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FouGras Sep 25th, 2012 05:30 PM

Perfect Roman dinner
We are interested in finding the perfect Roman dinner. We are serious foodies -not interested In glitz and glamor - more interested in authenticity and creativity. We will be staying in a flat near Campo dei Fiori and we would prefer something we can walk to. We had almost decided on Glass until finding out the chef was from San Francisco....not a bad thing but not what we want for Rome. I'd love your suggestions.

denisea Sep 25th, 2012 06:17 PM

The chef at Glass is not from San Francisco. She is Italian but lived in San Fran and in Austin, TX for several years. I know the Eat Rome food app says she is American, but she is not. I met her a few weeks ago and while her English is excellent, I detected an accent and I asked her. She is Italian.

We went to Glass twice, because we liked it so much. The parmesan raviloi is incredible, as was everything we had at Glass. The food is very creative.

Leely2 Sep 25th, 2012 06:34 PM

I'd consider Checchino dal 1887, though it is not walking distance from the Campo.

I'd also check the Italy board of (though it's a bit repetitive, like all chowhound boards). Fodor's is more of a general travel site than a food site. I mention this only because you say you are serious foodies.

Leely2 Sep 25th, 2012 06:36 PM

Oh sorry, Checchino is traditional, not inventive. Didn't focus on that in your OP.

pporter Sep 26th, 2012 01:10 AM

I don't know what you mean by "authenticity" and "creativity", especially by putting them in the same sentence. A lot of classic Roman recipes are cooked up in kitchens staffed by Egyptians. Does that bother you? Most Romans would not consider a "perfect" Roman meal to depart from classic Roman recipes or use sous-vide or molecular techniques. Most foodies would not care how far they had to go in a taxi or tram to get an exciting meal from a creative chef.

I suggest you decide if you want a restaurant you can walk to or are willing to go elsewhere to find the best creative chef in Rome. You should drop the idea of who's in the kitchen and focus on what kind of overall experience would make you happy that night, including how much you are willing to spend.

FouGras Sep 26th, 2012 02:16 AM

Thanks, Denisea, your response was helpful. I define a perfect dinner as great food, pleasant surroundings, authenticity OR creativity OR both - reinvention of classic dishes. I don't want to mortgage the house for a meal but I'm also not eating on the cheap.

pporter Sep 26th, 2012 02:40 AM

You're well advised to go to Chowhound and do a search because you'll get differing reports about customer service at Roman restaurants, and ambience (some restaurants are cramped or loud). So in your price range (which you'll have to define more precisely over there), some restaurants highly regarded for food irritate people who went there regarding service or surroundings, although other people are willing to put up with it, so choose carefully.

Generally speaking, Romans regard the "reinvention of classic dishes" as not being both authentic and creative. It's more "either/or", and although it is up for argument, any time any cook deviates from the classic, they are labeled creative or inventive. Classic is classic. Just so you know how to interpret what's recommended to you.

pporter Sep 26th, 2012 02:45 AM

One more thought: You'll also see recommendations for restaurants whose cuisines are actually that of Le Marche or Emilia-Romagna, so if it matters to you that your perfect Roman meal is about local Roman cuisine, got to watch for that.

pporter Sep 26th, 2012 02:50 AM

I wouldn't want to eat at Glass, not because the chef spent so many years in America, but because why bother when in Rome?

jangita Sep 26th, 2012 06:16 AM

You might want to get one or both of the apps: Eat Rome (by Elizabeth Minchili) or Rome for Foodies (by Katie Parla)
Both of their apps were very useful to me during my week in Rome. They also both have popular blogs which are great resources.

If you are staying near Campo dei Fiore, there's a great porchetta panino buy in the market. Also the Antico Forno right on the Campo has great pizza bianco and lots of other choices.

johnnyomalley Sep 26th, 2012 07:35 AM

Another vote for Chowhound and also for Elizabeth Minchilli and Katie Parla.

I stalked both their blogs before I went to Italy this summer. I also did a food tour of Campio dei Fiore with Elizabeth. But I'm not a serious foodie, only a person who likes good food and wine.

tuscanlifeedit Sep 26th, 2012 08:02 AM

johnnyo: can you share a restaurant recommendation or two from your Rome visit this summer? I would appreciate it.

denisea Sep 26th, 2012 08:48 AM

I know Elizabeth and Katie would recommend Glass. Elizabeth was psyched that we were going to Glass on our trip and both ladies speak highly of Glass on their food apps.

Not sure what pporter means with the "why bother" comment but the food at Glass is spectacular. That's why we go to a restaurant anywhere in the world....for great food! The surroundings at Glass are more than pleasant, FouGras! I do recommend Elizabeth and Katie's apps and I know they are active on Chowhound. Good luck with the search.

FouGras Sep 26th, 2012 09:57 AM

Thank you everyone for your advice.. I think we will try Glass. Just downloaded the two apps so I will be well informed by the time we reach Rome. Denisea, I've been reading your Accidental Tourist entries which are very amusing AND helpful. We are also from Atlanta.....would you say that Glass compares (even slightly) to anything we have here?

Margaretlb Sep 26th, 2012 10:04 AM

Restaurant La Campana. I've recommended to several people who all loved it. Really very good food and close to your location:

denisea Sep 26th, 2012 10:12 AM

Very cool FouGras....hmmm. I am a little behind on the hot, new restaurants here in the ATL. I travel relentlessly for work and that makes me want to be at home when I am in town.

My fav restaurants here are Rathbun's, Bacchanalia, Floataway Cafe, Bistro Niko and Kyma. Flip when I have to have a burger. The food at Glass is so hard to explain as it is not traditional Italian but uses Italian and classic things but with an inventive, updated vibe to it. The interior of Glass is chic...clean, modern but still warm. I am not sure if it compares to anything in Atlanta. In Atlanta, we like La Grotta occasionally but our go to for Italian is a homey spot in a Roswell strip mall. Amalfi (formerly Sal's), but the food is more Neopolitan there.

The beef tartare is a good example of a classic that has been modernized and improved. It is rich and light, at the same! The tobiko adds some crunch and mouth feel, but the orange and wasabi brighten it...I got it the first visit and Chaz got it the second time.

lucyp Sep 26th, 2012 11:38 AM

Hi, just had a great meal at Dar Poeta in Trastevere (they have their own web site with map). Great pizza, good atmosphere, friendly service and very reasonable prices.

We thought one 'personal sized pizza' would easily have done us both in which case we might have tried their bruschetta and salads which looked great.

If you go the crowds start at 8:30-9 so expect to wait - or go early and walk right in.Best meal we've had this week though none were close to bad.

FouGras Sep 26th, 2012 02:02 PM

Again, thank you one and all. We need some low key spots as well as a destination restaurant. Denisea, we seem to have the same taste in restaurants in ATL, so Glass it is!

jamierin Sep 26th, 2012 02:28 PM

If you like seafood I suggest La Gensola in Trastevere. Great food, great service.

In the Campo area, Roscioli is very popular.

denisea Sep 26th, 2012 02:48 PM

Awesome...I wish I were more up to date in Atlanta...lots of great spots. Can't wait to hear your review. I can also recommend La Gensola, for seafood. It was excellent but not on the level of Glass.

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