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Eating in Rome
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  • Eating in Rome

    Post #1 - June 28th, 2006, 10:34 am
    Post #1 - June 28th, 2006, 10:34 am Post #1 - June 28th, 2006, 10:34 am
    Hi everyone,
    Wife and I are going to Rome in a few days and wondered what eating tips people have. Anything appreciated! Little places, etc. Good places to walk and taste.

    thanks,

    Howard Alt
  • Post #2 - June 28th, 2006, 10:39 am
    Post #2 - June 28th, 2006, 10:39 am Post #2 - June 28th, 2006, 10:39 am
    The gelato places nearest tourist attractions are the priciest with the ones near the Spanish Steps priced the highest of all. Guess my mind isn't on lunch, it's on dessert.
  • Post #3 - June 28th, 2006, 10:59 am
    Post #3 - June 28th, 2006, 10:59 am Post #3 - June 28th, 2006, 10:59 am
    You should go to Trastevere (which is a less touristy area) and go to Trattoria Lucia. My husband and I ate lunch there twice while we were on our honeymoon. In fact, it was our favorite restaurant in Rome. We went to a very high end restaurant recommended by a friend that cost five times the price of Lucia and much preferred Lucia. I may have had the carbonara on both days--it was so delicious. They also had wonderful gnocchi but only on Thursday. I normally don't like red sauce but the red sauce in Italy was wonderful. It seemed to have a touch of cream in it along with some pancetta and was much less acidic. They also don't drown the pasta in sauce. We ate outside at Lucia since the weather was beautiful but the inside of the restaurant looked very nice as well. Have a wonderful trip!
  • Post #4 - June 28th, 2006, 2:19 pm
    Post #4 - June 28th, 2006, 2:19 pm Post #4 - June 28th, 2006, 2:19 pm
    Hey, Howard!

    Here's a very recent thread with a lot of info on Rome:

    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=8402&highlight=
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #5 - June 28th, 2006, 2:22 pm
    Post #5 - June 28th, 2006, 2:22 pm Post #5 - June 28th, 2006, 2:22 pm
    I concur with Rudy regarding Trastevere....it's one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in Rome, and not so overrun with tourists...lot's of great nightlife too....there is one place right on the square, directly on the other side from the oldest church in Rome...everything is marvelous (best proscuitto and melon I've ever had...they are known for it)..can't remember the name, but you can't miss it if you're in the small square. Perfect service, jovial Italian atmosphere.....great memory...

    The best overall advice (as was alluded to earlier), do not eat near Spanish Steps, Trevi, Coliseum or any other highly touristed area....I've had better food at the Olive Garden than at some of these overpriced dumps...and I despise the Olive Garden...
  • Post #6 - June 28th, 2006, 3:02 pm
    Post #6 - June 28th, 2006, 3:02 pm Post #6 - June 28th, 2006, 3:02 pm
    My friend got married in Rome in April '05. The wedding dinner was at a wonderful restaurant and we enjoyed a typical Roman meal. Good service too but I have no idea of prices.

    Ristorante Pierluigi
    Piazza de Ricci, 144
    phone: +06-68-61-302
    www.pierluigi.it

    I also ate at a nice place near the Piazza Navona, also featuring typical Roman cuisine.

    Ristorante da Ottavio
    Corso Del Rinascimento, 17
    +06-68-80-3264

    Enjoy.

    Diannie
  • Post #7 - June 28th, 2006, 3:12 pm
    Post #7 - June 28th, 2006, 3:12 pm Post #7 - June 28th, 2006, 3:12 pm
    ParkLaBrea wrote:The best overall advice (as was alluded to earlier), do not eat near Spanish Steps, Trevi, Coliseum or any other highly touristed area....I've had better food at the Olive Garden than at some of these overpriced dumps...and I despise the Olive Garden...


    I disagree, while the ratio of bad to good restaurants is higher in these areas, great restaurants are all over Rome (including by the Coliseum). You just have to look for the right signs: menu in Italian only (maybe English too, but not more than two languages), listen for Italian and see what kind of crowd is eating there, and check the small streets surrounding the tourist destinations - a lot of great restaurants are buried.

    Many more high-quality local places can be found further away from the central tourist places, but don't let that discourage you from exploring anyway.

