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Rome, Venice - Serious adventurous foodies: advice needed

Rome, Venice - Serious adventurous foodies: advice needed

Sep 15th, 2006, 11:17 AM
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Rome, Venice - Serious adventurous foodies: advice needed

Hi, we'll be in Rome, Tuscany (by car), Cinqueterre and Venice in the first half of November. Would love advice on non-tourist restaurants (need not be budget), markets, specialty shops, chefs tours, specific farms or purveyors (olive oil, cheese, prosciutto etc.). Wine info not needed. Thanks and will definitely report back in.
rbny is offline  
Sep 15th, 2006, 12:11 PM
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Not sure if this is what you had in mind but when in Rome at the Trevi Fountain we found a great market where we bought the fixings for a great picnic.

If you are facing the fountain, this place behind you to the far left. They have everything...olives, wine, cheese, meats, fresh bread, etc. Good prices. It was perfect for a late afternoon snack. They packed up everything, uncorked the wine for us and we sat on the step of the Trevi and enjoyed the view!
motor_city_girl is offline  
Sep 15th, 2006, 04:21 PM
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Try La Zucca in Venice. One of my favorite restaurants.
granbury is offline  
Sep 15th, 2006, 05:33 PM
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Checchino dal 1887(google for their website)

This is serious traditional Roman food the likes of which you won't find in too many places.I went there on a food tour with Context Rome(www.ContextRome) with Maureen Fant of the New York Times for a meal I'll not soon forget.
massagediva is offline  
Sep 15th, 2006, 06:43 PM
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It might be called Forno's.
I have bought goodies there a few times.
JandaO is offline  
Sep 15th, 2006, 07:01 PM
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You will simplify your search immensely if you order from Amazon.com the book "Italy for the Gourmet Traveler" by Fred Plotkin. It has all the information you describe, well organized, in one place. Xerox the pages for the areas you will be visiting. (The whole book is too heavy to pack.)

nessundorma is offline  
Sep 15th, 2006, 07:31 PM
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We had some of the most interesting and delicious food at a small and very nice restaurant in Venice called Da Carla. I highly recommend this; it was just a bit innovative, with refined flavors. The crowd were mostly elegant Italians.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 07:47 AM
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rbny, I don't think you've been around long enough to remember Dean, a great Fodors poster, but he was a real foodie. Here's an old post of his. Keep in mind that it's five years old, but these might still be worth checking out:

Author: Dean ( [email protected])
Date: 11/01/2001, 10:28 am ET
Rome is not all museums and churches and ruins. You must take care of the soul and body as well. Here are a few of our favorite eating places:

Campo di Fiori for the morning market. Be sure to stop off at Il Forno di Campo di Fiori for Pizza Bianco o Rosso or a sweet treat like the torte di ricotta. There are also many bars surrounding the Campo for caffe and paste (pastries). We always come to Campo di Fiore, even if we are not staying where we can cook, for fruit and other picnic supplies. A few baskets of frutti di bosco (wild berries) make for a wonderful breakfast. But if we are in an apartment with a kitchen, the Campo is a daily stop for us.

Volpetti (in Testaccio) for a look at the best cheese shop I have ever been in. Watch your wallet if you love cheese as they will sell you enough to feed an army. They specialize in more traditional producers who still hand make their cheeses. There is also carry out food such as lasagne, baked pasta, porchetta. Attached is a small snack bar as well.

Checchino dal 1887- the place to go to dine on deconstructed cow. They serve every part of the cow you thought was edible and some that you never would have thought of. For the squeamish, they have lovely lamb stew and other run of the mill parts. But if you love the odds and ends of the animal, here is you place. Very traditional Roman food. Highly recommended.

La Rosetta- right around the corner from the Pantheon, this is one of the great seafood restaurants of all time. Expect to pay a bundle but also expect perfection. Start with the mixed antipasti, a procession of 13 or so small plates of seafood: raw, marinated, cooked. All are very simple and screamingly fresh. You will feast on squid, clams, shrimp, langustino and fin fish in a mind boggling array of preparations that never hide the fresh flavor if the fish. Skip the pasta or risotto course unless you are truly starved and have a whole fish baked in salt. The wine list is filled with great whites from Alto Adige and Friuli. I especially love either an Alto Adige gewürztraminer (very aromatic, lush and intense yet not sweet like American versions and not as heavy as Alsatian, perfect for the varied and abundant flavors of a meal at La Rosetta, or a Tocai Friulano. The staff will help you find a specific producer. They have a changing selection because the restaurant chooses many wines from tiny producers with very limited quantities. This is a great wine list to splurge on). Desserts are wonderful as well. Massimo is the chef and you will see him during your dinner. In fact he had to make some emergency electrical repairs during our dinner. Dinner for 4 was about $125.00 per person with a great bottle of wine, three courses and a dessert. We easily could have skipped our risotto course.

