 2013 09:14 AM

          Ah...Franco became Forno? Too funny!!!!

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