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Rome Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations

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#31 Craig Camp

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Posted 11 March 2003 - 10:16 AM

Pesce Arrosto in Sale is a dish that I associate with regions futher south than Roma - although you can find everything in Roma. Certainly Napoli but even more in Puglia and Calabria. As Bux noted - all areas that were under the Spanish crown.
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#32 Craig Camp

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Posted 11 March 2003 - 10:36 AM

Peter -More than you wanted to know about the pompano fish:

Types of Pompanos
Of the 30 genera that constitute the family, the 6 most important are the leather jacks, the amberfishes, the cavallas or jacks, the moonfishes, the casabes, and the pompanos. 2
Best known of the leather jacks is the pilot fish, a slender variety rarely over 2 ft (60 cm) long. Pilot fish, Naucrates ductor, often follow ships and sharks, feeding on the scraps left behind. Another species also called pilot fish is an amberfish. The amberfish genus, Seriola, (whose members are also called amberjacks and coronados) contains often beautifully colored fish that are of moderate to large size. The genus includes the streamlined California yellowtail, a popular game and food fish, weighing up to 40 lb (18 kg). Amberjacks are common off the Florida coast. They are grayish purple on the back and golden on the sides, and average 12 lb (5.4 kg) in weight, though specimens may reach 100 lb (45 kg). They prefer deeper water and feed on smaller fishes, as does the rainbow runner, strikingly colored in blue, yellow, and silver. Others of this group are the mackerel scad and the saurel, 2 ft (60 cm) food fish of commercial importance in San Francisco. 3
Most abundant and valuable of the cavallas (genus Caranx) is the crevalle, or common jack, C. hippos, found in dense schools on both coasts of tropical America and as far north as Cape Cod and the Gulf of California. Crevalles have olive backs, silvery and yellow sides, and reach 2 ft (61 cm) in length and 40 lb (18 kg) in weight. The kingfish, or king cero, is an important food and game cavalla of tropical Atlantic waters. The blue runner, or hard-tailed jack, 1 ft (30 cm) long and 1 lb (.45 kg) in weight and found from Brazil to Cape Cod, is an important food fish in the West Indies. The horse-eye jack is found in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. It is most abundant in the tropics, where its flesh is reputed to be poisonous. The Cuban jack, or African pompano, averaging 2 ft (61 cm) in length and 12 lb (5.4 kg) in weight, is a beautiful fish with an iridescent silvery sheen, similar in coloration and in its compressed, angular body to the moonfishes, silvery marine fishes of the genus Vomer. 4
Two moonfishes are the lookdown and the silvery moonfish. Both average from 7 to 9 in. (17.5–22.5 cm) in length and 1/2 lb (.25 kg) in weight and are important food fishes. They frequent sandy bottoms, feeding on small fish, crustaceans, and marine worms. The lookdown differs from the moonfish in its elongated dorsal and anal fins and in its rainbow iridescence. The casabe, or bumper, a smaller fish (up to 1 ft/30 cm) found from Brazil to Cape Cod, is of little value as food. 5
Commercially the most important of the family are the pompanos, species of which are among the most delicious of all food fishes. Prized as a food and game fish, the common pompano, found from the Carolinas to Texas, reaches a maximum length of 18 in. (45 cm) and weight of 8 lb (3.6 kg). It prefers sandy bottoms and feeds on small crustaceans, especially shrimps and sand fleas. A warm-water fish, it migrates to avoid cold, and an unseasonal cold spell will kill it. Of similar habits and distribution are the round pompano, named for its shape, and the gaff-topsail pompano, or palometa, a beautiful fish with a cerulean blue back and silvery yellow sides. Its counterpart in Pacific waters is the pompanito. The permit, or great pompano, of the Florida reefs is the largest of the family, weighing up to 30 lb (13.5 kg) and reaching a length of 3 ft (91 cm). 6

Pompanos are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Osteichthyes, order Perciformes, family Carangidae. 7

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Copyright © 2002 Columbia University Press
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#33 wingding

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Posted 11 March 2003 - 03:43 PM

In the same fish family-pomfret,found in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia.[I had it cooked in a tandoor in New Dehli].Pompano cooked in salt is one of the most delicious things on earth [to me].Stuff the cavity of a whole fish with herbs and lemon.Mix salt with enough egg whites to make a workable moosh,and cover the fish,top & bottom,on a sheet pan or wherever it will fit.Bake for about 20-45 minutes[depending on the size of the fish] and crack the crust carefully-you don't want to get salt in the fish.Delve into the crust and remove thefilets,and serve immediately.The best...I noticed fish cooked in salt in many places on the coast of Campania-usually branzino and orata,but pompano is the most heavenly.

