6.30.2008

Some great restaurants in Rome

This entry is about two months too late so you'll have to excuse me if my memory has faded a bit. Still, I made it a point to collect a few business cards when visiting restaurants in Rome. Here are a few that I would recommend and two that I wouldn't.

Colline Emiliane - Via Degli Avignonesi 22 - A 77 year old restaurant that serves up delicious cuisine from my hometown of Bologna and the region of Emilia Romagna. We visited for lunch with my aunt and a group of friends. Both my wife and I stuck with pasta for a main course and then I nibbled on my friend Gianfranco's beef with mostarda (not the mustard you and I know). All excellent. Located just off of Via dell Quattre Fontane and around the corner from Piazza Barberini. The place is small and we saw people turned away so reservations are recommended. 06 481 7538 or 06 48 02 80 70.

La Bottega Del Caffe - Piazza Madonna Dei Monti, 5 - Located in what was once the ancient Suburra of Rome in the Monti, La Bottega Del Caffe is perfectly located in one of the main piazze of the area. It's typically one of the busier spots in the neighborhood and offers up a nice selection of wines and a good mix of entrees. There's plenty of seating outside but you'll find that you need to get there early on a nice evening. Service was a bit surly when we were there. Still, my gnocchi absolutely hit the spot on a cooler day and the cheese platter made for an excellent starter. 393 931 1013

Dagnino - Galleria Esedra, Via V. Emanuele Orlando, 75 - Located inside the small 1950s era Galleria Esedra is Dagnino, a pasticceria and cafe' specializing in cuisine from Sicily. My grandfather used to come here on Sundays to pick up pastries. Anyway, we spent a lot of time here since it was located right across from The Grand Hotel. The desserts - like cassatina siciliana - were to die for. I really recommend the cassatina. You can also order wine, ice cream and more. There are a handful of seats inside but most people hang out in the "outdoor" seating area within the galleria. Depending on your waiter, service can be pleasant or relatively aloof. One of the waiters, Gennaro, pointed us in the right direction to an excellent pizzeria... "da Tito". 06 48 18 660

"Da Tito" - Via Venezia 21 - This small and busy pizzeria was a gem in the midst of an area relatively frequented by tourists. As mentioned, Gennare, our waiter at Dagnino recommended it and we're glad he did. Pizzas were reasonably priced and the house wine was relatively good. They did a nice job of accommodating us with the baby although it was a bit cramped. Definitely a place worth recommending. Just off of Via Nazionale on Via Venezia. 06 474 0832

Ristorante Tullio - Via S. Nicola da Tolentino, 26 - This Tuscan trattoria, first opened in 1950, came highly recommended by the Touring Club guide for Rome. Prices were listed as reasonable but I found that they were a bit high for what one received. The antipasto misto was a bit overboard for four people - way too much food - get half of what you think you need. Still, the carciofi alla romana were so tasty. I had tuna with beans - relatively straightforward and quite pricey for what I received. Is it a good place to eat? Yes. Is it a good value? I can think of plenty others. Located just up a side street from Piazza Barberini. 06 474 55 60

Trattoria Cadorna dal 1947 - Via Raffaele Cadorna, 12 - This trattoria is located on the back side of Piazza Sallustio, on a street parallel to Via 20 Settembre. This was the first restaurant we visited on our most recent trip to Rome and we found the service to be very friendly. The quickly brought us a high chair and were very helpful with the baby. We started with bresaola and then both ordered heaping portions of pasta. I'll admit that we were jetlagged and quite tired that night but the pasta really hit the spot and was a welcome way to return to Rome. Would gladly return on our next trip. 06 482 7061

La Matriciana - Via del Viminale, 14 - This is one of those classic Roman restaurants like Carbonara or La Capricciosa. The restaurant's specialty is, as you can imagine, bucatini alla matriciana. It's located across the rationalist-style Opera House of Rome. We had a very enjoyable lunch sitting outside on a gorgeous spring day. It was perfect. I started with rucola and tomato salad - very refreshing - and then had the bucatini. They were tasty, even if the sauce wasn't exactly to my expectations of amatriciana. Go figure. The house wine is recommended. 06 488 1775

...and now, ones I wouldn't recommend.

Life Ristorante Pizza & Wine Bar - Via Delle Vite, 28/30 - Located in the area around Via Condotti, the restaurant rakes in plenty of tourists. Indeed, it does have a nice modern atmosphere. The pizza selection looked to be very impressive but our pizza was a big disappointment. The mushrooms didn't seem to be cooked right and the pizza was very soggy. We ate it and dealt with it but wouldn't go back. Not what I look for when eating pizza in Italy.

Ristorante '34' or "Al '34" - Via Mario de' Fiori, 34 - Our friends were recommended this restaurant by their hotel. Admittedly, a great location, just a few steps from the Spanish Steps and on the cross-street of Via Mario de' Fiori. It does have a great location. The food was OK. The service was atrocious. None of the waiters were Italian and they treated most of the customers with contempt. When it started raining, the argued with us that it wasn't raining. Diners were packed like sardines, too, and the focus was to move us out. Cannot recommend it.

1 comment:

claire said...

wow that's an impressive list of restaurants! definitely places to check out while in Rome, and to plan your trip to the eternal city make sure you look into vacation rentals in rome to find an accommodation...
ciao