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mogsob

Rome Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations

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Hello All:

My wife and I are traveling to Rome this May and will be staying at the Westin Excelsior Via Vittorio Veneto, 125, 00187 Roma. I am beginning to put together the food itinerary and was wondering if there were any gems nea the hotel?

Thanks!

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Hello All:

My wife and I are traveling to Rome this May and will be staying at the Westin Excelsior Via Vittorio Veneto, 125, 00187 Roma.  I am beginning to put together the food itinerary and was wondering if there were any gems nea the hotel? 

Thanks!

Just returned from dinner at Tuna, near the bottom of via Veneto, and think it's just great. It is now officially "our" fish place.

I don't hang around via Veneto much, but around Piazza Barberini (just at the bottom of the street) is Chinappi (also fish), Tullio (classic Tuscan), and a bit farther down, Le Colline Emiliane (Emilian trattoria).


Maureen B. Fant
www.maureenbfant.com

www.elifanttours.com

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We are recently back from a week in Rome. Our best discovery was Le Mani in Pasta. It has great food, a vibrant ambience and is inexpensive. It was our best meal after La Rosetta, which cost three times as much. For full reports see

http://epicures.wordpress.com/category/italy/rome/


Michael

www.epicures.wordpress.com

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My best memory in Rome is a Focaccia Panino - not that that was the name - I had in a tiny place that looked like a pizzeria on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, near Piazza Navona.

The best next meal was a very simple lunch at Enoteca Corsi, close to the Pantheon. The place was empty at 12 but packed at 12:30.


Edited by genarog (log)

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A few comments on some recent eats:

The Teatro del Vino is located in the 4 story Gambero Rosso Citta del Gusto (Taste Town), which also houses a cooking school (in full swing at 11 PM), a TV stage, bookstore and so forth. We started with different things: I really liked my bucantini (giant spaghetti the Romans favor) with a pancetta/tomato/etc sauce; others liked their gnocchi and tripes. The 5 of us then more or less shared several platters of cured meats, cheeses and smoked fish; all were top-rate products. With wine, lots of water, two delicious desserts and no coffee the bill was 33.70 Euros each.

The Marriott Rome Park’s Brasserie (way out near the Muratella train stop) is a place no one wants to be but where I had to eat twice due to a conference. At the first meal, I started to order the 14 E pasta but the others, three Italian guys, who were paying, were all ordering the 39 E filet. OK. They must know something. I order mine blue – crudo – it’s perfect, not bad for Italian beef, with nice grilled winter veggies and some valpollicello. Bill - dunno, they picked up. Dinner was the pasta with meat sauce – did the trick. In the midst of the meal I started to outline a story and my very attentive waitress appeared with paper – nice touch, even through she charged me for two 30 E special buffets.

Tram-Tram is in the St Lorenzo area and Colette and I had a terrific meal there last year. Unless I knew it was the same place, I would never have guessed it, it’s fallen so far. That day, it was never more than ½ full (it had been packed to the rafters a year ago), the three ladies (Mama and her two daughters) who ran it, were disorganized and scatterbrained and the food was not knockout (as it was a year ago). I started out with the exact same dish (orchiette with clams and pureed broccoli) I had gone gaga over before and it was “so what?” Then I had the Salad Tram-Tram with radicchio, microtomed slices of pear, pecorino and walnuts. I dressed the radicchio with I gotta say good Balsamico and Olive Oil, ate it, then the pear shavings, and finally the cheese and nuts - and therefore was able to have a contorno, dessert and cheese, thanks very much!, instead of my hated dish - a composed salad! With wine, a coffee correct and no water, my bill was 24 E (which they’d miscalculated [having added in water] but recalculated as 24 E [readjusting it for the Berlusconi Factor], so I gave up on their math skills.) As I left, I re-read the article in English on the wall I’d been impressed with last year, and wouldn’t you know, these three (getting older fast) ladies, who when the place opened 16 years ago, had stark black hair – now are all blondes.

