Fine dining in Rome - no jacket required ;-)
Looking for a truly wonderful, consistently excellent fine dining experience in Rome.
Except, my husband does not own a jacket.
As of now the best I can come up with is Pierluigi, which sounds lovely but not exciting to me.
My wife and I had a nice, but not exciting, lunch at Pierluigi last week. The octopus terrine was quite good, but the John Dory was cooked in a strange manner. It was "nice", but not exciting. We probably won't go back.
We had an excellent lunch at Trattoria alla Tullio, although I think that they now refer to themselves as Ristorante Tullio. However, most respondents on this board probably consider Tullio less exciting than Pierluigi.
The one exciting meal we had was at Le Tre Zucche, innovative, modern, yet traditional dishes. Highly recommended. You can read about it here: http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.c... If you decide to go to Le Tre Zucche, you should definitely make a reservation. The taxi ride from your hotel will be EUR 15 each way, or more, and it would be a shame to pay all that money and not get in. We'll definitely go back the next time we're in Rome.
May I add Piperno? No slobs allowed, the service and food are as good as ever as I can attest from a lovely long lunch three days ago.
Perhaps as an added bonus, several capo di capo tutti from Parliament were dining in their snazzy tailored suits with smartly attired body guards stationed nearby.
I would echo the comments on Pier Luigi - no reason to make an effort as the food is decidedly mediocre. Exception is if you snag a table outside on the bustling piazza. Piperno has five tables set outside on a far nicer, albeit tiny, piazza - reserve a seat there and chow down in style with your jacket-less hubby!
re: jen kalb
Fair enough Jen! We had a lovely vignarola which is available for only a limited time in the early spring (artichokes, fava beans, peas, pancetta) - unusual and delicious.
We split a mouth watering pasta carbonara and had carcioi guidica (fried artichokes) and stuffed zucchini flowers - all fried impeccably as usual. One person had a rombo, a thin white fish, cooked in a white wine sauce. Another enjoyed the fried seafood platter (fritto mare) - delicious - along with several veg contorni.
Desert was semifreddo and chocolate gelato, again terrific, wine by the glass was bianco and Tuscan merlot.
Great meal, great service, great ambiance nestled outside on a pleasant May afternoon at Piperno's.
We had the exact opposite experience round the corner at Al Pompiere. Service...lets just say the different waiters were confused about the daily special and who was supposed to wait on our table at lunch (with only three other tables filled).
Pompiere's version of carciofi and fiore zucca were greasy and tough with little flavor - a huge qualitative difference with Piperno's version.
The heralded mixed grilled seafood at 22 euros was overpriced and the plate was bereft of nicely prepared seafood. A small piece of greasy, undercooked salmon the size of one's palm, two small crab legs, one prawn and one teeny tiny calamari do not make it worth $30.
The special eventually was "pasta with red beans." Which proved to be a soup in a small bowl speckled with red beans and small broken strips of undercooked linguine (as if the pasta was tossed in at the last minute). This soup had very little flavor and tasted like it had been prepared quite awhile before. Not good. We would not go back.