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ROME
Restaurants:
  • Favorite restaurants
  • Local and regional specialties
  • Breakfast and brunch
  • French
  • Italian (including pizzerias)
  • Seafood
  • Steak houses
  • Additional experiences
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  • Italians eat well and usually stick to regular meal hours. Breakfast is generally ignored, except for the ritual cappuccino and cornetto at the corner bar. A slice of crisp pizza makes a nice midmorning snack. Lunch is the main meal of the day, but officeworkers generally grab a sandwich or a plate of pasta if they cannot make it home. Dinner is not an early affair: Don't even try sitting down to dinner before 7:30 pm. Plenty of restaurants cater to a late crowd.

    Begin with an antipasto: for example, marinated vegetables, seafood, bruschetta or a selection of meats. Prosciutto crudo is often served with melon or figs in the summer. For your first course, choose a pasta dish, such as penne all'arrabiata (short pasta with a dried chili pepper and bacon/tomato sauce), linguini con vongole veraci (linguine with clam sauce) or pasta e fagioli (short pasta cooked in a thick bean soup). Italians who want to keep their appetites sharp for the second course often order a half portion of the pasta dish. For a second (main) course, try abbacchio (roast lamb), rombo (turbot fish), spigola (sea bass), fiorentina (T-bone steak) or straccetti con basilico e parmigiano (thin-sliced beef topped with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese).

    Expect to be pleasantly surprised by an authentic Italian pizza. In Italy, pizza is treated with a reverence not often accorded it in the fast-food outlets of other countries. Lovingly made, with an infinite number of variations, it shares with the rest of Italy's cuisine a respect for fresh, tasty ingredients creatively combined. A perfect quick lunch is a slice of pizza al taglio at one of the many pizza al taglio places. The best ones are usually close to schools.

    The most famous wines of the Latium region, in which Rome is situated, are the dry whites—Vini dei Castelli (Frascati, Grottaferrata, Genzano, Marino and Velletri). To accompany meat dishes, choose a full-bodied dry red from the regions of Tuscany or Romagna. If you like, do as the Romans do: Order a carafe of house wine (vino della casa).

    Below is a sampling of restaurants in town. Expect to pay within these general guidelines, based on the cost of dinner for one, not including drinks, tax or tip: $ = 30,000 lire-50,000 lire; $$ = 50,001 lire-80,000 lire; $$$ = 80,001 lire-100,000 lire; and $$$$ = more than 100,000 lire.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | Breakfast and brunch  | French  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Seafood  | Steak houses  | Additional experiences

    FAVORITE RESTAURANTS

    Al Regno di Re Ferdinando—Commandeer a table under a patio umbrella at this folkloristic restaurant after you've treated your eyes to their hors d'oeuvres table laden with Neapolitan vegetables and seafood. Specialties to follow include risotto alla pescatora (a seafood rice dish), pesce in acqua pazza (ocean fish boiled in delicately seasoned water) and fettina alla piazzaiola (beef simmered in a tomato sauce). There's a hall for eating indoors as well. Vast wine cellar. Tuesday-Saturday 1-3 pm and 8 pm-midnight. Reservations suggested. $. Most major credit cards. Via di Monte Testaccio 39, Rome. Phone 06-578-3725.

    Camponeschi—A nouvelle cuisine restaurant near the Michelangelo-designed Palazzo Farnese that now houses the French Embassy. Try the fusilli calabresi (corkscrew pasta with fresh tomatoes and eggplant sauce) or, if you favor fresh seafood, maltagliati all'astice (short, flat pasta with lobster sauce). For an entree, ask for rosette con carciofi (veal with artichokes) or agnello al rosmarino (lamb with rosemary). There's a wide selection of rich, creamy desserts. Monday-Saturday 8 pm-1:30 am. Reservations recommended. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Piazza Farnese 50, Rome. Phone 06-687-4927.

    Da Tullio—If you're in the mood for top-grade, aged meat, know that no one treats prime beef better than Italians from the region of Tuscany—such as the family that runs this homey and rustic, but stylish, restaurant. Try any of the long pasta dishes with truffle shavings or wild mushroom and parsley sauce. Cooked over an open fire, the bistecca Fiorentina (Tuscan T-bone steak for two) and the tagliata (sliced beef grilled and garnished with basil and Parmesan cheese shavings) will satisfy your craving for quality beef. Superbly executed fish and seafood entrees are distinguished as well. Local gourmands crowd this place. Monday-Saturday 1-3 pm and 7:30-11 pm. Reservations strongly advised. $$. Most major credit cards. Via San Nicola da Tolentino 26, Rome. Phone 06-474-5560.

