Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Going to venice, rome, and florence, where's good places that won't break the bank and I'm not eating things like pigeon or other stange things that I've heard about?

Going to venice, rome, and florence, where's good places that won't break the bank and I'm not eating things like pigeon or other stange things that I've heard about?

Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 09:38 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 551
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We ate like warthogs last time we were in Italy and did not have one bad meal! Thank goodness for walking miles and miles or I would have gained 20 pounds!! The gnocci is to die for, as is the pasta with walnut sauce. I could have just lived on the pasta and veggies, yum...48 days and counting-Italy here we come. Shirley
LuvToRoam is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 10:04 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've found gnocchi is to die for in Roma, but not necessarily elsewhere. As for pasta with walnuts, I associate that with Liguria, but maybe you find it prepared well in other regions too. I've tried.

I agree that you shouldn't ever eat more than you want to in Italy -- It's bad for your health! But if you are not prepared to order all the courses, I think you should not sit down in a white tablecloth ristorante but go to someplace more informal.

My experience of portion size in Italy is that the notion that they are smaller than portions elsewhere is fast approaching urban legend (although I admit I've never eaten in Olive Garden) -- and the size of many middle-aged Italians is evidence of the problem. In France I expect to see modest amounts of food brought to my table. Not in Italy (or Spain). And the courses keep coming.

I think eating more slowly -- over the space of 90 minutes to 2 hours -- is what keeps me from feeling stuffed in Italy. And I rarely eat an after-meal "dessert" in Italy, unless it's fruit after lunch. Most baked goods in Italy are not to my taste, and in the regions where I do like them (Genova, Sicily, Torino) I prefer to eat them between 4 and 6pm with a tea.

nessundorma is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 10:06 AM
  #23  
MaureenB
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
lola, I topped my three trip reports on Rome, Florence and Venice, so you can find them easily now.
I'd post the links here for you, but somehow that never works when I try it, so I'm cutting and pasting just the restaurant info. below:

Rome:
"...We stopped for dinner at Rosa Rosae Ristorante, via di Pietra 88. It was a very nice atmosphere, but a bit touristy, which we expected because of its location. Food was just so-so, but service was friendly. Prices were on the higher side for the quality, at about 52 EUR for two, with a half-liter of house wine. My veal was ok, but a bit tough.

...Later, for dinner, we headed back toward a restaurant where my daughter had eaten earlier that semester. It’s very casual and good, called the Maccheroni Ristorante at Piazza delle Coppelle, 44, phone 06 68307895. It’s very popular with locals and gets very busy. The service is friendly and the atmosphere is lively and interesting. About 47 EUR for two, with one-half liter of house wine.

...We had reservations to meet my daughter’s friend for dinner at 9:00. He had studied in Rome that semester and recommended his favorite restaurant in the neighborhood where he’d lived, called Il Matriciano, on Via dei Gracchi, 49- 61. (Reservations advised—phone 063213040, or 063212327) It’s perfect for a more special dinner, but certainly not over-the-top. For three people dining, we paid just 103 EUR, which included a liter of house wine. We shared two appetizers, and two of us had veal dishes, one had just spaghetti. We each enjoyed coffee and dessert. It is a very, very friendly and pleasant place. We completely enjoyed it.

Florence:
"The afternoon we arrived, my daughter took me to a rooftop café, which overlooks the Duomo. It is on the top of a nice little ‘department’ store. I think it’s called Ristorante Ottorino, via delle Oche, 12-16r. We enjoyed wine and salads, on the sunny afternoon, with a close-up view of the Duomo. A very nice introduction to Florence for me.

...at the place recommended by my daughter’s host family as the “best” gelato in Florence. I think it’s called Vivoli (sp?). A very cute little place, with wonderful gelato.

That evening, my daughter recommended one of her favorite restaurants, the Trattoria Garga on Via del Moro 48/R, phone 055 2398898. We had an amazing meal there, probably my best in Italy. My dish was veal with avocado, which sounds odd (most really good dishes do, I think), and was mouth-watering. Our waiter was a riot-- singing and joking all over the restaurant. It was a friendly, lively, bustling atmosphere with excellent food. We paid 81EUR for two, with a half-liter of house wine.

...We returned to our hotel, to get ready for dinner, again at one of my daughter’s favorite restaurants, Acqua Al 2 (pronounced 'aqua al duo'), Via della Vigna Vecchia, 40/R, phone 055 284170. They are known for their perfect steak with balsamic. I had it and was impressed. (They are now opening a restaurant in San Diego, believe it or not.) This restaurant is known throughout Florence, and is very popular, so it gets loud and crowded, but very worth it, even though the service was a tad spotty. We split a half-liter of house red wine, and we paid 50.70EUR for two dining.

