Rome recommendations

I’m heading to Rome for 5 days in August (after Bolgheri and Cinque Terre) And looking for some restaurant recommendations. We’ll be staying on via Margutta and would like a few ‘classic’ Roman trattorias and perhaps a ‘special’ restaurant for a grand finale! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Tony

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Our two favorite restaurants in Rome are Ristorante Tullio, Via San Nicola da Tolentino 26, quite close to Piazza Barberini and Le Tre Zucche. The latter is far from the center and requires either a long taxi ride or a lot of walking. We also like Cesare al Casaletto and Il San Lorenzo, which is a bit more expensive and is specialized in fish.

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Tullio seconded, great restaurant. Tuscan steaks and Roman pasta. Other favourites are Al Moro and Assunta Madre. All three restaurants are a bit ‘in your face’ with respect to the ambience and clientele. Just how I like it in Roma.

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  • Santo Palato
  • Armando al Pantheon (good all-rounder near tourist spot such as the pantheon, if you happen to be siteseeing)
  • Trattoria Perilli
  • Felice a Testaccio
  • I due Ladroni - good seafood
  • L’Arcangelo
  • Osteria Fernanda

Thank you very much, bcc, damaino & BradFord for taking the time to respond - greatly appreciated! Excited about researching each of these suggestions!

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Sometimes you want a place right down the street in your back pocket. Babette is right on your street. I haven’t eaten there in a while, but when I did, I enjoyed it very much.

I am a fan of Armando al Pantheon, but they are usually closed the month of August. I checked their website, and they are “due to Covid” only booking month to month, so I would stay tuned on that one. Their regular menu is very good; I order whatever they are cooking special that night, if it is at all appealing. Those dishes tend to be amazing.

Not sure if you are planning dinners, lunches, both? But if you are a fan of carbonara (one of the 4 classically Roman pastas), I do recommend the Salumeria Roscioli. I mostly agree, however, with Katie Parla’s recommendations: https://katieparla.com/recommending-roscioli-with-reservations/ The fantastic semi dried tomatoes with the burrata would be a meal unto itself (they have taken to giving me half portions with my carbonara when I am in there). And it’s different from your average trattoria…it’s in a deli, and you can sit at the counter or in the next to the deli case or in the back. I’ve never sat downstairs, and would request not to eat down there (I think there may be tables). I like to watch the action. If I eat lunch there, I can usually manage a pizza late at night (Roman style). Emma is right around the corner from Roscioli, or if you want to go farther afield, I like the Pizzeria Ostiense, definitely a local pizza joint as opposed to Emma, which is a pizza restaurant. Plenty of excellent pizza in Rome, if you like that kind of thing.

Also off the beaten track, I love La Pesceria Re di Roma. It’s a very simple fish restaurant in the back of a fish store. Probably not worth the trek, but I would! It’s a change from the very meat heavy, fried artichoke, pasta with guanciale meals (not that I’m complaining about those!) that you get in a typical trattoria. Their crudo plates are wonderful; I like vongole pasta. Fritura also very delicious.

I’m a fan of Trattoria da Cesare al Casaletto. Last year they were closed the last week of August (not sure when in August you are going). You’ll need to call to book. (They are good enough to make the reservation in English, but speak slowly!) The tonnarelli alla gricia is my favorite pasta there (also one of the Roman 4), but their fritti are also delicious, and the tomatoes on their bruschetta always wonderful to me. I’ve never had anything I didn’t like there. It’s understated, but not dark and old like some of the trattorias can be. And they have a lovely outdoor terrace. Sunday lunch is great there, but in August, I would choose the cool of the evening! It’s a hike (not on foot, but on public transport), but I usually spring for a cab home.

La Tavernaccia da Bruno (last year closed the last two weeks of August) has also been reliably good food, though friends went a few months ago and felt something was off. Not definable, so I would head there myself! Great suckling pig, if you have a hankering.

My thoughts on “special” restaurants in Rome. I wouldn’t bother. What would feel special to you? To me, “special” are these family run restaurants that care about food and are feeding the very best of their recipes. Granted, these are very idiosyncratic suggestions, but happy to think some more, if you want them. Don’t forget to eat your weight in gelati!

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I was in Rome in late August a few years ago, and many places often recommended were closed.

My nicest upscale meal was at Roscioli. https://www.salumeriaroscioli.com/en/home-english/

I enjoyed trying Gabriele Bonci’s pizza at the Mercato Centrale food hall near Termini. Looks like his stall is no longer there. https://www.mercatocentrale.com/rome/

https://www.instagram.com/ilmercatocentraleroma/

I hope to try Cesare al Casoletto, Al Moro and Armando al Pantheon some day.

I liked that one too, although it’s been several years, maybe 2016, and we ate downstairs.
I was able to book online, which I suspect was a major draw at the time.

Looks like I need to push myself to get over my fear of that basement locale! Maybe if I’m there with a companion, I’d be okay! Alone, I’ll stick to the counter! :grimacing:

I’ll also be there in August. I have been to Rome numerous times and have hit many of the talked-about/blogged-about spots. But I’ve never visited in August. I’ll be following this thread and will post if I find info about what’s open/closed when.

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We sat among wine bottles.

Here’s my daughter, demonstrating what she learned about how to present a bottle.

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For reference:

Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina [Rome, Centro Storico]

Trattoria da Cesare al Casaletto [Rome, Monteverde]

I thought I posted photos from Roscioli, but it looks like I only posted photos from Tuscany and Umbria.

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Slacker! :grin:

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I delete food photos, but I keep landscapes and streetscapes.


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Thank you, ninkat - Babette is an excellent idea for when we arrive and are getting our bearings! Appreciate you taking the time for the other recommendations -getting excited!

Thank you again for all the input! I’ve now got one night left to book and was wondering if there might be a ‘modern’ Italian option for dinner someone could recommend?

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Retrobottega is more “modern” Italian. The “restaurant” offers only a tasting menu, but the wine bar/cafe/bistro has an a la carte menu, and maybe more importantly to keep in your back pocket, it is open continuously from morning through dinner time. I’ve only eaten in the restaurant (New Year’s eve 2022, great fun for me), but I would think the food in the wine bar would be good.

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Also Santo Palato looks much like a classic trattoria, but newish with a female chef and often interesting takes on classics, might be appealing to you.

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I haven’t been to Baccano yet. Katie Parla mentioned Chef Nabil Hadj Hassan has moved from Roscioli to Baccano.
https://www.baccanoroma.com/menu/

I dined at Retrobottega a number of years ago (maybe 5?) and it was great. I’m glad to hear it is still good. Again, it’s been years, but in the past I enjoyed Antico Arco on a few occasions for modern-ish food in a relaxed setting.

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