    One of my favorite lunch spots was on Via del Gesu, just north of Il Gesu. You eat what they're making for the day. Usually there are about three options for each course. Pretty simple food, but delicious, affordable and fresh. We went every week for months and our only complaint was one day of bad tomotoes in the caprese. I forget the name, but it has a signboard outside listing the daily menur. There tends to be a crowd of Italian businessmen/women but its great for lunch if you're in the area.
  • Post #8 - June 28th, 2006, 3:54 pm
    Post #8 - June 28th, 2006, 3:54 pm Post #8 - June 28th, 2006, 3:54 pm
    Hey, Park...

    I'm with SoylentKatie.

    There's definitely a much higher ratio of crappy tourist trap restaurants if you're eating in those areas, but this doesn't mean that there aren't some real gems as well. I've eaten all over the city, and a couple of my best experiences have been within spitting distance of the Pantheon. I suppose you could argue that you're more likely to end up with a lousy meal if you're choosing at random, but I also think it's pretty easy to eliminate most of the chaff. If there's a huge markerboard out front with specials in English, it's a pretty good indication that you should move on :-)
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #9 - June 28th, 2006, 4:56 pm
    Post #9 - June 28th, 2006, 4:56 pm Post #9 - June 28th, 2006, 4:56 pm
    Gusto, a high-concept enoteca/pizzeria/restaurant with a kitchen store - fantastic cheeses, loads of fun. We ate at the lower level, the casual wine/cheese/salumi place, not the restaurant upstairs.

    Piazza Augusto Imperatore, 9 , Rome , 00186 , +39 06 322 6273
    Near the Spanish Steps & Piazza del Popolo
    Metro: Flaminio
    Reservations recommended
    http://www.gusto.it

    http://www.waitrose.com/food_drink/wfi/ ... 907104.asp
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #10 - June 28th, 2006, 5:13 pm
    Post #10 - June 28th, 2006, 5:13 pm Post #10 - June 28th, 2006, 5:13 pm
    I suspect the restaurant SoylentKatie mentions near il Gesu is Enoteca Corsi (Via del Gesu, 87). It's widely recommended by the guide books, but that hasn't hurt the food one bit. Also, it is pretty inconspicuous, so you need to look for it or you'll walk right by.

    I'm sticking with my recommendations from the link up-thread, but I'd add that on a recent trip I visited several enoteche and was utterly satisfied with each. I most enjoyed Enoteca Ferrazza (via dei Volsci, 59) and Buccone (via di Ripetta, 19,20).
  • Post #11 - June 28th, 2006, 5:13 pm
    Post #11 - June 28th, 2006, 5:13 pm Post #11 - June 28th, 2006, 5:13 pm
    Dmnkly wrote:Hey, Park...

    I'm with SoylentKatie.


    Let me third that. I've spent a lot of time in Rome over the years and there are good spots in all parts of the city, including around the central areas frequented by tourists, and they can generally be recognised by various indicators. Of course, it is also true that there are quite a few tourist traps that serve up some vile viddles, so one does need to assess carefully before diving into an unknown.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #12 - June 28th, 2006, 7:49 pm
    Post #12 - June 28th, 2006, 7:49 pm Post #12 - June 28th, 2006, 7:49 pm
    Rudy wrote:You should go to Trastevere (which is a less touristy area) and go to Trattoria Lucia. My husband and I ate lunch there twice while we were on our honeymoon. In fact, it was our favorite restaurant in Rome.


    Da Lucia, on Vicolo del Mattonato, was where The Wife and I had our farewell to Roma dinner a few months ago. I lost all my notes, but I recall that I liked it.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #13 - June 28th, 2006, 8:30 pm
    Post #13 - June 28th, 2006, 8:30 pm Post #13 - June 28th, 2006, 8:30 pm
    My wife and I just returned from Italy, having first spent a few days in Rome, where we had some wonderful meals in some charming, really inexpensive places. It's pretty hard to go wrong just popping into a neighborhood trattoria, ordering a couple of courses and a carafe of the house vino rosso. I think the only thing you get in the fancy restaurants in the tourist areas is a bigger bill. And yes, the Trastevere area is really worth an evening's visit.

