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Your best inexpensive meal in Roma was at....ea

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Aug 22nd, 2003, 03:02 PM
  #1
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Your best inexpensive meal in Roma was at....ea

Due to interesting turn of events I will be in Rome in September and would like some great inexpensive (20ish euro a person) meals, lunches and dinners, no trendy places, just good local cooking.

What great places can you recommend?

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Aug 22nd, 2003, 03:37 PM
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Hi Natalia. If you like tavola caldas for lunch, a place I've been to twice and love is the Antica Tavola Calda del Corso (west side of Via del Corso, a few mouth-watering blocks north of Piazza Venezia.)

Before going to Rome for the first time, I'd noticed Mario's in Trastevere (on Via del Moro) mentioned on this forum, but didn't make it there. On my return trip, I did, and loved it. In addition to the good food, the elderly waitresses were a delight.

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Aug 22nd, 2003, 03:51 PM
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Thanks, Capo, I will try these.

I used to have some favorites but they have turned on me, Romolo was one and the other was on the square in Trastevere (I have since blocked out the name).

Any recs near or on Piazza Navona, I will be staying near there.
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Aug 22nd, 2003, 04:47 PM
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Orso 80. I think it is even in Rants and Raves section here. Works best if you have a multiperson party as the mixed antipati is virtually endless, Add a pasta course and you will be FULL!
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Aug 24th, 2003, 05:34 AM
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Ristorante Scanderberg in Piazza Scanderberg, around the corner from Trevi Fountain and across from the pasta museum. It's a tiny hole in the wall that you can easily miss if you're not paying attention.
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Aug 24th, 2003, 06:06 AM
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What is a tavola calda?
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Aug 24th, 2003, 08:31 AM
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MissEve: translated: snack bar
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Aug 24th, 2003, 10:26 AM
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Literally translated it's "hot table". It is much more than a snack bar. A tavola calda is like a cafeteria line. You get a tray and proceed down the line, picking out your cold selections and proceeding to the hot portion where you tell the person behind the counter what you'd like. He or she will put a serving on a plate and hand it to you. When you reach the end of the line there will be the cash register and you will pay for what is on your tray. Two good tavola calda are Delfino near Largo Argentina and Dagino in Piazza Esedra.
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Aug 24th, 2003, 11:51 AM
  #9
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Dino & Tony Hostaria
Via Leone IV, 60 (near Vatican)
Tel. 0639733284

Great for dinner in your price range. Call for reservation.
 
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Aug 24th, 2003, 11:05 PM
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I can't believe that someone mentioned Dino and Tony. Good choice! Here is our experience there last year.

It's completely off the tourist route, filled with locals whom Dino greeted by name. When we mentioned the priest's name from the Vatican who recommended it, Dino refused to give us menus, saying only that he would choose for us. He then proceeded to practically bombard us with food.

Dino's mother is from Le Marche, which is the region east of Umbria and south of Emilia-Romagna, so he made us specialties from the region. He started us off with a thin crust pizza divided into 4 quarters, each with a different topping, like herbs, or asparagus, and a sharp sheep's milk cheese. Then he brought a calzone filled with spinach and a béchamel sauce; Olive Ascolani, which are green olives, stuffed with meat, breaded and fried; Crème Fritta, the kind of crème you'd expect to get in a pastry for breakfast, in a crust and fried, and potato croquets.

When he said he was bringing out pasta, we begged him for small portions. We were very happy to see reasonable (although not small) portions when he brought our pappardelle in a sausage sauce. Of course, he failed to mention that he also was bringing us ANOTHER different pasta dish to sample. When the second one arrived we thanked him profusely and explained that we could not possibly eat a meat course after this. He said he understood, but still insisted that we have dessert. We finished with some wonderful ripe berries topped with sugar and lemon juice. Total for 2: 40 Euro, but worth much more.
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Aug 25th, 2003, 04:37 AM
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Hey russ,

That's the kind of posting I like to see.
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Aug 25th, 2003, 04:56 AM
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Russ, that mouth-watering description makes me wish it were lunchtime instead of breakfast!
 