...After the Accademia, we found a place to sit on the patio and enjoy a nice lunch, at Trattoria Za-Za, at Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 26R. It's popular with business people, and we enjoyed nice omelettes there. Lunch for two, with a glass of wine for each, was 25.50EUR.

Venice:
"The next day was Mother’s Day, so we headed out to find Bar Caffe La Piscina for a special brunch. Having read so much about the Pension La Calcina, Dorsoduro 780, I had sent an availability inquiry via e-mail to them while looking for accommodations in Venice. Even though they were full, La Calcina sent back a nice e-mail with their regrets, and an offer to visit their lovely restaurant, La Piscina, including a 12 percent discount on our meal, to thank us for our interest (a very nice touch).

Researching La Piscina on the internet, I thought it looked very attractive. It sits on the Zattere, with a beautiful view of the Giudecca canal and the pretty buildings across it. La Piscina’s outdoor tables are shaded by pretty blue umbrellas, and are set on a wooden deck over the water.

We were very happy we’d made the somewhat long and hungry walk to Dorsoduro, because eating at La Piscina was a real treat. The service was impeccable, the atmosphere amazing, and we had a beautiful blue-sky day to enjoy the view. Our meal included wine, bottled water, a primi, a “snack”, and a secondi, for 46.50EUR, minus 5.50 EUR for our discount. It was an especially memorable Mother’s Day, for sure.

...Our first night, we ate at Trattoria Alla Rivetta, recommended by the hotel for its fish menu. It’s at Ponte S. Provolo 4625. It was nice, with a lot of locals and others lining up to eat there. Our meal was 58.24EUR, for two fish entrees, and a half-liter of house wine.

...The second night, we ate at Osteria Alla Botte, San Marco 5482. It was a very friendly and busy little place, with reasonable prices. Our meal was 46 EUR, also for two fish dishes and a half-liter of house wine.

I hope this helps. You will love Italy!
 
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 10:29 AM
  #24  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi MB,

>I'd post the links here for you, but somehow that never works when I try it,...<

Right click the title of the post.
Click "Copy"

Got to the thread to which you are replying and enter CTRL+V

Here is your post on Venice
http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...p;tid=34814606

ira is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 10:39 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,717
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nessundorma:

>>But if you are not prepared to order all the courses, I think you should not sit down in a white tablecloth ristorante but go to someplace more informal.<<

That used to be the case, but Italians themselves often have only two courses these days, even in restaurants with white tablecloths...

Your stricture would only apply to the "temples of higher gastronomy", of which there are relatively few and which the OP, who is looking for "places that won't break the bank", is unlikely to frequent.
Eloise is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 10:58 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A "ristorante" in Italy is not necessarily a "temple of higher gastronomy" (what's that in Italian?) but is different from a trattoria or osteria, as you already know. Simply put, I don't go to a ristorante unless I'm prepared to consume a multiple sequence of courses, anymore than I would go to a serious restaurant in New York City and order a soup and salad. I think it's rude.

Which courses are Italians customarily skipping these days? Just curious.

Heretical as it may sound to some people, I don't think you are obliged to eat like Italians do when you go to Italy. When my Italian friends come here, they don't eat like Americans -- and neither does any foreigner I know. There is NOTHING to prove to anybody, and no point in ruining your enjoyment of all that art filling yourself up with too much food or food one doesn't like.


nessundorma is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 11:15 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,717
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nessundorma:

As I recall, I was the one who pointed out that no one is obliged to eat all courses...

And you may not have noticed, but many establishments that used to call themselves trattorie or osterie now call themselves ristoranti. That does not put them out of bounds to anyone not prepared to eat "a multiple sequence of courses". In Italy, almost any osteria, trattoria or ristorante takes food seriously, unlike New York, where you have to go to a "serious restaurant", where, of course, no educated person would dream of having a soup and a salad.

What two courses are Italians eating? Certainly not soup and salad, as in your far-fetched example. I have seen many Italians have an antipasto and a pasta, or a pasta and a contorno, or an antipasto and a secondo piatto, or a pasta and a secondo piatto.
Eloise is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 12:11 PM
  #28  
MaureenB
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Ira, thanks for the help-- but I'm use a Mac. Know how to do it using a Mac?

Here's a funny point about dining in Italy, in family settings. Italians eat their courses in a certain order, from start to finish. They do not think it's appropriate to go back to a course they have already "finished".
So, if you want more pasta, and you've already been served the meat course, forget it. They have set the pasta aside in the kitchen, and do not believe it should be set back on the table.
There are funny stories my daughter tells of first learning this, when she lived with her Italian host family. They spoke no English, she spoke no Italian, so it was starting at ground zero in their relationship. One night, she asked for more caprese salad, when they were already finishing their meat course. They thought that was hysterically funny and odd-- who would want to eat tomatoes after pasta and meat courses??
It was a great experience, to learn all these little cultural differences, for sure. The family also did not 'snack', so it was a challenge for the young American, who is used to grabbing a quick snack at night or during the day.
 
