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ROME..Trip report with emphasis on food..January 2007

ROME..Trip report with emphasis on food..January 2007

Old Jul 30th, 2009, 08:15 PM
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Don't go to Santa Lucia unless you want to pay high prices and derive pleasure from the fact that movie stars eat there.
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Old Jul 30th, 2009, 08:15 PM
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lbrawer- That's really unfortunate so many places are closed in August. However, Rome is filled with wonderful places, many of just off the usual tourist radar. If you are willing to walk around and take some chances, I know you will find something.
There's a place I read about on Chowhound called La Fiametta. It's supposedly nice, simple, and has excellent Eggplant Parmesan. I meant to try it when I was there last year, but never made it. I'm going back in October and hope to get there then. The best thing? They are open on Sundays! Address, Piazza Fiametta 10.
For gelato, I highly recommend Frigidarium which you can walk to from your hotel. It's right across the street from Da Baffetto.
I don't know if it will help you, but I have a trip report here with lots of food recs, as well as on my website with photos. www.wired2theworld.com

Finally, you might get more replies to your questions if you post them as a separate thread because not everyone is going to come and read this one, considering it's an older trip report (sorry ekscrunchy!)

eks- I just got back from Vietnam last week and used some of your recommendations. Thanks!! My trip report has been started over on the Asia board.
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Old Jul 31st, 2009, 02:31 AM
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Kristina thank you. Your trip report was inhaled during my planning phase! It was wonderful. Will certainly look into la fiametta. A recent chowhounder posted a short list of what IS open this month . When I crack night one I'll feel on safer ground. Welcome back!
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Old Jul 31st, 2009, 04:28 AM
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LB: We are in a similar situation. We are in Rome at the end of August and, after compiling a list of where to dine, most of those are "chiuso" in August. We may coast off of the names you posted.

EK: thank you for that link, we will have to look at that.

We may indeed "fall into some place" but with such good food options in Rome we are always better off with a place in mind to head to.
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Old Jul 31st, 2009, 07:21 AM
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Lbrawer: I don't know what's going on. I'd swear I responded to you yesterday about CUL DE SAC, but I can't find my post.
---------------------------------------
We liked Cul de Sac. Casual atmosphere, good menu selection and everything was good. I think they say "no reservations", but we dropped by late afternoon and they told us what time to come. Can't remember details, but we didn't wait long.

FIAMETTA: This may be my favorite...we've eaten there several times. Facing Hotel Geneo on Pza Fiametta, walk around the right corner and the resto is right there. Everything I've eaten there was piping hot and delicious. Little pizzas are fabulous. Once had a spinach crepe that was out of this world (maybe a winter thing). Supposed to have good steak, but we've never ordered it. Really, everything is good.

Here's a clue: You will see lots of "collars" here. I didn't know it was a Vatican favorite. Last year we were next to a table of 3 men, two of whom were in clergy robes. The civilian man was American and struck up a conversation. Then one of the bishops asked him to translate a question for us: how had we happened upon the "best restaurant in Rome"?

There are two rooms...ask to be on the left where the little bar and pizza oven are. There are tables outside, but we haven't been there in warm weather. Reservations a must unless your arrive early. They're also open for lunch.

Both of the above are very near your hotel.

Matricianella: Another to have on your list. This was the first place I ever ate in Rome. Classic Roman cuisine, all very good. Some reviewers say tourists aren't treated as well because it's a place for Rome regulars. We didn't experience that. Anyway, it's a little farther from your hotel, so keep it as a fallback. Also, very good gelato shop in the adjacent Pza San Lorenzo.
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Old Jul 31st, 2009, 07:29 AM
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Oops. Sorry, just saw your note that Matricianella will be closed.
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Old Jul 31st, 2009, 07:43 AM
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How could I forget another absolute favorite?!

La Sagrestia
Via del Seminario
(practically on your hotel doorstep!)
06 67 97 584

Another we've visited multiple times, both lunch and dinner. To me, this is the ultimate little Roman restaurant. From the pizza crust appetizers to the whole-fish entrees (try one), you can tell they're all about a "celebration" of food. Fun, almost boisterous, atmosphere. We've loved everything we ordered here....meanwhile drooling over whatever they're having at the next table!

