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Feb 10, 2014 01:11 PM

Five Dinners in Trastevere

My daughter and son-in-law are taking a belated honeymoon in Italy in April and will be staying in Trastevere in Rome (Wife and I were there for five days about five years ago and loved it). They're both foodies but more into the authentic than the high end. And daughter spent a study-abroad semester in Sienna, so quite familiar with real Italian food.

I've monitored this board quite extensively and have also checked out Yelp, Trip Advisor and two local food bloggers including Elizabeth. Aside from pizzerias (Marmi, Poeta & Ivo) I've come up with the following dinner possibles. Any feedback would be most welcome. Thanks!

Da Enzo Al 29
Trattoria Da Augusto
Osteria Der Belli
Spirito Divino - (For their one nicer meal in Rome)
Le Mani in Pasta
La Scala

One wild card is Hosteria La Botticella which gets raves on both Yelp and TA but has zero mentions on Chowhound. Anybody been there?

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  1. We went to La Botticella several years ago, and it was a mistake -- to put it mildly. One look at the menu should have warned us to leave -- so large and varied that "microwave" popped in our minds immediately. We were with a friend who lives in Trastevere and who had chosen it so we stayed, and my secondo was still cold inside. One restaurant where we've consistently eaten well that's not on your list is Isole di Sicilia, on via Garibaldi.

    1. did you see this thread?
      there have been several on Trastevere over the last few years. Definitely have to pick and choose - not sure yelp has established itself as any kind of credible resource in Italy yet and TA has its issues.

      Just remember, they can easily take a short walk across the river for different dinner options which might even be closer than some of the Trastevere places..

      Hope they have a great visit!

      1. Yes I had monitored the "writers" thread, but a lot of the restaurants mentioned are in the upper end (more than 100 Euros for 2) category. And thanks for the lowdown on La Botticella. Is the same true for Sette Oche which seems to be a well reviewed, reasonably priced non-touristy type of place?

        1 Reply
        1. re: warrenmi

          the problem we found with Trastevere is that it seemed that there were a whole lot of fairly inexpensive restaurants and they were filled with crowds of people, but the food quality was not necessarily high - for the same reason as in say the Village in NY or the Left Bank in Paris - not only tourism but young people coming in for a night out. So you have to be selective. Also because of the crowds, reservations are important - we prefer to just walk in, and barely found a seat in Trastevere on a weekend evening.

        2. If they enjoy their first meal, they should keep returning to the same trattoria, especially since their interest is traditional Roman food. They are unlikely to exhaust the menu possibilities in five dinners and they are likely to be embraced by the owners as "regular" customers. If they don't like their first meal, start moving down the list, but if they hit a winner for their pocketbook and palate, stick with it.

          You don't say where in Trastevere they will be staying, but If they have a particular interest in sampling Roman Jewish cuisine, heading across the river usually isn't difficult.

          Maybe Da Teo belongs on the Trastevere list. It certainly fits the budget. You can read about it at the bottom of this guest post on the Parla Food blog:

          1. Trastevere is sometimes difficult since it is so touristy these days. Da Enzo used to be great, but I haven't been there in ages. I'm no fan of Mani in Pasta, which I think is over priced and uncomfortable.

            But there is no reason they have to stay in Trastevere. It's very easy to get to other areas of Rome and they are within walking distance of the area around Campo de' Fiori and the Jewish Ghetto.

            Also, just a quick tram ride away is Cesare al Caseletto, which they should definitely make a point of going to. Also easy to get to with public transportation from Trastervere are:
            Gatta Mangiona (pizza)
            Osteria Monteverde
            Both in Monteverde, not far from Trastevere.


            3 Replies
            1. re: minchilli

              There might be reasons to want to dine near where one is staying in Trastevere, maybe especially depending on where they are staying in Trastevere. Interesting that the whole of Trastevere would be seen as more touristy than Campo de' Fiori, which many find fairly touristy (and which I find downright unappealing at various times). Good advice to research beyond Trastevere if one can just as easily walk into a neighboring rione (they might be closer to Testaccio or areas opposite the Vatican) but surely a lot of people visiting Rome for a short period don't really want to be taking buses and trams to and from dinner -- and have good reasons! -- or even taxis. The link that I posted tells the story of going back to a simple trattoria in Trastevere twice because not only did they like the food and the owners but it was close to the hotel, and this added to the enjoyability of dining during their visit to Rome. And this was from a food blogger who had eaten in Campo de'Fiori as well.

              Maybe knowing the exact location of the lodgings in Trastevere would turn up something in the immediate neighborhood that would satisfy. (And maybe not!)

              1. re: kmzed

                I agree with the advice of returning to a place you like - unfortunately we tend not to do this enough in our visits.

                Also unfortunately da Teo seems to have garnered some downhill alerts and downright pans here since it was written about on Katie's blog. one sample

                1. re: jen kalb

                  Yes, da teo disappoints with big portions instead of good quality - katie's blog post is older and on her app she has noted this downward trend.