The Osteria Il Bocconcino, near the Coliseum is another Slow Food place we’d eaten at last year and loved. It’s an unprepossessing place which despite its location is largely frequented by locals. I had the special of the day – spaghetti with clams that were enhanced by two things; teeny, tiny, crunchy bread crumbs and a really spicy sauce – delicious. I ended with a fondente of chocolate which while my daughter does it better, was pretty good. With wine, a correct coffee and no bottled water my bill was 24.50 E.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Our favorite (sit-down) pizza meal is Da Francesco, in the Piazza del Fico, but on our visit just a few weeks ago, it's getting many more visitors from the states.
Went last night, and it was pretty hopping for 9 PM on Easter Monday -- there was a crowd of waiting diners on the street, and our party of four waited about 30 minutes for a table. The pizza was quite good -- proscuitto/arugula, which arrived without the arugula ("Sorry, we're out") and an anchovy & something. Thin-ish crust but not really charred, unfortunately. I had the spaghetti cacia e pepe. It came with small mountain of parmesan heaped atop. The dish was rather dry -- that is, until I worked my way halfway through and discovered the, well, sauce pooled at the bottom of the bowl. It certainly benefitted from mixing the sauce with the pasta, but isn't it supposed to be plated that way? Another of us had tagliatelle grecia (I think -- I couldn't really see the board well from where we were sitting) -- spicy tomato-guanciale sauce. A straightforward salad, a plate of olive all'ascolana, a bottle of the decent house wine. In all, a pretty enjoyable meal for €58 -- markedly less than the cost of the few negronis and GTs we had at the cafe in front of the Pantheon before eating (I know, but I didn't think it would be as pricey as it was). And I didn't really notice any non-Italians, but the hour was late.

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Our favorite (sit-down) pizza meal is Da Francesco, in the Piazza del Fico, but on our visit just a few weeks ago, it's getting many more visitors from the states.

Went last night, and it was pretty hopping for 9 PM on Easter Monday -- there was a crowd of waiting diners on the street, and our party of four waited about 30 minutes for a table. The pizza was quite good -- proscuitto/arugula, which arrived without the arugula ("Sorry, we're out") and an anchovy & something. Thin-ish crust but not really charred, unfortunately. I had the spaghetti cacia e pepe. It came with small mountain of parmesan heaped atop. The dish was rather dry -- that is, until I worked my way halfway through and discovered the, well, sauce pooled at the bottom of the bowl. It certainly benefitted from mixing the sauce with the pasta, but isn't it supposed to be plated that way? Another of us had tagliatelle grecia (I think -- I couldn't really see the board well from where we were sitting) -- spicy tomato-guanciale sauce. A straightforward salad, a plate of olive all'ascolana, a bottle of the decent house wine. In all, a pretty enjoyable meal for €58 -- markedly less than the cost of the few negronis and GTs we had at the cafe in front of the Pantheon before eating (I know, but I didn't think it would be as pricey as it was). And I didn't really notice any non-Italians, but the hour was late.

We've never really ordered anything but the pizzas and the antipasto table, so I can't comment on the pastas. But certainly cacio e pepe is not what I would call a "moist" pasta, even when tossed properly. That sauce was probably just the pasta water and some of the cheese which made it's way to the bottom of the dish.

There used to be a great bar just across the way called Bar Fico or something like that. ordering Negronis in front of the Pantheon will no doubt set you back quite a few euros :smile: .

To us, DeFrancesco is almost as much about the enjoyable atmosphere as it is for the pizza, and we try to go at least once on every visit to Rome.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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To us, DeFrancesco is almost as much about the enjoyable atmosphere as it is for the pizza, and we try to go at least once on every visit to Rome.
The atmosphere is decidedly pleasant, and the staff could not have been friendlier. Nor the patrons, it seems: we chatted with the neighboring table over digestivi, and it ended with an invitation to dinner at their home in Trastevere. I had to depart this AM for home, but my gf and her visiting, otherwise jaded Brooklynite brother et al are going.

As for the spaghetti, I regularly thin my sauce with cooking water, and I've never had a problem with sauce not adhering to the pasta and instead collecting in the bottom of the plate. I found the noodles to be pre-al dente; perhaps they weren't soft enough to absorb the sauce.