#34 peterpumkino

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Posted 12 March 2003 - 04:56 AM

Wonderful answers to my question on Pompano (thanks Craig and Wing Ding). Thanks a million BUT my original question remains unanswered viv: what would be the nearest equivelant in Europe as I found Pompano great for cooking in this manner??

Edited by peterpumkino, 12 March 2003 - 04:56 AM.

#35 Craig Camp

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Posted 12 March 2003 - 09:17 AM

Sorry for the long winded answer to the wrong question!

Try Orata - I think it is called Gilthead in England. I also like Branzino (sea bass) for this dish.
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#36 peterpumkino

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Posted 12 March 2003 - 03:20 PM

I've tried Branzino but it's really not as good as Pompano. Next time I'll try Orata. Meanwhile don't apologise for the Treatise on Pompano, I loved it. Thankls again.

#37 Lucrezia

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 03:36 AM

A French friend of mine will be going to Rome in a few months time. She doesn't have much time to spend, and asked me about tips on the Rome eating scene. Couldn't be of much help myself (only been there once, a while ago). I was wondering if any of you experts could be so kind to make a list of typical restaurants 'not to be missed' from budget to mid-expensive and probably one to where to splurge.
Thank you.
PS. Of course, I will oblige to report on her behalf when she comes back! :smile:

#38 Craig Camp

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 08:19 AM

Click on the link below for a discussion about restaurant guides -

Italian restaurant guide thread

Also I would suggest for someone headed to Rome who is not familiar with Roman cuisine to read Cooking the Roman Way by David Downie. It is a cookbook not a guide - but it will introduce you to the special aspects of Roman food.
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#39 Robert Schonfeld

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 09:26 AM

Last month's Gourmet was devoted entirely to Rome.
Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

#40 Chazzy

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 02:34 PM

As lon as she goes to San Crispino for gelato she'll be alright. It's near the Trevi fountain so it's not like she'll be going out of her way to get there and they have the best gelato I've had in Italy, the fruit flavors are especially good.

#41 Lucrezia

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 02:51 PM

Last month's Gourmet was devoted entirely to Rome.

I'm sorry, but is the Gourmet a magazine, a book or a website.?pls enlighten!! :smile:

#42 Robert Schonfeld

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Posted 05 April 2003 - 03:08 PM

Last month's Gourmet was devoted entirely to Rome.

I'm sorry, but is the Gourmet a magazine, a book or a website.?pls enlighten!! :smile:

Sorry, Lucrezia. A magazine, widely available. Also a website here.
Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

#43 persimmon

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 10:38 AM

We will be travelling to Italy for our first trip Sept. 26th-Oct.19th. We have already booked a hotel room for 3 nights in Rome at the start of the trip & also 1 night at the end. The problem is that the hotel is in the Vatican area, & quite far from the airport for our very early (7:00 am) flight home. Does anyone have a suggestion for accommodation closer to the airport?

#44 Nikolaus

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 10:50 AM

Fiumicino Airport is out of the city and connected to Rome only by highway. The absolutely only hotel on site, within airport grounds and with direct access to terminals, is the five star Hilton. As far as I know, it is outrageously expensive and of course conpletely anonimous.
On the way to the airport, just off the highway to the latter and at about half way, there is also the Sheraton Golf Rome, as expensive and modern, but at least set within a Golf course.
Otherwise, You would have to aim at Fiumicino village, a 5-10 min. ride form the airport and on the sea. The hotels there are fairly modest and in 2-3 star range. Two names I recall are "Mach2" and "Roma". In this case I advise You to have a dinner at "Bastianelli al Molo", Via Torre Clementina, the best restaurant in town, good seafood with nice terraces and settings and seaview.

#45 tanabutler

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 10:52 AM

Which airport are you flying from?

#46 Alberts

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 12:23 PM

I know it is expensive, but splurge on the convenience of the Hilton at the airport. You can get rid of the rental car the day before if you have one. The breakfast is expansive, the rooms are comfortable and you can easily walk from your room to the flight.

I don't work for Hilton by the way.

#47 persimmon

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Posted 05 August 2003 - 03:08 PM

Not too bright of me to leave out the airport! It's Leonardo Da Vinci.

#48 tanabutler

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Posted 09 August 2003 - 01:53 PM

This is my absolute favorite site for finding lodgings:


Good luck!

#49 cmben

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Posted 11 August 2003 - 05:01 PM

Faced the same problem our last trip. Found the seaside hotels in Fiumicino village either unopened or not quite what we would want to stay in. Finally found, by default {it was late}, the Hotel Satellite Palace. This is the hotel used by the air crews. Our room was a solid three stars, very comfortable. It is modern vs. charming but close to the airport. Took us all of 20 min to drive vs. the 10 min from Fiumicino village. In short convenient, reasonable {140 Euros} and they obviously know how to get you to FCO on time.

#50 bastien

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 03:13 PM

By my experience, Roman restaurants are very expensive if you want to have good food, especially if these very restaurants are Michelin star awarded. Even Gambero Rosso standards are disappointing to me... Are there any alternatives?

#51 paulbrussel

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 03:54 PM

Rome is quite expensive indeed. Although I do like the more expensive La Pergola, in another price category you can find nice restaurants like:

Piazza della Cancelleria 74
0039 06 6871626

If you want to taste nice wines (less go there for the food):

Cul du Sac
Piazza Pasquino 73
06 68801094

More trendy:

64 Piazza della Cancelleria

Nice but only vegetarian:

Margutta, Il
Via Margutta, 118

More traditional and filled with many Romans but quite good:

Dal Toscano al Girarrosto
Via Germanico 58

And not bad either, more traditional:

Piazza San Calisto 7/A

(PS: some of them I haven't visited in recent times, so I don't know hwo they are now.)

Edited by paulbrussel, 13 August 2003 - 03:57 PM.

#52 victornet

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 04:10 PM

Not cheap, but highly recommended is La Campagna. Get the fried artichokes.

#53 giuliochef

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 05:22 PM

I totally agree, Rome have turned an expensive city, especially after the Euro coming most of the cheap restaurants have doubled their prices (but luckily osterie and trattoria are still cheap)... so ,two cheap restaurants:

In central area, very close to Trevi fountain there is Ristorante l'Archetto with a huge choice of spaghetti (via Natal del Grande, 38)

Another one, between Piazza del Popolo and Piazza di Spagna is Ristorante Il brillo parlante ( http://www.ilbrilloparlante.com/ also in English), via della Fontanella, 12.

But maybe one of the best in Rome if we are talking about quality/price relation is Ristorante Giuda ballerino, Via Marco Valerio Corvo 135 Tel. 06/71584807. It's in a suburb, but it's very original (they are devoted to comics and they have a comics library inside). You can choose the sampling menu or from menu a la carte. Here is an example of a sampling menu:
Tortino di patate e polpo con crema di olive Taggiasche
(potatoes and octopus cake with cream of olive
Involtino di radicchio al vino rosso con spigola
Red cabbage in red wine sauce with seabass
Terrina di Faraona con pistacchi e cognac.
Guinea fowl terrine with pistachos and cognac

Maltagliati di nero di seppia con calamari, pomodoro e origano
Black maltagliati (made with cuttlefish ink) with squids, tomatoes and oregano
Risotto con asparagi, salame rosa Pasquini e ricotta affumicata a freddo al fumo di ginepro
Risotto with asparagus, pink salami juniper smoked ricotta

Controfiletto d’agnello con fegato grasso d’oca e tartufo estivo
Lamb fillet with foie grase and summer truffle
Selezione di formaggi
cheese selection

Piccola pasticceria
Millefoglie di croccante di mandorle con crema ai lamponi e frutti di bosco freschi
Crunchy almonds Millefoglie with raspberries and fresh beries
The bill: 44 Euro(!). I don't know if they are open in August.