    At the risk of igniting controversy, I also have to say that in my experience in Italy, the most humble slice of pizza, whether from a Tuscan hill town or a corner stand in Rome, surpasses just about anything we call pizza here. There, I said it.
  • Post #14 - June 28th, 2006, 9:14 pm
    Post #14 - June 28th, 2006, 9:14 pm Post #14 - June 28th, 2006, 9:14 pm
    Paul SL wrote:At the risk of igniting controversy, I also have to say that in my experience in Italy, the most humble slice of pizza, whether from a Tuscan hill town or a corner stand in Rome, surpasses just about anything we call pizza here. There, I said it.


    If you're in Campo de' Fiori, do NOT miss the pizza bianca romana at the Antico Forno. Marco, the pizza guru, says it is even better at Pizzarium, which I haven't tried but will before I die.

    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #15 - June 29th, 2006, 6:39 am
    Post #15 - June 29th, 2006, 6:39 am Post #15 - June 29th, 2006, 6:39 am
    Piccolo Abruzzo (Via Sicilia 237) was my favorite place in Rome, ate dinner there three nights in a row it was so good - and entertaining.

    Smallish neighborhood place, maybe twenty tables so have your concierge make a reservation. A couple blocks behind the Via Veneto, the location is pretty central. No menus, you just sit down and the owner tells you what they got from the market that day so you just sit back and let them bring it on. Just the owner and one assistant run the whole show, they constantly run back and forth between the kitchen and the front room, preparing dishes and then coming out to the dining room with a big pan and portioning out the dishes amongst all the tables.

    There's a nice antipasti table set up, you just help yourself. This includes a big ham set up on a vice, you grab a big knife laying there on the table and just slice it off yourself (I'd like to see how long the lawyers/aldermen would let a restaurant pull that off here). After that they just start bringing out plate after plate of various antipasti and primi and secondi and dolci. If you're eating they'll skip you when they come out, but just chill and they'll bring out another dish by the time you're ready. Amidst the chaos they remember how your progressing through your meal. Delicious food, I recall one meal starting with a simple pasta with an Abruzzese ricotta-ish country cheese, olive oil and black pepper - so good and so simple I wanted to cry, but that seems to be the case everywhere you eat in Italy. Then it kept building from there.

    The place doesn't get going till around 9pm, so don't arrive too early. One evening could only be described as Felliniesque - we were pleasantly buzzed on the nice house vino rosso and the great food. Then around 10 or 11 or so, in walks a 6'4" blond-wigged transvestite (a pretty conspicuous and not very attractive TV too I might add), a 5'6" skinny little Italian dude, and a dwarf. They must have been regulars, because the owner smothered them kisses and Ciao Bellas. The room is pretty loud, in the theatrical way of Italians demonstrably enjoying a good meal.

    As an aside, you may encounter another table speaking English - horrors! Why does everyone wretch at the thought of eating anywhere that you might encounter a fellow American (I'm assuming running into a Frenchman or Brit in Italy would be ok)? Do we have such a low opinion of our own palates that breaking bread with a fellow tourist is proof that a place sux? If you want to skip places where tourists might hang out, you'll be missing some really classic places around the world - Paris comes to mind immediately: Cafe Fleur, Les Deux Magots, Brasserie Lipp, Bofinger, Brasserie Ile de St. Louis, etcetera etcetera. And of course you'd have to skip practically every restaurant in Santa Fe, right Bill?
  • Post #16 - June 29th, 2006, 7:24 am
    Post #16 - June 29th, 2006, 7:24 am Post #16 - June 29th, 2006, 7:24 am
    Fast Eddie wrote:As an aside, you may encounter another table speaking English - horrors! Why does everyone wretch at the thought of eating anywhere that you might encounter a fellow American (I'm assuming running into a Frenchman or Brit in Italy would be ok)? Do we have such a low opinion of our own palates that breaking bread with a fellow tourist is proof that a place sux? If you want to skip places where tourists might hang out, you'll be missing some really classic places around the world - Paris comes to mind immediately: Cafe Fleur, Les Deux Magots, Brasserie Lipp, Bofinger, Brasserie Ile de St. Louis, etcetera etcetera. And of course you'd have to skip practically every restaurant in Santa Fe, right Bill?