    Enoteca Via della Croce—The fashionable crowd feasts on each other and nibbles on light lunches and salads. A huge wine selection. Daily noon-midnight. $$. Most major credit cards. Via della Croce, at the corner of Via Mario de'Fiori, Rome.

    Il Drappo—The long, flowing drapes give this gracious Sardinian restaurant in Centro Storico a homey touch. Recommended: zuppa di carciofi (artichoke soup), maialino arrosto (roast suckling pig) and totani ripieni (stuffed baby squid). Top things off with the homemade fruit pie. Sit in Il Drappo's garden or in the air-conditioned dining room. Monday-Saturday evenings only, 8 pm-midnight. Reservations suggested. $$. Most major credit cards. Vicolo del Malpasso 9, Rome. Phone 06-687-7365.

    Il Fontanone—Dine in the piazza among TV actors and international residents. Recommended are the spinach omelette and pizzas. Open 12:30-2:45 pm and 7-10:45 pm. Closed Tuesday and 20 August-15 September. $. Most major credit cards. Piazza Trilussa 46, in Trastevere, Rome. Phone 06-581-7312.

    L'Antico Arco—Elegant, trendy nouvelle cuisine, served up in an 8th-century building on Janiculum Hill. The seasonal menu is graced by such delights as spaghetti cacio e pepe con fiori di zucca crocanti (spaghetti with aged cheese, pepper and fried zucchini flowers), carpaccio caldo con i carciofi (sauteed beef served on a bed of fried and boiled artichokes) and petti di faraona con tartufi (quail breasts with shredded truffle and a potato tart). You'll be tempted to photograph the desserts, but instead concentrate on not licking the plates. Tuesday-Sunday, evenings only 7:30 pm-midnight. Reserve a week in advance. $$. Most major credit cards. Via San Pancrazio 1, Rome. Phone 06-581-5274.

    Piperno—This well-known destination in the old Jewish quarter of Rome is hidden in a small, quiet square; neighborhood residents will help you find it. It's most famous for its fried specialties—the fritti misti (mixed fried meat, fish and/or vegetables) and the beautiful carciofi alla giudia (deep-fried artichokes). A favorite with many locals, sought out by tourists and worth hunting for. Tuesday-Saturday 12:30-2 pm and 8-11 pm, open Sunday for lunch. Reservations recommended. $$$. Most major credit cards. Via Monte de' Cenci 9, Rome. Phone 06-6880-6629.

    Relais de Jardin—For a supreme cultural as well as gastronomical experience, spend an evening at this restaurant. Setting and atmosphere demand formal attire. Let the sommelier help you choose your wine from one of Italy's 20 regions. Appetizers are beautifully prepared and presented. Any of the rice or pasta dishes prepared with vegetable or seafood sauces will not disappoint. Wide selection of nouvelle cuisine seafood, lamb, beef and veal dishes for the main course. Monday-Saturday 1-3 pm and 8 pm-midnight. Reservations required. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Hotel Lord Byron, Via Giuseppe de Notaris 5, Rome. Phone 06-322-0404.

    Ristorante da Vincenzo—If you want to get twice your money's worth eating out in Rome, then visit this seafood restaurant located in Centro Storico near the Baths of Diocletian. The friendliness of the service is surpassed only by the quality of the food. Begin the evening with a Sicilian or Sardinian dry white wine from Vincenzo's well-stocked cellar. Order the antipasto misto al mare (assorted marinated seafood). For the first course, ask for penne or linguine all'astice (short or long pasta with lobster sauce). If you find it impossible to settle for only one type of pasta, ask for an assaggio (a sampler) of at least three kinds. For the main course, choose among mazzancole alla griglia (grilled king prawns), rombo e patate al forno (baked turbot with potatoes) and spigola in acqua pazza (sea bass boiled in seasoned water). Let the waiter filet the fish for you. Monday-Saturday 1-3 pm and 7:30-11 pm. Closed Sunday. Reservations a must. $$. Most major credit cards. Via Castelfidardo 4, Rome. Phone 06-484-596.

    Sora Lella—Founded by Italian showbiz giants Aldo Fabrizi and Sora Lella, and run by their nieces and nephews, this restaurant is on Tiber Island, in front of the Jewish synagogue. This place is famous for its classic Roman cooking, producing such creations as tonnarelli alla cuccagna (thick, twisted spaghetti with a vegetable and bacon sauce), gnocchi all'amatriciana (potato dumplings with tomato and bacon sauce), coda alla vaccinara (stewed cow's tail) and several fresh-fish dishes. Monday-Saturday 1-3 pm and 8 pm-midnight. Reservations suggested. $$. Most major credit cards. Via di Ponte Quattro Capi 16, Rome. Phone 06-686-1601.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | Breakfast and brunch  | French  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Seafood  | Steak houses  | Additional experiences

    LOCAL AND REGIONAL SPECIALTIES

    Il Matriciano—Roman specialties, including pasta dishes. Daily 9:30 am-3:30 pm and 7 pm-midnight (the kitchen closes at 11:30 pm). $$$. Most major credit cards. Via dei Gracchi 55, in the Prati section, Rome. Phone 06-321-3040..