#54 Stigand

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Posted 03 September 2003 - 09:07 AM

I've just returned from a long weekend in Rome. The tips offered on previous threads on this board were extremely useful - thanks to everyone.

I did want to share one delicious experience I had that I don't think has been mentioned here before, namely the animelle fritti (sp?) at La Matricianella on Via del Leone just off the Via del Corso.

These were delicious little balls of lambs' sweetbreads, deep-fried in an excellent batter that reminded me of tempura. The deep-frying made the offal melt in the mouth, like deep-fried cheese or roe, but with the rich flavour of sweetbreads. These were wonderful - even better than the grilled lambs' sweetbreads at the Angel Mangal in London (see London Board passim) - high praise indeed...

Edited by Stigand, 03 September 2003 - 09:08 AM.

#55 Beachfan

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 11:54 AM

I have been in Roma for the last few days, doesn't seem more expensive than NYC. Ditirambo was great.

La Rosetta was mixed (considering cost).

Uno e Bino was very good for the money, but out of the action in San Lorenzo.

#56 Beachfan

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 12:00 PM

My dinner last night at La Rossetta was mixed. The spagetti with shrimp, zucchini flowers, and percorino wasnt in the top 10 pastas I've had in the last 3 weeks. Or even top 15. At 30 euros, it should have been.

On the other hand, the scorpion fish with onions, spinach, lobster medallions and shellfish was the best main course I had in Italy this trip, and second only to an appetizer in Venice. Even though the lobster medallions were not medallions, just pieces.

Service was weak. On the other hand, they had some a good selection of wine in 375 mls.

#57 marcus

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Posted 21 September 2003 - 08:00 PM

La Rosetta is the only restaurant that I know in Italy where pasta is the weakest course. I would recommend skipping it. The mixed appetizers along with one of their whole fish preparations makes a wonderful meal.

Edited by marcus, 21 September 2003 - 08:01 PM.

#58 balex

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 04:58 AM

La Rosetta is the only restaurant that I know in Italy where pasta is the weakest course.  I would recommend skipping it.  The mixed appetizers along with one of their whole fish preparations makes a wonderful meal.

I completely disagree. I like the pasta at la Rosetta -- but only the pasta asciutta, the fresh pasta is a bit indifferent.

In particular I thought the dish mentioned above -- which when I had it last year was with scampi not shrimp, was very good. The sharpness of the pecorino worked very well with the sweetness of the scampi. Perhaps it's not so good with shrimp. Some people of course don't like pasta. (pulling on my flameproof underwear :raz: ).

I agree about the antipasti (stellar) and the service (mediocre and not particularly friendly).

#59 redwinegulper

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 08:32 AM

I am heading to Rome at the end of November and my travel agent suggestd the St Regis Grand. It was recently renovated, which is great, but I am unsure about the location. Any opinions?My gut says it may be good for business, but it is a pretty far walk from everything. I have always stayed a little closer to the Spanish Steps which I found to be a good location. Thanks....ed
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#60 Invinoveritas

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 09:25 AM

The St. Regis Grand is a very good choice although the location is not ideal (although still within a short cab ride to most destinations). Your instinct is correct that this is a good hotel to conduct business at given the expertise in such area that the hotels owner (Starwood) has in such area relative to other hotels in Rome. Other hotels to consider:

- De Ruissie- Centrally located with a modern interior compared to the plush interior you would find at the St. Regis (to each their own). The interior courtyrad provides a welcome respite from the outstide world. I find the De Ruissie to be a better hotel for leisure travel than it is for business.

- Eden-North of the main action but still centrally located. People I know have mixed reviews of this hotel. While the service is excellent, the room quality is inconsistent, especially on the lower end.

-Hassler-A bit past its prime for the prices charged but still a good choice for those looking for a central location and old-world ambiance. Design is closer to the St. Regis than the De Ruissie.

- Now for an insider's choice. Given your board name, you might be interested in staying at the Wine Academy of Roma (www.wineacademyroma.com). Yes, this wine academy is right next to the Spanish Steps and operates as a private club that provides wine courses (day, week, etc.) to the public. The facility is run by the same family that owns the Hassler. Since the Wine Academy is new, the rooms that are located their are very up to date. I'm not sure if you need to become a member of the club (25 Euro per person) but you can view their rooms on-line.

Good luck.