    Fast Eddie,

    Good point BUT I don't think anyone above was saying that places with tourists are bad; were that the case, we ourselves would be contaminating and ruining places whenever we go eat while on holiday. There is a distinction to be made between places where tourists (as well as others) go and places which are designed to draw in tourists for maximally fast and fat profit, with no especial interest in quality and return business. Of such tourist traps there are many in Italy and sometimes they're not quite so obviously tourist traps as one might think. One does need to consider carefully and frankly, if there are two places in the same neighbourhood and one is filled with Germans and/or Dutchmen and/or Englishmen and/or, yes, Americans, while the other is filled with locals, I would be inclined to opt for the latter. Other factors might move me to reconsider that inclination but they would surely be somewhat extraordinary.

    Anyway, I agree, the places where tourists rub elbows with locals are not somehow necessarily bad, but places which cater purely to the tourist industry invariably, it seems, are.

    And there are places in Rome and elsewhere in Italy which are supported by locals which are better and some which are relatively worse; all surely better than tourist dives but not all equally wonderful.

    Incidentally, the pasta dish (with ricotta) you describe is one of my favourites and one eaten regularly both by my relatives in Italy and by the smaller branch of the family here.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #17 - June 29th, 2006, 7:51 am
    Post #17 - June 29th, 2006, 7:51 am Post #17 - June 29th, 2006, 7:51 am
    I hear what you're saying, but it cracks me up when people always have to throw in the, "I want to eat at non-touristy places" or feel compelled in their post-mortem to describe a place as "non-touristy". If someone from out of town (wearing sneakers, baseball hat and fanny pack, I'm sure) stopped me on Michigan Avenue and asked me where to eat in Chicago and God forbid failed to include that qualifier, are they afraid I'd send them to the Rain Forest Cafe or Planet Hollywood?

    And to reiterate, I don't think touristy is necessarily bad. Some of the coolest f'ing bars on the planet are the countless old Hemingway haunts. Muy expensivo, si. Crawling with gringos, si. But say what you want about his prose or machismo, the man knew a clean, well-lighted bar when he saw one.
  • Post #18 - June 29th, 2006, 8:43 am
    Post #18 - June 29th, 2006, 8:43 am Post #18 - June 29th, 2006, 8:43 am
    Rome is great for food and everything else. There are myriad fun trattorias and tavolo caldos, but there are also some great places that are worth eating at for the history.

    Here are some notes I wrote up for a friend who recently made her first trip to Italy (I'm leaving out items from the originals that have no bearing on food):

    Stroll down the Via Veneto, Rome’s main thoroughfare, past famous shops and sidewalk cafés. Stop at Donné’s for hot chocolate and people watching.

    Seek out the Piazza Navona, considered Rome’s most beautiful square, where you can admire the magnificent central Fontana dei Fiumi (Fountain of the Rivers) by Bernini. The Piazza Navona occupies the site of the former Domitian stadium, and retains the stadium’s shape. If you feel like a snack, stop at the gelateria at Tre Scalini (one of Rome’s great restaurants) in the Piazza Navona for tortuffo – a decadent chocolate treat, with dark chocolate ice cream rolled in chopped chocolate. It’s not big, but it’s so rich, you won’t feel short-changed.

    History and art are intimately allied with cuisine in this town.

    Dante favored the Hostaria dell’Orso—very elegant, reservations a must. The Hostaria dell’Orso is in a splendid, 14th-century building (and worth the visit, I think, just for the rare opportunity to eat in a building of such antiquity). On the ground floor, there is a lovely piano bar for a before-dinner drink. The restaurant is on the next floor up, divided between the level’s several large rooms. Simply lovely. Oh, and the food is good, too.