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Looks like I'll be in Rome with my family in July. We will be staying at the Hilton outside of town (I know, I know, we had the points, though!) I was wondering if I could get a few specific restaurant recommendations. We are extremely big on red meat and truly excellent seafood, and would like to focus on those areas. I think my parents would also very much enjoy visiting a couple of off-the-beaten path but really top notch little restaurants. Something distinctive, unique, so forth....

We will also being going to Pompeii. Is there anything worth eating within easy reach of the ruins?

Here's what I have so far...please let me know your opinions! This thread is a hell of a resource.

La Pergola - This is going to be our blowout meal. (And so convenient from our hotel!) Chowhound seems to think it's still worth it...thoughts?

La Rosetta (seafood)

Matricianella

Osteria Il Bocconcino

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Looks like I'll be in Rome with my family in July. We will be staying at the Hilton outside of town (I know, I know, we had the points, though!) I was wondering if I could get a few specific restaurant recommendations. We are extremely big on red meat and truly excellent seafood, and would like to focus on those areas. I think my parents would also very much enjoy visiting a couple of off-the-beaten path but really top notch little restaurants. Something distinctive, unique, so forth....

We will also being going to Pompeii. Is there anything worth eating within easy reach of the ruins?

Here's what I have so far...please let me know your opinions! This thread is a hell of a resource.

La Pergola - This is going to be our blowout meal. (And so convenient from our hotel!)  Chowhound seems to think it's still worth it...thoughts?

La Rosetta (seafood)

Matricianella

Osteria Il Bocconcino

For Pompeii, what I recommend (and you can search/download an article I wrote in the New York Times a few years ago with the details) is packing a little snack then having a serious meal at Il Principe in the modern town of Pompei. There are also plenty of other places to eat in Pompei. Logistically this means you leave the site by the amphitheater gate, not the one you entered (Porta Marina). There is also decent sustenance near the Porta Marina, but not fine dining. At the moment there is no food on the site.

I don't get to La Pergola very often but am sure it's still wonderful. I don't like La Rosetta, not for the kitchen, which is superb, but for everything else. For fish we go to Tuna, on via Veneto, or else we get on a train and go to Anzio, to Pierino (that's your topnotch off-beaten-path). Mare on via Ripetta is supposed to be very good, but we haven't been yet. We have been to Matricianella and Il Bocconcino once each and disliked both. Bocconcino is near home so we should try again, but only out of duty, not because we really think we'd like it better. We found the food acceptable but great confusion between kitchen and room. It may have been an off-night, but my husband is an engineering professor and gets very nervous if he senses confusion anywhere near his dinner, so it's pretty much fatal for a restaurant. Red meat, as in rare steaks, is more a Tuscan thing than a Roman, but there are some Tuscan places that have good bistecche alla fiorentina. Occasionally you'll see tagliata on a menu, which is very rare steak sliced across the grain. But there is plenty of meat in Rome, mostly lamb. Al Ceppo, which I like very much, has a big fireplace where they grill meat. Checchino dal 1887 is all meat, very traditional, and one of the places we keep going back when we want to introduce visitors to cucina romana.

For our own special occasions we keep going back to Il Convivio and Agata e Romeo. On our list to try is Antonello Colonna in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, not the downstairs but up, where he has transferred his Labico operation. Al Pagliaccio is also good.

The Hilton isn't really outside of town, it's just outside the center. The area is called Monte Mario (or Montemario). It's inconvenient, but not beyond the reach of public transport and it's really very nice there.


Edited by Maureen B. Fant (log)

Maureen B. Fant
www.maureenbfant.com

www.elifanttours.com

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I'll second (or third?) Da Francesco for a pasta or pizza and a sense of a bustling, Roman place. It's not changed much in the near-20 years I've been visiting and a pizza about a month ago was better than any previous visits (that I could recall), and certainly better than the famed Da Baffeto the next night. Bar Fico seems to have been closed for over a year now (if my increasingly infrequent trips to the city are any judge)... which is a shame, as I used to like it.