Go!
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Old Jul 31st, 2009, 09:16 AM
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OK, too many choices...too little time! We will be in Rome in September (Sun 20th-Weds.23rd.) If you could pick only six of your ABSOLUTE favorite restaurants what would they be?
eks-thanks for the link to the trip report from August 2006
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Old Aug 1st, 2009, 03:02 AM
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Thank you ALL-- Ironically I had just stumled upon some other raves of La Fiametta and was so busy calling Venice (same situation for some of the places I REALLY wanted to go to- Vini di Gigio in particular) I never got back to the phone until, I guess after their lunch hour. Did OK in Venice though, all things considered, luckily.
Both places, in fact all mentioned above sound perfect.
One last question if anyone could please comment on is Gigetto vs Piperno? )(Artichokes a key factor )
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Old Aug 1st, 2009, 04:33 AM
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Giggetto is a mid-market trattoria. Piperno is more expensive, more a special-occasion place and considered better by people who should know.

Artichokes are not in season in August in Italy, but places that specialize in them get them from somewhere throughout the year.
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Old Aug 12th, 2009, 03:37 AM
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There is a new book on food and wine in Rome that has just come to my attention; I've read other books by this author and have high hopes for his latest effort:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...X0DER&v=glance
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Old Aug 12th, 2009, 06:55 AM
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Thank you for your food report on Rome, eks.

Based on your reviews, Keith and I plan on dining at Ditirambo and Trattoria Monti (the onion flan will give me DREADFUL hearburn, but I just have to try it) whilst in Rome.

We also plan on dining at Buca di Ripetta, a suggestion from Bookie.

Thin
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Old Aug 12th, 2009, 12:11 PM
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Thinster:

Buca di Ripetta is good, too. I will be eager to read about your escapades!
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Old Aug 12th, 2009, 12:29 PM
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Another resource for Rome restaurant info:


http://www.romanelpiatto.it/Home.asp
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Old Aug 12th, 2009, 01:15 PM
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Not to " rain on the parade" of good reviews for Ditirambo...but our last trip to Rome we tried it for the first time with great anticipation. Was very disappointing and it was our least favorite meal.

How in the spring can you have asperagas risotto made with mushy, canned, asperagas and be considered a good restaurant? Maybe we just ordered their non stellar dishes but nothing would make me want to eat there again.

Really liked Fiametta...went twice.
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Old Aug 12th, 2009, 01:41 PM
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To each his own.

Just curious how you discerned the fact that they were using canned asparagus.
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Old Aug 14th, 2009, 01:35 PM
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Hi eskrunchy (always enjoy your comments)

I always hated asperagas as a kid probably because my mother used canned. When I grew up and devleoped an interest in food and cooking I discovered the vast difference between fresh vs canned asperagas. The difference in taste is impossible to miss. Do you not know when you are served canned peas over fresh?
I do not mean to prolong this discussion but one of the other diasppointing aspects of the risotto at Ditirambo was how mushy it was. I have always been served it a bit al dente which is also how I make it. Maybe it is unwise to expect to get good risotto in a restaurant.

Fortunately Rome has many other very good dining options and that alone is a good enough reason to return again and again to such a fabulous city.
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Old Aug 14th, 2009, 08:49 PM
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Well, it really doesn't matter because neither Keith nor I would ever order risotto with asparagus.

Jesus H Christ, I would be happy with just a bottle of Barbaresco with an Percocet chaser.

Living in the Valley of the Dolls,
Thin
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Old Aug 15th, 2009, 04:34 AM
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Carol: I am sorry that you had a bad experience. I, too, am flabbergasted that a restaurant in Rome would use canned asparagus. After all, (fresh) asparagus is not expensive in season, and canned asparagus can actually be quite pricey. (I now have a few cans of white asparagus from northern Spain sitting on my shelf--I lugged them home from my last trip to Spain)

All I can comment is that in my experience, Italians often cook their vegetables much longer than is the fashion in some US kitchens...


I am not a big risotto fan, but I did manage to make a fairly good asparagus risotto last spring, with this recipe:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/02/dining/02mini.html



Thinster: Sounds good to me! Happy travels, and happy eating!!
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 07:40 AM
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ekscrunchy,
We are headed back for 2 weeks in Rome this October (and our first night we plan to eat at Ditirambo. It's usually a tossup between there, or Settimios near the Pantheon).

Is there a link to your report, or is there a way to print out your report, without all the other comments?
If you could e-mail it my email is [email protected]

I remember reading this when you originally posted it and I was able to "favorite" it to my aol Rome folder. It is still in there, but, of course, it is refreshed each time I open it.

BTW, one of my favorite food books on Rome is D.Downie's "Cooking the Roman Way".
A friend has his newest book and is raving about the restaurant reviews.

Thanks~
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