    Or have the original fettucine Alfredo at Alfredo’s al Augusteo (reservations recommended – and go early if you just want the pasta – most Americans are surprised to find that, in Italy, pasta is simply the course that precedes the main course, it isn’t the main course). Alfredo invented this dish while his wife was pregnant, as it was the only thing she could keep down. The “Vero Re della Fettucine” (True King of Fettucine”) takes his pasta and his reputation very seriously, but with great good humor. There is a massive frieze about the door with Alfredo in a chariot, holding the reins of the racing horses in one hand and a plate of fettucine in the other. The walls are covered with the pictures of the myriad celebrities and political figures from several continents who have dined here. I liked Sophia Loren’s note to Alfredo: “From Italy’s other famous hot dish.” And the fettucine is better than you can imagine – and only vaguely like what we call Fettucine Alfredo here in the U.S. (no cream, for example). Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. once gave Alfredo a solid-gold fork and spoon (the traditional utensils for consuming pasta) with the comment that only gold was good enough for eating the sublime fettucine. It’s that good. (But it’s okay to eat it with regular silverware.)

    Another fun choice is Sora Lella on the Isola Tiberina. This island in the River Tiber was built up by the Romans to resemble a ship, because that caused the water to pass around the island, rather than tear it apart. Sora Lella is a small trattoria, but it is very Roman, with daily specials such as maialino all'antica roma (suckling pig with prunes, pine nuts, and raisins) and Roman ricotta cake. It’s fun to visit the restroom, because the water of the Tiber River rushes past only a few feet below the window! Begun by a local woman, Sora Lella, the restaurant has become something of a monument to one of her sons, who became a widely known entertainer in Rome. It’s not as cheap as some trattoria’s, but it’s more interesting than most other trattoria’s.

    I never got there, but my parents liked the Taberna Ulpia in Trajan’s Forum. It’s where centurions entertained their ladies after events at the Colosseum! You can just go for drinks after you’ve had dinner somewhere else, if you find you have more places to try than nights in which to try them.

    The possibilities are almost limitless, however, and almost everything cooked in Rome is great. My favorite Roman dishes include Saltimbocca alla Romana (veal cooked with prosciutto and sage in white wine) and spaghetti alla carbonara (spaghetti tossed with eggs, pancetta, cheese, and olive oil – much better than it sounds, actually). But I can’t remember a bad meal.

    Outside of town, you can visit Frascati, home of one of Italy's most pleasant white wines, which bears the same name as the town. Great little cliff-side restaurants offer views and food to enjoy with your wine.
  • Post #19 - June 29th, 2006, 8:44 am
    Post #19 - June 29th, 2006, 8:44 am Post #19 - June 29th, 2006, 8:44 am
    Yeah Solyn and others...you are right..that was probably too broad a generalization on my part....especially in light of the fact one of the finest, most elegant restaurants I've ever experienced is not far from the Spanish Steps (I didn't mention it, as I've forgotten the name...so I'm no good to anybody here!)

    I guess the point was, if you truly are "flying blind" in Rome, just be careful around the big attractions...and in any case, it's always best to do some research first (which of course is why she posted here) so that you won't be disappointed. I've known some people who have returned from Italy/France/NY or other culinary capitals...only to return severely disallusioned at the "overrated" food.....that's a shame...
  • Post #20 - June 29th, 2006, 8:50 am
    Post #20 - June 29th, 2006, 8:50 am Post #20 - June 29th, 2006, 8:50 am
    You also need to take into consideration the dynamic nature of both the establishment and the profile of its patrons. Two local examples come to mind:

    1. A historic restaurant which gained an international reputation for its food and setting. It has since become a true tourist trap, with tour buses ferrying visitors there to enjoy "authentic" local fare. Most locals of my acquantaince only go there with visiting family & friends because the setting is indeed special, but the quality of the food has deteriorated immensely since its heyday.

    2. A relatively new restaurant with spectacular food that was primarily frequented by locals until an article in the New York Times praised it. It has since filled with visitors, but the quality, if anything, has improved.

    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #21 - June 29th, 2006, 9:14 am
    Post #21 - June 29th, 2006, 9:14 am Post #21 - June 29th, 2006, 9:14 am
    Cynthia, my point exactly. There's a reason certain places attain classic status. You usually have to pay a premium for the privilege of eating there, but hopefully they have enough pride in their craft/art to continue maintaining high standards. Frontera Grill in Chicago comes to mind; I personally dislike the no reservations policy/interminable wait for the table and the bum's rush service, but if a friend in town wants to go and has never eaten there I think I'm doing them a real disservice by not letting them eat there. Same with Mario Battali's places in NYC. The food is still pretty damn good. It's like going to the Art Institute and skipping the Impressionist galleries because there's a hoard of people, including tons of those tourists.