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I'll second (or third?) Da Francesco for a pasta or pizza and a sense of a bustling, Roman place.  It's not changed much in the near-20 years I've been visiting and a pizza about a month ago was better than any previous visits (that I could recall), and certainly better than the famed Da Baffeto the next night.  Bar Fico seems to have been closed for over a year now (if my increasingly infrequent trips to the city are any judge)... which is a shame, as I used to like it.

Bar Fico was a favorite. So, in lieu of that, I'll suggest Caffe della Pace, Piazza delle Pace, 4. It's not as off-the-radar as Fico was, but it is in one of the most amazing little piazzas that Rome has to offer, imo. Remember, ordering at the counter yourself will save you a bundle.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Thanks for the great recs!

I've stayed at the Hilton before and I think it's a really lovely hotel...and the pool area and the view from the VIP floor are pretty hard to beat. I found the free shuttle into town pretty convenient last I was there, but some make grumbling noises about its distance from the center. Enh.

We are very big on lamb in this family. (As well as langoustines!) I would love to get a sense for real Roman specialties since they're not particularly common in the USA. I think Checchino dal 1887 would be a huge hit for my father. He has not visited Rome before (my mom and I ditched him last time since he had to work) so I'd love to make this special for him gustatory-wise....

Any decent osso bucco in town? One of my beloveds and we won't get to to go to Milan this time, unfortunately....

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If you're at all thinking about pizza for this trip also, then I'll throw Sforno into the hat. Its location may not be the best (near Cinecitta), but it's well worth the trip, in my opinion. It's certainly the best pizza I've had in Rome, and for that matter, probably the best I've had outisde Napoli.

Pizzarium was pretty good as well, but a completely different style.

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If you're at all thinking about pizza for this trip also, then I'll throw Sforno into the hat.  Its location may not be the best (near Cinecitta), but it's well worth the trip, in my opinion.  It's certainly the best pizza I've had in Rome, and for that matter, probably the best I've had outisde Napoli.

Pizzarium was pretty good as well, but a completely different style.

I am skeptical, in that I hardly believe any pizza is worth leaving my neighborhood for, or, better, that leaving one's neighborhood (or that of the friend you go with, or of the movie you have just seen) defeats the purpose. However, tell us if it's a reasonable walk from the Cinecittà metro station. If so, there's a chance I'll try it. And what do you mean "best outside Napoli"? Roman pizza is different, and you are condeming the whole genre.

The different style of Pizzarium's pizza (as I know you know) is pizza al taglio, which is a native Roman pizza type, yeasty and baked in a pan. I think Pizzarium's is seriously fabulous, as do most people who have ever tasted it, and their pizza con patate, with potatoes from Avezzano, is a revelation. It is very near the Cipro metro station.


Maureen B. Fant
www.maureenbfant.com

www.elifanttours.com

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If you're at all thinking about pizza for this trip also, then I'll throw Sforno into the hat.  Its location may not be the best (near Cinecitta), but it's well worth the trip, in my opinion.  It's certainly the best pizza I've had in Rome, and for that matter, probably the best I've had outisde Napoli.

Pizzarium was pretty good as well, but a completely different style.

I am skeptical, in that I hardly believe any pizza is worth leaving my neighborhood for, or, better, that leaving one's neighborhood (or that of the friend you go with, or of the movie you have just seen) defeats the purpose. However, tell us if it's a reasonable walk from the Cinecittà metro station. If so, there's a chance I'll try it. And what do you mean "best outside Napoli"? Roman pizza is different, and you are condeming the whole genre.

The different style of Pizzarium's pizza (as I know you know) is pizza al taglio, which is a native Roman pizza type, yeasty and baked in a pan. I think Pizzarium's is seriously fabulous, as do most people who have ever tasted it, and their pizza con patate, with potatoes from Avezzano, is a revelation. It is very near the Cipro metro station.

Sforno is not Roman-style pizza. It's Neapolitan. So I should clarify that it might be the best Neapolitan-style pizza I've had outside Naples. Or, well, outside Campania in general. No way in hell would I condemn the entire genre of Roman-style pizza. That's a different conversation altogether.

