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May 1, 2014 05:55 AM

Rome, Pierluigi

In reply to another Chowhounder today, I provided a brief review of Pierluigi:
In Rome on Easter Sunday I ate at Pierluigi and had very fine fish, the sea beam, grilled (you can have it baked as well, and several other preparations). I was absolutely fresh and very, very flavorable. It came to my table fileted and ready to eat; In some places I've had to do the fileting myself. Two men at the next table had the same kind of fish, so they go Russian Service: The fish was fileted at their table. For my appetizer I had the octopus cooked in wine, pressed flat like thin cuts of sausage. Very tasty, in an unusual way.

When in Italy, and eating fish, try the wonderful white wines of Friuli, which in my parts of Gringoland aren't to be found. My wine at Pierluigi, at the waiter's recommendation, was a Savignon Blanc, "Livio Felluge"; heavenly, with a slight taste of Granny Smith apples.

I add, that I sat outside in the little piazza; (I could't up load the photo) It was beginning to get a bit chilly, so the waiter brought me a shawl. Throughout the evening taxis kept pulling up on the main street (not in the piazza) and discharging customers for Pierluigi. After finishing the bottle of wine, I needed a taxi to get back to hotel! So reservations are essential, and can be made online.

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  1. Today I put up photos on my Facebook page, "Sid Cundiff"

    1. thanks for the report!

      funny, after years of eating whole fish in Chinese restaurrants I rather resent having my fish boned,by the waiters in more upscale italian restaurants, since so much of the juiciest meat is near the bones or in the head. Also, one normally pays by weight - and quite dearly- for wild whole fish in Italy, so wewant to get everything we paid for.But thats obviously swimming against the tide in a fine dining restaurant!

      5 Replies
      1. re: jen kalb

        Well, you still have to be careful when you eat fish; the fileter can't get all the tiny bones.

        1. re: jen kalb

          Jen, whenever Franco, who is very expert at fish surgery, lets a waiter fillet a fish for us, he asks to have the head and makes sure nothing edible is left on the platter.

          1. re: jen kalb

            This makes me smile in recognition (southern Chinese by ancestry). 'Why did the fish grow a tasty head if it's not to be eaten' my grand-father would say when I used to balk at it as a child.

            But we never encounter any problems in Italy, France or Spain, when we request that the entire fish, head, bones and all be left with us, only a pleasant nod of approval later when my husband turns out to have consumed the whole thing leaving only clean bones and the hard white orbs from the inside of the eyes.

            1. re: shakti2

              Absolutely. Eating the head is the best way to earn respect in a fish restaurant, which means you will get the best fish when you return the next day.

          2. Probably walked by the place a million times when I lived in Rome, but never ate there. Who knows why some places get on your radar and others never do. obviously all the taxis suggest something - kick-backs to the concierge?

            2 Replies
            1. re: bropaul

              If the implication of your remarks about "kickbacks" is that only taxi drivers are recommending Pierluigi, that is incorrect. I won't go into a dissertation about what it takes to get a taxi in Rome, but Pierluigi is a well-known restaurant, booked up well in advance. Even though it is not on your radar, it certainly is on many people's, including Hillary Clinton's, when she dined there while Secretary of State. (It has an ideal location from the point of view of a secret service agent, if nothing else).

              Even though the restaurant is located in an area generally popular with the "wander and stroll" sub-set of American tourists, it is hard to imagine you would have passed it without noting its lovely position and near-private piazza and been curious to know if the food was any good.

              I ate there not all that long ago (2 or 3 years) and even ate the dish pictured by minchilli. I have had better versions of pressed octopus in both Liguria and Sicity (maybe because the olive oil is better there?), but the food at Pierluigi is fresh and high quality (if a bit safe).

              1. re: barberinibee

                That was not my implication at all, I mentioned concierges, and maybe that was uncalled for. My point was that sometimes very good restaurants manage to stay off the "go to" lists. I did ,in fact, note its lovely location many times, but because I had never heard anyone talk about it, I didn't think twice about it.

            2. Their 'carpaccio' of octopus is one of their signature dishes. It actually isn't cooked in wine,but in it's own juices. It is then pressed tightly into a round form, where it firms up and becomes a type of solid loaf that can be sliced very thinly. It is then served on a plate, drizzled with olive oil. I'll upload a photo below so you can see how pretty it is. It is delicious!!!
              I"ll also upload a photo of the beautiful square.


              2 Replies
              1. re: minchilli

                Thank you for your kind words, and thank you for the photos

                1. re: minchilli

                  Gnam! Does that look good. . . next time I'm in Rome.

                2. Thanks for the report Sid! Pierlugi will go on the list for the next trip to Rome!

                  I agree with the Friuli wine suggestions - some of the best whites around. If you are ever near Cormons, stop at Livio Felluga - we spent a lovely afternoon there!