    And Bill, let me guess - (2) is Aqua Santa, but (1) I'm not sure. Can't be downtown, because how the hell do get a tour bus to maneuver around the Plaza? Maria's? Not my beloved Harry's I hope!
  • Post #22 - June 29th, 2006, 9:20 am
    Post #22 - June 29th, 2006, 9:20 am Post #22 - June 29th, 2006, 9:20 am
    I can recommend one place that is small, authentic, and very good that is mere feet from one of Rome's great attractions: the Pantheon. It's called Trattoria Armando, and it's about 30 feet down one of the streets running away from the Pantheon. On both occasions I ate there, the twelve or so tables seemed to be filled mainly with locals, with only one or two held by tourists like me. The resturant has an Italian-only menu posted dicscretely out front and only a small window, and so makes little effort to draw the throngs from the nearby square. I went very early in the lunch hour both days to be assured of a table.

    Inside it was homey and welcoming and I enjoyed very good carbonara, artichokes, lamb chops, and a number of other Roman specialties washed down with inexpensive local wine. For a very small, unpretentious restaurant, they have a surprisingly elegant website (which, like the menu, is entirely in Italian):

    http://www.armandoalpantheon.it/home.php

    Also near the Pantheon are two of the best cafes in Rome

    Tazza d'Oro
    Via del Orfani 84

    and

    Sant'Eustachio
    Piazza Sant'Eustachio 82
  • Post #23 - June 29th, 2006, 10:13 am
    Post #23 - June 29th, 2006, 10:13 am Post #23 - June 29th, 2006, 10:13 am
    I was in Rome last month, and having tourists in site of a place, doesn't mean anything, since Rome is crawling with tourists. Half the people on the street seem to have a map out.

    As a foodie, any trip to Rome would be incomplete without a walk through a market. I walked through the one 4-5 blocks north of the Vatican.

    Image

    I'm sorry I don't know the name of the place where I got this ravoli. It might be Gulio's and it's just north of the Vatican on the corner of Via Leone IV. It's the kind of place where Maria or Gulio (the owners) tell you to get the special, you get it.

    Image

    Hostaria dei Bastioni at Via Leone IV 29 at the corner of the Vatican had some excellent food. Stuffed squash blossoms and a special that the owner Antonio insisted on - Fettucine with blood orange. One of the best dishes I've had. I will strive to copy, but never will - blood orange, a little tomato and little cream.

    Image
    Image

    There's a very good Sicilain Gelato place on via Tunisi, again, a block north of the Vatcian wall (my hotel was across the street).

    Image
    When in rome, do as the romans do and stop in an English Pub, I always say. You'd think it would be touristy, but it wasn't. I just needed a beer and this stuff was good - Bull Dog Inn, Corso Vittorio Emanuele (107 maybe?)

    Image

    If you're over by the Pantheon, walk north along Via d. Maddalena and there's a busy Gelato place with a zillion flavors. The Pistachio di Bronte was awesome (the best pistachios come from Bronte in Sicily, hands down.)

    Image

    l'Orso 80, via dell 'Orso 33, is one of those place reccommended by Rick Steves (let me state that I am no fan) so I figured it would be a tourist trap, and even worse, an elderly American Toursit trap, but it was excellent. I was with a group having a special dinner, so it was just antipasti and some pasta, but the antipasti keep coming until our table was full and everything was excellent.

    Image

    If you're over by the Piazza Navona at night, which is a sight to see, as touristy as it is, get a tartufo - chocolate ice cream rolled in chocolate, with a cherry in the middle. I was told to go to Tre Scalini, but I wound up at Mokarabia. On the west side of the plaza, in the middle.