It's not an easy walk from Cinecittà (I was given bad directions, and this is where we were told to get off), but it is an easy walk from Subaugusta. Besides their pizza, their various fried things (suppli, arancini, etc, etc) are quite good. Arancino filled with trippa alla romana was great.

Like you, I really enjoyed Pizzarium, and found Gabriele Bonci to be an exceptionally nice guy.

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:biggrin:

thank you for your advice on dining in Rome. I planning on taking a trip there in the near future and I'm trying to research and find out the best places to eat that are not too expensive because I am a culinary student looking to study abroad next fall. I love all sorts of dishes however I'm not a big fan of shellfish even seafood in general but knowing that your wife didn't like it either and enjoyed this dish makes me curious and optimistic on trying "Gran Misto di Antipasti" if you have any other recommendations please let me know. Thank you.

There are few cities on earth that you rely on getting a solid meal at just about any decent looking restaurant.  Paris is one.  Rome is another (and at half the price).  To me, this is heaven - no reservations, no plans.  Pure spontaneous gastronomy.

That said, I did plan 2 dinners for our stay in Rome: Agata e Romeo and La Rosetta.  Agata e Romeo has perhaps the best wine list I have ever seen (for my taste), and has more good values I can count.  Many bottles here are far below retail prices in the states -- if you could even find them.

However, A&R had the misfortune of coming after La Rosetta, which provided a truly stunning meal.  We both had the Gran Misto di Antipasti, which turned out to be two separate servings, each including 5 or 6 different dishes.  Simply put, this is Nobu (at its best) Italian-style.  Innovative, unbelievably fresh and pure, and absolutely delicious.  Let's just put it this way.  Before that night, my wife did not like lobster, squid, octopus, shrimp and a host of other shellfish items.  Now she does.  Not only that, she declared a squid dish to be the best thing she ate in Rome.

All this comes at a cost -- 40 euros per person for the antipasti alone.  My advice is to eat a large lunch, come here for dinner and get the antipasti, split a pasta, order a great wine and pick up some gelati on the way home.  You won't find a better meal in Rome, or perhaps anywhere else.

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Wolverines speaking Italian:

P1030608.resize.jpg

Icecreamparty and cinghiale say "Yum!"

At 'Gusto, here's the aperitivo deal: a single €9 glass of wine gets you unlimited access to the buffet. A €25 bottle of wine + an €8 negroni gets you access at €3.50/plate. It's the typical Italian volume discount...

I was properly chastized by the staff for waiting to take a shot of the buffet until it was disheveled:P1030601.resize.jpg

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I've just returned from nine days in Rome and have been slowly blogging about my experiences there--including food consumed and restaurants visited--on my personal blog.

For those who don't want to read through all the nitty gritty details (I'm only up to day three), I'd summarize quickly as thus:

- Staying in a rental apartment is much more affordable - and convenient location-wise - than most hotels in Rome. We've done this before in Venice and Florence, and while Rome was a harder city to book, we still came out quite happy with our selection. We had a spacious 1-bedroom + kitchen (not studio) apartment just off Via Veneto for all of 835 Euros for 8 nights. Sleepinitaly.com was the booking agency we used with good results when we specified what kinds of amenities and location we were interested in.

- Food in Rome: Not as varied, in our experience, as in other cities in Italy, but we don't do the fancy places and stick to trattorias and other restaurants we can walk in if we show up early enough (as we often do; we have no patience for making reservations beyond as necessary to get in art museums, our main passion when visiting Italy!) Needless to say we had some excellent meals overall and only ended up in a couple of places that felt like tourist rip-offs. I would say my favorite meals were at the following places:

* Gioia Mia Pisciapiano (Via degli Avignonesi 34) Tiny little place we lucked into just before they started turning away walk-ins because the "Cook's too busy". Some of the best risotto I've had in my life (went for the house preparation with ham, peas, and cream). Simple, very authentic tasting and reasonably priced (2 appetizers, 2 primis, 1 secondi, dessert, 1/2 l. wine + cafes was about 60 Euros).