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Aug 25th, 2003, 05:57 AM
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Russ, our experience was the same. Dino selected almost everything we had. We started off with a platter of Italian cold cuts and cheeses, followed by good size helpings of several different pastas. For dessert, he brought out a tray of different items. We naturally thought we could pick one each, but Dino insisted we take several! Total cost for 2 including wine and water was 40-45 Euros. Best meal we had in Italy (Rome, Venice, and Florence) and we had a few that were in the 100 Euro range for two people.
 
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Aug 25th, 2003, 10:24 AM
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Russ, I was so glad to see your wonderful review of Dino & Tony's. I have seen many restaurant recommendations, but they've been so expensive! There's hope for us! Thanks so much-if you know of some more in Rome or Amalfi area, please share.
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Aug 25th, 2003, 10:51 AM
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Natalia,
We stayed near Piazza Navona also in March and ate every night at the area west of the piazza. There are lots of little restaurants in this area which are homey and really good. They are also inexpensive. The menus are all posted outside so there will be no surprises. There are also several gelato places in this area which are low in cost. Watch out if you eat on the piazza itself. While the 1st course may be inexpensive, they may sock it to you on the extras such as wine & dessert. We paid 7 Euro for a dish of gelato! After that we stuck to the side streets. We never had a bad meal!
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Aug 25th, 2003, 11:10 AM
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tdyls, nice to see your mention of Piazza Scanderberg. I was on my way to take photos of the Quirinale Palace one day when I stumbled on that intimate little piazza.

Grinisa, grazie for your explanation of a tavola calda. We stopped in a couple others that were more "snack bar"-like, with a counter and just a few tables, but the one we loved, the Tavola Calda del Corso, was more trattoria-like, with dining rooms downstairs and upstairs.
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Aug 25th, 2003, 11:27 AM
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Thanks everyone, these are some good ideas. I will just have to have a compass to figure out which way is west, scullysioux, but I will def. try that area.

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Aug 25th, 2003, 09:27 PM
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Thanks for the nice feedback. Since there seems to be interest, here is the rest of our restaurant experiences in Rome from our last trip.

Osteria del Gallo, Vicolo di Mentevecchio, 27, in the area west of Piazza Navona. This was probably our favorite meal in Rome. Small, modest family run osteria, with simple food made from fresh ingredients. Excellent fiori di zucca (squash blossoms filled with cheese and fried); tagliatelle (wide flat pasta) with porcini; strozzapretti all'amatriciana (homemade pasta, like fat spaghetti, with a sauce of tomatoes, pancetta and a dash of red pepper); fresh berries for dessert: total for 2 with wine, water and coffee, about 40 Euro.

Antica Taverna, Via di Monte Giordano, west of Piazza Navona. Also small and casual. This was a close second to Osteria del Gallo, marred only by the solvent fumes wafting from next door where someone was refinishing some furniture. Rigatoni with sausage and mushrooms was excellent. 3 courses for 2, about 40 Euro including wine, water and coffee.

La Carbonara. We ate here 3 years ago in the winter and it was excellent. In the warm weather the emphasis is on the location, outdoors in the Campo dei Fiori, with great people watching and lots of action. We had good, brisk service from our waiter (we speak Italian, which helps) although I did notice that he was a lot less attentive to the (non-Italian speaking) family next to us. He seemed surprised when, while taking their dessert orders, the mother ordered a plate of peas and a cup of tea. He brought the peas but the tea never materialized. She seemed annoyed but didn't pursue it.

For fresh vegetables, do the self-serve antipasto bar, with excellent stuffed eggplant, zucchini and red bell peppers, the aforementioned peas, and a frittata and meatball selection for some protein. This could be your meal; however, I followed this with the well-seasoned (if somewhat dry) lamb: 3 courses with water and wine for 57 Euro.

Sabatini. It's not that it was a bad meal, just overpriced for the mediocre food and indifferent service, although in an admittedly fantastic location, right in Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere. 3 people, 3 courses, 130 Euro. Ouch. Fortunately, we had the pleasure of spending the meal with our friend Tony from Los Angeles, whose last night coincided with our first.
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Aug 26th, 2003, 07:47 AM
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Re: Dino & Tony Hostaria. Do you need to tell them that that particular priest sent you in order to get such amazing service?

thanks
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Aug 26th, 2003, 07:51 AM
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My taste buds were asking the same question.
 
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