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 12:20 PM
  #29  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
MaureenB, great thing to know about the courses. I wouldn't want to offend anyone. Also, thanks to everyone for giving me all of this great info. I'm going to be eating good while I'm there.

Lola
lola34 is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 12:40 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 23,711
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Eloise you are right on that one! I could not bear to miss out on an interesting dish while I am travelling, especially in Italy. I guess that is why I cannot fathom why anyone would want to seek out foods familiar from home while in another country. In fact I spend half my restaurant time in the US looking for food "the way I had it in ................." Oh well....

Maureen, I use a Mac..here is the vague way to do it from a computer beginner; highlight the address of the bar holding the address. Drag it out to the desktop where it will be like an icon. Then go to Fodor's, post your reply...drag the icon back into the Fodor's box. No need to do anything with cut and paste..
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 12:47 PM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 3,605
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<b>MaureenB</b>, to copy a link using a MAC, follow Ira's directions but use the &quot;control&quot; key:

place your mouse over the link

hold down the control key and and click w/your mouse: select copy, then go to your response and:

hold down the control key/and click: selecet paste

Hope this is clear!

mvor is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 12:57 PM
  #32  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 23,711
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry I tried this and it did not work.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 12:58 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 3,605
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
MaureenB, sorry for the typos the last line should read:

&quot;hold down the control key and click: select paste&quot;

I didn't want you to think the &quot;/&quot; was needed.
mvor is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 01:37 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,098
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We haven't been there in a while, but we had a pleasant and relatively inexpensive meal at Ambasciata d' Abruzzo in the Parioli neighborhood of Rome. Can't remember eating anything particularly upsetting.

http://www.ambasciatadiabruzzo.com/
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 01:42 PM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Some family members just got back from 3 weeks in Tuscany. Relatives there had them to dinner several times. Veggies (all grilled) were served after the meat course. That really surprised them. Being from the US they are not use to each dish being served separately. It is my preferance. I hate all kinds of food being piled on the plate which is why I don't like to eat at buffets.

LoveItaly is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 01:53 PM
  #36  
rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Okay, c'mon - - someone should tell lola the truth - - I've never seen a meal in Venice that they didn't manage to sneak some pigeon into it. You just have to get used to it!

They grind 'em up and put them in meatballs, stuff them into ravioli, even mix them into pizza dough. In fruit salad, they pit the cherries and stuff ground pigeon into the center hole that results.

Sometimes the pigeons in Piazza San Marco are 80-90 birds per square meter. You can hardly walk! If they didn't eat them, they 'd just use their little feet, pick up the islands in a collective fly-off lift and drop them who knows where all over the Adriatic Sea!



Best wishes,

Rex
rex is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 03:13 PM
  #37  
MaureenB
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the tips, ira, eks and mova.
Here's my try at copying and pasting one

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...p;tid=34814606

After posting, I'll see if it works!

And, Rex, you're very funny! Actually, aren't pigeon also called &quot;squab&quot;? In which case, I've eaten them in a very tastey appetizer at the infamous Mr. Chow's in L.A.!
 
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 03:52 PM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Eloise,

In most of the places I travel in Italy the distinction between a ristoranti or a trattoria or an osteria is still quite evident. And by &quot;serious&quot; restaurant in New York I did not mean that informal restaurants here are not serious about food. You're obviously not familiar with New York, where *very* serious food can be had in all sorts of establishments, in all price ranges and levels of decor and size. I meant one where the occasion of dining in the evening is understood to be a formal meal with a certain presentation and order of courses -- which comes with certain expectations on the part of everybody, patrons and staff alike.

My example of a soup and salad was because I was talking about American cuisine, not Italian cuisine. I still wouldn't go in to most ristoranti in Italy, and certainly not outside the major tourist cities, and not order a secondi. If I wanted less, I'd go elsewhere.
nessundorma is offline  
Old Jul 23rd, 2006, 01:38 PM
  #39  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I talked with a friend the went to Venice 10 years ago and she was talking about the best food that she has eaten to date so far. She could only remember that it was called giamberto(sp?) in Venice. I was wondering if anyone has been there and if so, know where it is? Sorry, know it's not much to go on.
lola34 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
october77
Europe
5
Sep 5th, 2007 10:26 AM
css
Europe
62
Sep 4th, 2006 08:26 AM
Mitmap
Europe
14
Nov 25th, 2004 01:46 PM
nicegirl512
Europe
26
Sep 24th, 2004 11:39 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -