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Your restaurant recommendations for Rome and Florence?

Your restaurant recommendations for Rome and Florence?

Feb 28th, 2007, 03:53 PM
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Your restaurant recommendations for Rome and Florence?

We head to Europe March 10 and will spend 3 nights in Florence, 7 in Rome.

In Florence we stay on the Oltr'arno (Residenza il Carmine, between the Carmine church and Santo Spirito). In Rome we are staying near the P.zza del Popolo (Vrbo.com 74310).

Haven't been to Florence since 1977 (!) so we haven't a clue.

We know Rome pretty well but the P.zza del Popolo location is new to us. Last year we enjoyed: La Rampa (Rampa Mignanelli), Orso 80, Da Giggetto.

Keen on "authentic local atmosphere", great food, lack of pretence, professional service, good value.

Please share your experiences and suggest restaurants (relatively) near our lodgings that we might enjoy -- in either place or both. Thanks.
tedgale is offline  
Feb 28th, 2007, 05:44 PM
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My vote goes to La Giostra. www.ristorantelagiostra.it
artlover is offline  
Mar 1st, 2007, 06:13 AM
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I think everything has been said on dining in Rome here on Fodor's - the forum is full of information! This one will be sufficient for most people: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34792415, but if you want to know literally everything about Roman cuisine, study ekscrunchy's two threads on her recent culinary trip to Rome (one for preparation, misleadingly titles "Rome - easy side trips", one the trip/food report).
franco is offline  
Mar 1st, 2007, 10:55 AM
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Three places in the Oltrarno that you might enjoy are:



Diladarno...via dei Serragli, 108r

Alla Vecchia Bettola..via Luigi Arriosto, 34r (cash only)

Each of these excellent trattorie is off the beaten tourist track. Cambi is close to the Arno; both of the others are located within a not-difficult walk from the River. No pretense but good regional food.

ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 1st, 2007, 11:11 AM
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Here are some restaurants we liked, from my trip reports.

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.

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.

Trattoria Za-Za, at Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 26R. It's popular with business people, has a nice outdoor area with umbrellas, and we enjoyed nice omelettes there. Lunch for two, with a glass of wine for each, was 25.50EUR.

At Via Pellicceria, the Old Stove Irish pub. It's a decent little place for panini, and has free wi-fi.

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.

Not recommended-- Rosa Rosae Ristorante, via di Pietra 88. It was a very nice atmosphere, but a bit touristy. Food was just so-so, but service was friendly. Prices were on the higher side for the quality, at about 52EUR for two, with a half-liter of house wine. My veal was ok, but a bit tough.

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.

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.

Be aware that trying to eat ‘lunch’ in Italy in mid-day is a big problem, as probably everybody already knows. Once they close after lunch around 3:00, restaurants don’t open again until at least 7:00, and it wasn’t easy to find a market for picnic snacks. Finding a place to sit and enjoy a salad in the afternoon is a big challenge. We didn’t have much choice, so when we found a place that looked nice and was serving food at that time of day, we didn’t care much about the price or the menu. Of course, it was outrageously expensive and rather mediocre. (Can you say “tourist trap”?)
Mar 1st, 2007, 01:09 PM
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I second La Giostra in Florence.

We enjoyed La Piazzetta in Rome, near the Colosseum. Great antipasto bar and pastas.

Uma is offline  
Mar 1st, 2007, 01:16 PM
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To add to my earlier post, keeping in mind that you asked for 'authentic local atmosphere," great food and good value, here are two stalwarts on Via di Ripetta close to the Piazza del Popolo. I doubt if you will find many tourists at either of these places.

Buca di Ripetta, Via di Ripetta

Trattoria al Gran Sasso, Via di Ripetta

My advice here, and elsewhere, is to stick with the daily specials if possible.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 1st, 2007, 04:21 PM
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I clicked on the link for Di Cambi and started salivating -- literally -- almost immediately. "La vera cucina casalinga fiorentina" indeed!