    Image

    Anybody know the address of the little bar called (in Italian) the Baroness of the Seven Beauties? I has a Carousel horse on the bar, and the host is an 80 year old drag queen named Domino. Lots of fun, but packed when he performs.
    Last edited by kiplog on June 29th, 2006, 10:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #24 - June 29th, 2006, 10:22 am
    Post #24 - June 29th, 2006, 10:22 am Post #24 - June 29th, 2006, 10:22 am
    And just in case you don't already know this, be aware that, in Italy, pasta is not a main course. It's the course you have just before the main course. So go prepared to eat abundantly.
  • Post #25 - June 29th, 2006, 11:23 am
    Post #25 - June 29th, 2006, 11:23 am Post #25 - June 29th, 2006, 11:23 am
    Oh..and let's not forget the spectacular pizza...again in Trastevere, there are several amazing local places.....you'll know the good ones by the incredibly frenetic atmosphere....carry out only....kind of remind me of the NY Stock exchange floor...mobbed, with everyone shouting orders to the counter people trying to get their attention...all in Italian of course...

    It's a little intimidating to dive in, especially if you are not fluent in the language (my wife sheepishly waited outside, wondering if she'd ever see me again as I waded in to the mayhem)...I emerged with half my order wrong (and too much of what I DID want)..but boy oh boy...these were some wonderful slices of heaven.....
  • Post #26 - June 29th, 2006, 11:27 am
    Post #26 - June 29th, 2006, 11:27 am Post #26 - June 29th, 2006, 11:27 am
    kiplog wrote:If you're over by the Pantheon, walk north along Via d. Maddalena and there's a busy Gelato place with a zillion flavors. The Pistachio di Bronte was awesome (the best pistachios come from Bronte in Sicily, hands down.)

    Image


    I know that cup :-)

    In the same neighborhood, have you been to Giolitti, just a couple blocks east (via Uffici del Vicario, 40)? Tastes differ, of course, but for me it's a no contest scenario :-)
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #27 - June 29th, 2006, 11:30 am
    Post #27 - June 29th, 2006, 11:30 am Post #27 - June 29th, 2006, 11:30 am
    Ah Roma, ah Italia! You may get arguments from francophiles, but there is no greater pleasure in life for someone who enjoys food than eating in Italy. From Sicily to the Alps, no matter which city or which tiny village, the food & drink is incomparable. The major distinction IMO between France & Italy is that the Italians don't take it all so goddamned serious, they just enjoy the hell out of their amazing meals and make sure that everyone else knows about it. They know what's good and when they go out to eat they get it.
  • Post #28 - June 29th, 2006, 12:15 pm
    Post #28 - June 29th, 2006, 12:15 pm Post #28 - June 29th, 2006, 12:15 pm
    Fast Eddie wrote:Ah Roma, ah Italia! You may get arguments from francophiles, but there is no greater pleasure in life for someone who enjoys food than eating in Italy.


    I love French food, and I think that comparing French and Italian is kind of in the apples to oranges camp, but I will grant, while the best of French food is sublime, I've had a fairly large number of mediocre lower-level meals in France, while I can only remember one meal in four trips to Italy that even came close to being disappointing. Maybe it's because it's easier to turn out good tomato sauce than good béarnaise sauce. Who knows. I'm glad I live in a world where I don't have to choose between the two. But again, I will agree that "ordinary" food in Italy is more consistently tasty than "ordinary" food in France.
  • Post #29 - June 29th, 2006, 5:29 pm
    Post #29 - June 29th, 2006, 5:29 pm Post #29 - June 29th, 2006, 5:29 pm
    I lived in Rome while completing my graduate degree. On my limited student budget, I still found the lira to go to the Old Bridge almost every other day or so. My Roman friends swore it was the best in town, the queue is always around the block.

    Old Bridge
    Via Bastioni di Michelangelo 5
    (about 100m or so from the Vatican museum entrance)

    A local friend of mine treated me to a special meal at Camponsechi. It was expensive on a student budget, but a wonderful Roman meal.

    Camponsechi
    Exact address- not sure
    (on the Piazza Farnese across from the French Embassy. As the American students called it-- the Bathtub Plaza)
  • Post #30 - July 10th, 2006, 9:34 pm
    Post #30 - July 10th, 2006, 9:34 pm Post #30 - July 10th, 2006, 9:34 pm
    Just got back from a week in Rome and want to thank everyone for their posts on Rome in this thread and others. Will go thru the week with our activities, restaurants, etc. But right now to bed due to jet lag.

    Just a couple of standouts: Gusto and Fiametta, both in your recommendations. Also the market in testaccio.

    More later,

    psychchef

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