Finally, there is a great Gelateria and restaurant (both owned by the same folk) but I don't have an address or street name so here is how you can get there. Start out crossing the Tevere at Ponte Sixto into Trastevere. Just to your right and ahead of you is Piazza Trilussa. Head out of P. Trilussa to the right (at a 45-degree angle) and you will come to P. San Giovanni degli Malva. Bear right out of this Piazza passing a wonderful little glass shop at number 5. You will have a pizzeria on your right. Follow this street a half a block ad you will come to a restaurant, bar and gelateria all with the same owners. They all three are spectacular. The bar has a wonderful selection of pastries and serves a great caffe or cappuccino. The gelateria has a small selection of gelato, all house made and naturally flavored. The restaurant has an inside garden and offers fresh seafood as well as traditional Roman offerings. They make a mean carciofi alla Giudea or fried artichoke. Try the Roman antipasti plate and you will get arancini (fried rice balls), fiori di zucca (stuff and fried zucchini flowers) the above-mentioned artichoke and more. Dinner for 4 with seafood and a nice bottle of wine was L300,000.
SusanP is online now  
Sep 16th, 2006, 08:12 AM
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David Hewson has an interesting article on his webpage about coffee in Rome. One place he references is Antico Caffe Chigi which is located near the Piazza Colonna and we had the most amazing Risotto with Shrimp and Zucchini (and given an Italian grandmother whom I felt set the stardard, that's saying something). Further in the article, I think he's referring to the place that Dean mentions (from SusanP) near Piazza Trilussa, Checco er Carrettiere, Via Benedetta.

Archive, June 11, 2006
There’s more to coffee than cappuccino
toni_g_b is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 03:10 PM
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In Venice, Hostaria da Franz is fantastic. The website doesn't include menus since it changes every day.

bardo1 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 03:16 PM
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That was a very enjoyable article. Thank you for posting the link.

Olive Oil
olive_oil is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 04:04 PM
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We are considering taking that Roman cuisine tour with Context Rome. How was it? This will be our first trip and I thought it would be fun. What was your experience? Thanks.
iamq is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 04:21 PM
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We're waiting for Massagediva's thoughts on the ContextRome food tour. It would certainly be a novel change from all the serious sightseeing and, after all, the body needs to be fed as well as the mind.
ready2travel is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 05:29 PM
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In Rome if you like fish, Quincy and Gabrilli is fabulous. We have eaten there the past two years and just had dinner there last week. While in Venice this time we had about the best meal ever in Europe at Da Ivo...Don't miss it.
dorie is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 06:33 PM
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Hi, readytotravel-Like I said,it was an unforgettable meal.The tour began at Volpetti (in Testaccio.) the wonderful food store.We meandered our way through Testaccio to the market,Maureen explained everything there and the Roman approach to shopping,cooking.Then we saw the hill made of compressed amphorae-quite interesting.After that was the really fun part,a ridiculously decadent three hour lunch at Checchino.She was wonderful,explained all of the courses,made suggestions.We had a real culinary adventure -some of what I can remember(but certainly not all of what we had)
zuppa di faro(beautiful thick wheat soup with artichokes and a swirl of the super special (brought out of the special case) olive oil

roast rabbit,pajeta(lamb's intestines with milk cooked inside-hey we're here to try it all!)

beautiful spaghetti with cacio e pepe and pig's cheek

a gorgeous cheese course,and on and on!
massagediva is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 11:07 AM
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ekscrunchy is offline  
Sep 18th, 2006, 01:22 PM
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Thank you all for your delicious responses. My mouth waters reading. I have ordered Plotkin's book, checked all your links. It seems Maureen Fant is now cooking at home for the tour members on Context, rather than going to a restaurant. Any favorite olive oil sites in Tuscany?
rbny is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 04:01 PM
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In Tuscany, we went to an outstanding seafood restaurant called Da Antonio. It's in a small town called Castelnuovo Berardenga. I'm not sure if this is true, but we read that the owner/chef drives to the coast and hand-selects all of the seafood. Then the menu is developed around what he brings back. All of the courses (seven? we lost count) were seafood, except dessert - they were all excellent. Courtyard seating is preferable, and the atmosphere is very special. I think it was written up in Food & Wine (or some other wine mag) in spring of 2004. Reservations are recommended.
meo is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 04:34 PM
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Wow! Maureen FANT is leading the food tour? Her trattoria book has led us to some wonderful eating experiences in Italy over the years. One Roman place in her book that I love is Nerone not far from the Colisseum. I would like to take her food tour myself when I visit Rome in January. How often is it given? All year round? In addition to Fred's book, I would recommend this one. Also Faith Willinger's book on
eating in Italy is a classic resource...very strong on farms, markets, local products in various regions.

Once you reach Italy you may want to buy the Slowfood Guide to Osterie.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 04:53 PM
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this is great info!
italy06 is offline  

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