I will research all these options -- and please keep posting!

I have some Roman favourites but would especially like to try some in our adopted "neighbourhood" of Piazza del Popolo.
tedgale is offline  
Mar 1st, 2007, 07:21 PM
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One more tidbit of interest for your Rome trip: If you walk from the heart of the Piazza del Popolo north under the arch, you will be on the Via Flaminia. This is a great food street with many small shops that are not on the typical tourist radar. The most famous of these shops is Castroni but there are many others along the Via Flaminia and the adjacent side streets. I am quite sure that it is fertile ground for good food/good value trattorie that are well off the beaten path.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 05:28 AM
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Tegdale I just reread your original post and noticed the location of your Florence lodgings. The three restaurants I recommended in Florence will be an easy walk for you. You are beautifully situated for dining!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 06:22 AM
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In Rome;
Capricciosa "Ara Pacis"

In Florence;
Via Del Barco, 21,
amine is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 03:38 PM
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ekscrunchy: we are indeed staying just off the Piazza on the via Flaminia side -- Via C. Beccaria. Not the most picturesque part of Rome but, hey, we are just 2-3 blocks from the Piazza -- and near the metropolitana and the Tiber and...

A very practical choice. The website lists Castroni as a local landmark -- also the rather ugly but useful mercato riunale. Can't wait to shop and cook with neighbourhood provisions.

tedgale is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 03:59 PM
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And I can't wait to read about what you cooked and where you ate! Have fun!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 05:37 PM
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bookmarking - thanks!
jemom is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 06:39 PM
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We absolutely loved Mario's in Rome. Its on a small street across from the opera near the forum. Our concierge was surprised we even knew of it! The owner/host/bartender was fantastic; its small with an outdoor seating area when weather permits; tablecloths, etc. The menu changes daily with the available ingredients. We almost never return to a restaurant again during a trip but went back to Marios. When we arrived, he greeted us like long lost friends, told us to sit and and he'd 'make us a special dinner'. It really was.. and then he shared a glass of wine with us at our table. Just make sure you're going to Marios' by the opera and forum!
cmeyer54 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 08:48 PM
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Another vote for La Giostra. They were also very child friendly when we went there with out 1 year old (now two). We went back 3 times in a two week Florence trip. Yes, tourists go there, but lots of locals do as well.

Also, try Perseus for steak. It is a bit north of the main tourist city, but worth the excursion.
Jeffrey is offline  
Mar 9th, 2007, 04:34 PM
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Florence's Di Cambi has not responded to our 2 reservation requests for next Saturday evening -- and we head to Paris tomorrow!

No matter: if they can't take us, we will try Aldilarno -- or one of the neighbourhood places listed in the Time Out Guide.

Thanks to all for their Florence and Rome recommendations -- all duly noted, consolidated in a single Word document and printed for ready reference while "en route".
tedgale is offline  
Mar 9th, 2007, 04:39 PM
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If you liked Giggetto you'll love Al Pompiere.
Mar 10th, 2007, 10:27 AM
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You MUST try Myosotis in Vicolo della Vaccarella, delicious food and great wines!
marcolino is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 11:02 AM
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Tegdale, do not worry if Cambi did not respond to the e-mails. Because most of their diners are locals they may not even bother with e-mails. I would call them as soon as you arrive in Florence...I am not certain if English is widely spoken there but you can just say "prenotazione per due" or something close...maybe someone here can give the exact wording... The bistecca for two is their specialty..but there are lots of options on their menu. Take a look at the antipasti spread when you walk in and see what looks good... It is a big place so chances are you will get a table. It is not fancy.

And please report back....

Also, make note of Diladarno's closing days..I am thinking Tuesday but am not positive..

Da Ruggero on Via Senese also looks like a good spot but I did not eat there so can't report...in the area more or less...
ekscrunchy is offline  

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