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Rome in September for my birthday - What's best for Sunday Night

I've looked at the boards and other sites and I am feeling overwhelmed.

My spouse and I are going to be in Rome for a few days to celebrate my birthday in late September. I thought I had everything figured out and then learned Metamorfosi is closed on Sundays. So, I started revisiting my restaurant choices and now I feel totally overwhelmed (see list at bottom).

In the morning, we plan to visit Villa and Galleria Bourghese.
Considering Pinsere Roma Flavia for lunch
Afternoon at Galleria Doria Pamphilj
7:30 pm dinner ????
Looking for great food and atmosphere. Open to formal choices, but would prefer not to get dressed up if alternatives are as good. Considering list below.

*The Mirabelle - request terrace, 14 Via Di Porta Pinciana | Hotel Splendide Royal, 00187
*La Terrazza -Located on the 6th floor of the Eden Hotel
*Pipero al Rex, Via Torino, 149, 00184 Rome, Italy
*Ristorante Roof Garden Circus dell'Hotel Fortyseven, Via Luigi Petroselli 47, Rome, Italy
*La Fata Ignorante, Via Giuseppe Giulietti 5/5a/7, Rome, Italy
*Flavio Al Velavevodetto , Via di Monte Testaccio 97/99, 00153 Rome (table on the terrace)
*Trattoria Perilli, Via Marmorata, 39, 00153 Rome, Italy (Testaccio)
*Renato e Luisa, Via dei Barbieri 25, 00186 Rome, Italy
*Hostaria Corte Del Grillo
*Enoteca Ferrara in Trastavere (Note: We are planning to be in Trastavere and to go to De Enzo on another night)
*Dal Gusto

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  1. Pinsere looks really good http://theromedigest.com/pinsere/
    but its takeout only and doesnt look from this like its open Sunday. (seems likel it would be good for a picnic, though


    Sunday is a great festive lunch day in Rome - and you will likely want to sit down after your morning activities. (just a suggestion) Why not consider having your celebration meal at lunchtime instead of in the evening. then, you can look for something lighter in the evening? .

    2 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      I agree with Jen--Sunday lunch would be a better option and a nice break between two wonderful museums. Ristorante Colline Emiliane might be a good choice, as it is open for Sunday lunch and is (more or less) between your two destinations.

      1. re: lisaonthecape

        Thank you for the suggestions. Ristorante Colline Emiliane sounds like a great option.

    2. [ignore this-- my error -- can't locate a delete option]

      1. Pinsere is not only take out, you can eat there, but it is a hole in the wall with no seating and closed on weekends (sat and sun).
        As to dinner: 7:30 is way too early and you need to research the opening days of them, some are not open for sunday dinner.

        1 Reply
        1. re: vinoroma

          Thanks. I thought I had shortened my list to restaurants open on Sunday. I'll re-review my options. If they were open on Sunday, is there any one above you'd say I really should try before leaving Rome.

        2. We were in Roma last month. We really liked Renato & Luisa and have eaten at Enoteca Ferrara in the past and thought it was also very good. In days gone by we have enjoyed Circus at Hotel 47 so we tried on this trip. Unfortunately, it was a huge disappointment. I would drop it from your list. Good luck.

          1. You've listed so many completely different places, it's hard to say which one to go to. You've gone from fancy hotel to simple Testaccio Trattoria here.
            For something in between the two, I'd go with Renato e Luisa. But it doesn't open until 8pm.


            1 Reply
            1. re: minchilli

              Thank you for your suggestion. We're leaving for Rome this Friday. I made reservations at Renato e Luisa, but just read your recommendations at F&W. Do you think I should switch to Coromandel?

            2. My boyfriend is taking me to Rome for my birthday too! And London for the second time this year. When we do international travel, we always find out where the locals go, not just touristy high price places, unless maybe we are shopping.... have fun

              2 Replies
              1. re: sept251986

                Thanks. If we can get a hold of Renato e Luisa to make a reservation, we're hoping to go there for dinner. So where are you going-in Rome and London? Because of work, we'll be flying from Italy to London before going home. I was thinking about trying the Coal Vaults when we get to London.

                1. re: HollyR

                  Hi! My boyfriend has mentioned some nightlife things like clubs, (we plan on hitting AKAB, trast'e) because I like to go dancing. Not sure about restaurants, as he's trying to keep some details a surprise for my birthday :) Haven't made it to the Coal Vaults in soho, though he has mentioned that particular place. We are also going from Italy back to London since he owns a flat in Essex. I have to recommend Les Trois Chateau, we spent his birthday there and had an astounding experience. Also, on the other side of of the spectrum, there is a fun place that a friend of ours owns called Meat and Liquor right off Oxford st. It's theme is sort of fashion griddy, type influence. Artistic rawness, different writings on the walls slightly like the graffiti written in some American metropolises. They play only American rock/alternative music, which is a perfect finishing touch to the atmosphere. Get there before 8pm this place is so widely popular a line starts to form down the street as the evening goes on. Well, time do a little packing, we are doing Paris again before London and Rome and I'm leaving on Monday. Have fun on your trip, take care

              2. Just back from our trip. I ended up having my birthday dinner at Renato e Luisa. Boy, was it disappointing. The food was mediocre. We started with the raw fish plate and stuffed zucchini blossoms. Nothing wrong with the fish, but the zucchini blossoms were bland and unevenly fried. The service was poor, but friendly. My spouse spoke with the manager (possibly owner) and was assured they'd do something for my birthday (glass of Spumante, candle...) Nada. On the plus side, the wine was good and the portions were large.

                2 Replies
                1. re: HollyR

                  sorry about your birthday meal - what else did they serve you?

                  any by the way, what else did you eat in Rome? looking forward to hearing about the rest!

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    I'm embarrassed to say I'm not sure what else we had at Renato e Luisa, I took photos of our appetizers (the most appealing part of the meal) and made a note to myself about the rest.
                    For this trip, I'm using the "worth a detour" idea as my bar. Machiavelli's Club meets that standard. Finding it is half the fun. I really enjoyed the experience at Machiavelli's Club. The owner was so friendly and excited about what he's doing. The lasagna with truffles was the highlight there. (Note: The menu changes weekly). He used an ancient recipe to make bitter greens that were very satisfying. FYI, as I recall, this is a cash only place.
                    Lunch at Colline Emillane - nice atmosphere, pleasant staff - attentive by Rome standards, but the food wasn't anything spectacular. I believe we shared a pasta dish and a thin fried pork cutlet filled with cheese. I'd go again if it was convenient to where I needed to be.
                    Lunch at Oratorio Bistrot at Piazza San Bernardo. I'd eat there again if it were convenient. The atmosphere on the roof overlooking a statue store seemed romantic.
                    Dinner at De Enzo Al 29 in Trastevere was worth the trip. I really can't say if it's the best in Trastevere, but it was recommended to me by someone who spent a lot of time there. It's very casual with quick efficient staff. The wine and Carbonara pasta were good and reasonable. I thought the fried artichoke wasn't as good as other spots and wouldn't order that here again. We had some other items, but I'd go back for the pasta. If you go, make sure to have a reservation.
                    I also spent an afternoon in a cooking class that was a lot of fun and enjoyed that meal immensely - booked through The International Kitchen (you can also go directly to fabiolouscookingday