* La Taverna del Ghetto (Via Del Portico d'Ottavia, 8) We dined twice in the ghetto and both meals were excellent, but this was the overall standout. Gruff service, admittedly--very much seemed like they catered to their local/regular crowd and not the few tourists who stumbled in, but this was the "real" Roman-Jewish cuisine I was craving to try and strictly kosher as well. My S.O. proclaimed the Baccalà the best he'd had in his life. Their fritto misto of vegetables was amazingly delicious and light, rather like tempura and great carciofi, of course...

* Aristocampo in Trastavere (not their panini shop--which is also good--but the actual restaurant with the easy to spot chalkboard outside proclaiming "We are against War and the Tourist Menu!") Had a fabulous cheese plate, great pork, and a divine lemon custard dessert with dried raspberries. On a street lined with tourist traps, this was a great place to stumble upon.

* Osteria Le Streghe (Vicolo del Curato 13) Charming little place we found after a Wednesday morning papal audience, just over the Bridge of Angels. Wonderful pasta and some great specialties, including the fried zucchini blossoms and bruschetta con lardo. Excellent choice for a slow, quiet lunch outdoors after the crowds at the Vatican, I would definitely revisit for a full dinner next time we return...

Anyway, have to get back to writing up the rest of my tour report...!


sockii

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| South Jersey Foodie |

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Hello Guys! I'll be arriving in Roma in 31/12 !

Do you have any good sugestion ? I really want to try the "orginal italian pizza", where is the best place to eat it ?

Thanks!


Rio de Janeiro,Brasil.

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Any recent update on Tram Tram? On the basis of some very good reports here, elsewhere and particularly from friends, we have booked for lunch on Sunday - but now some more checking is giving us doubts, particularly when no less a source than John Talbott starts to identify a decline.

Some comments (in French) posted on routard.com report that the place has changed hands and gone rapidly down hill - "resto à éviter"!

A few alternatives on good Sunday lunch places would be welcome.


Edited by kerriar (log)

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Ronaldoebt: I just saw your post and recommend Pizzaria Remo in Testaccio. Take the Metro to Piramide, walk west on via Marmorata for a few blocks (just past Volpetti's), turn left and ask anyone for directions. You will be a block or two away. Remo is a local institution. IMO, the best pizza in Rome. Also try the fried baccala.

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Really Thanks Dalej I will realy try this place!!!

I will also go to florence and Veneza, do you know where can i eat trufles from alba ?

Best Regards


Rio de Janeiro,Brasil.

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OK - false alarm about Tram Tram, we stuck with our choice for lunch on a cold December Sunday and were really happy.

First update (see John Talbott's posting above) is that the three ladies are no longer blond and have reverted to black but even more importantly, the kitchen is back to what it always was.

Both of us started with a pasta dressed with mussels and clams - it was moist and succulent and delicious. This is a simple dish but unbeatable when good - if wrong (e.g., too dry) the let-down is enormous.

Like many Italian restaurants, the menu is very approximate and what is served varies according to the day. I had a near perfect coda alla vaccinara while she had grilled lamb (exact description forgotten but in French it would be tranche de gigot). Contorni were the incomparable artichokes Roman-style and a bean puree liberally dressed with oil. All of this was washed away with a litre of the house red - a decent nameless but easy drinkin' merlot which cost €8.

Desserts, the usual ones, were just ok, but seemed homemade.

This is never going to be the greatest restaurant in Rome but remains very much worth the schlep out to the back streets behind Termini for good food in a place that is authentic and atmospheric. (Best to reserve as there seems precious little else in the area.)

All this got me to rechecking the negative comments about Tram tram on routard.com. The main complaint seemed to be about the lamb - but anybody who likes this French style will never be happy eating lamb in Italy. By French standards, the Italians overcook lamb so a compromise will always be difficult. The writer also was scathing about the undrinkable house wine - this I simply don't understand and perhaps it can be attributed to chauvinism.

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Perhaps when the writer was referring to the undrinkable wine, he/she was commenting on the fact that it was a poor Merlot. What is a restaurant like this serving a Merlot?

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