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Feb 23, 2014 05:18 AM

Rome - Seafood lunch or dinner

Hello Chowers -

My 30th birthday is coming up, and I'd like to go out with my partner for a good fish meal (lunch or dinner) in Rome.

I am considering:

La Gensola
Trattoria Da Teo
Bar Sotto il Mare
Isole di Sicilia/Sicilia in Bocca
Il Drappo
Queen 225

I have not eaten at any of these places and would appreciate your comments/recommendations. We can't break the bank this year, so I'm looking for somewhere with more substance than style / a buon rapporto tra qualità e prezzo. Nothing too fancy or innovative - just good fish. Ultimately, I'd be thrilled with giant plate of fritto misto di mare and a good bottle of white wine.

I've been having some trouble identifying this sort of seafood place in Rome - is there one or should I be directing my attention to eating traditional alla romana instead?


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  1. unfortunately, that is a difficult thing in Rome. We do go to a few places for that level & type of thing you describe, though none of them is awesome (some are in Ostia on the beach). Best fish in Rome is at il San Lorenzo, but that is over your budget. I understand your problem and feel for you, but do not have a great suggestion for you. I can give you feedback on your list.
    La Gensola might be your best bet. forget da Teo (neither very fishy, nor too good). Bar Sotto il Mare used to be nice, though I haven't been in years. Sicilia in Bocca used to be better. il Drappo is the most upscale among your list. don't know queen 225.

    5 Replies
    1. re: vinoroma

      Are there any good places in Anzio these days?

      1. re: jen kalb

        We are loyal to Pierino, though we haven't been this year -- all the rain I guess. We love it.

      2. re: vinoroma

        Haven't been there in years, but we used to think that the fish at Piperno was great. Is it still good? Thanks.

        1. re: bcc

          I had fish there a couple of years ago and thought it was great. Paris, in Trastevere, also always had good fish but haven't been in a long time.

          1. re: bcc

            Piperno very much depends on which night you go, and what fish they get in. The fish is displayed as you walk in, so you can always take a look. But it's not known as a fish restaurant per se.

            For fish these days I go to Il Localino di Claudio. Claudio is the owner of La Gensola, but has given that place over to his son. Irene, the wife, seems to go back and forth. Both are very good, but I prefer the less crowded and certainly less touristy feel of the place off of Via Veneto.

            If you feel like an adventure, I can recommend two places in Santa Marinella. A 45 minute train ride from Rome. Acqua Marina is right off the main beach, and an easy walk from the train station. Tavola Azzura 2 is further south, about a kilometer down the Aurelia. Acqua Marina is fancier, and more expensive. Tavola Azzura is almost like a tavola calda, but has amazing fish at crazy cheap prices. While we were there this past Sunday 2 fishermen came in with huge, flipping fresh fish they were delivering. Just caught.


        2. I had a very good seafood meal many years ago at Da Vincenzo, which is not too far a walk from the train station. Has anyone been there recently?

          1. Wondered if any of our Romans had every been to this restaurant Chinappi, which was written up a couple years ago on the Pignataro blog - it seems to originate in Formia


            6 Replies
            1. re: jen kalb

              i was invited by someone some years ago and did like the food (atmosphere was a bit stuffy). I go by rather often now and they did renovate and it looks nicer now, and the prices are very high - which can be acceptable when the fish is good (as it was the one time I ate there). been meaning to check out the 40 euro lunch menu, maybe i can do that soon. But still, it is above OP's budget this time around.

              1. re: jen kalb

                We went to the place in Formia and didn't like it. Then we were invited to try the place in Rome and didn't like that either. They were very nice, but the food just left us underwhelmed. Also, it was practically across the street from Tuna, which was much better but has now closed.

                1. re: mbfant

                  practically across from the street from Tuna - i might be yet again thinking about a different place, for the one i mean is close to porta pia. will check now.

                  1. re: vinoroma

                    from the way the Pignataro blog piece is worded, it looks like this restaurant may have moved at some point? Maybe thats causing the confusion.

                  2. re: mbfant

                    yep, the one Jen kalb linked to and the one i meant is between Piazza Fiume/Porta Pia. Maureen, maybe you are thinking about another place?

                    1. re: vinoroma

                      Chinappi where I was, which is related to the one in Formia, is about three feet from Piazza Barberini. I don't know any other. I don't think it has moved, but I haven't been paying attention.

                2. I had an excellent meal at La Gensola about two years ago. I can't recall the total amount of money but I'd wager it around 250 E for 4 people with a couple bottles of wine. I didn't find anything to be horribly expensive.

                  1. Thank everyone for their recommendations - will take another at your ideas and report back with any developments!