    Marcello—Famous for fresh pasta dishes. Try the fusilli alle melanzane (corkscrew pasta with eggplant and basil), a Sicilian specialty. Marcello also offers an inviting appetizer tray loaded with vegetables. Monday-Saturday 1-3 pm and 7:30-11 pm. Reservations not needed. $$. Most major credit cards. Via Aurora 37 (a street parallel to Via Veneto), Rome. Phone 06-481-9467.

    Masolino—Small but gracious favorite of the showbiz crowd. Specialties include homemade pasta, salmon in orange sauce, shrimp with cognac and a variety of mushroom and truffle delicacies. Emanuale invents new dishes every day to satisfy a craving for out-of-the-ordinary Italian cuisine. Monday-Saturday 1-3 pm and 7:30-11 pm. Reservations a must for dinner. $$. Most major credit cards. Via Masolino da Panicale 2, Rome. Phone 06-320-8366.

    Papa Re—The Trastavere crowd likes this comfortable, family-owned eatery, and you will, too, if you feel like a late-night snack after strolling through this neighborhood. Delicacies include bombolotti alla carbonara (short pasta with bacon-and-egg sauce) and trote alle mandorle (baked trout in almond sauce). Sidewalk dining or inside in the air-conditioning. Lunch 1-3 pm, except Saturday, and dinner nightly 8 pm-2 am. Closed Wednesday. Reservations strongly suggested. $. Most major credit cards. Via della Lungaretta 149, Rome. Phone 06-581-2069.

    Santopadre—The after-theater crowd gathers in this restaurant that's both rustic and elegant. Traditional Roman specialties include il cartoccio vegetale (vegetables of the season baked in a bag) and tagliata di manzo (aged beef sliced and served on a bed of arugula and tomato wedges). Every Tuesday and Friday, fish dishes augment the menu. Monday-Saturday evenings only, 8 pm-midnight. Reservations suggested. $$. Most major credit cards. Via Collina 18, Rome. Phone 06-474-5405.

    Settimio al Pellegrino—This intimate, family-run restaurant is a favorite among Italian government officials (the Senate Building is just down the street). The atmosphere is so casual that patrons frequently help themselves to wine or check out what's on the stove. Mama and Papa prepare different Roman specialties every day for lunch and dinner. Ingredients are always fresh, and the resulting meal is more than memorable, especially if it's rigatoni al sugo (short pasta with a thick ground meat and tomato sauce). Thursday-Tuesday 1-3 pm and 7:30-11 pm. Reservations strongly recommended. $$. No credit cards. Via del Pellegrino 117, Rome. Phone 06-6880-1978.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | Breakfast and brunch  | French  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Seafood  | Steak houses  | Additional experiences

    BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH

    Italians aren't generally big on breakfast, but brunch is a new phenomenon on the Roman restaurant scene.

    Bibli—Books and brunch. Classic buffet costs 25,000 lire-28,000 lire. Most major credit cards. Tuesday-Sunday 11 am-midnight, Monday 5 pm-midnight. Via dei Fienaroli 28, in Trastevere. Phone 06-588-4097.

    Margutta Vegetariano—Daily brunch with veggie specials. 45,000 lire. Daily 12:30-3:30 pm. Via Margotta 118. Phone 06-3265-0577.

    Trinity College Pub—Three-course brunch with coffee and juice: 25,000 lire. Served Saturday 12:30-4 pm. Via del Collegio Romano 6. Phone 06-678-6472.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | Breakfast and brunch  | French  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Seafood  | Steak houses  | Additional experiences

    FRENCH

    L'Eau Vive—French and international cuisine served in a 16th-century palazzo by religious sisters from different countries, who dress in their national costumes. A favorite restaurant among politicians. Daily 12:30-2:30 pm and 7:30-11:30 pm. $$$. Most major credit cards. Via Monterone 85a, near Piazza Navona. Phone 06-6880-1095.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | Breakfast and brunch  | French  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Seafood  | Steak houses  | Additional experiences

    ITALIAN (INCLUDING PIZZERIAS)

    Da Lucia al Mattonato—This small trattoria, located on a charming back street in Trastevere, is one of Rome's best-kept secrets. The spaghetti alla Gricia with fresh pecorino cheese, pepper and pancetta is a must. Open Tuesday-Sunday 1:30-3 pm and 7:30-11 pm. Reservations advised. $$. No credit cards. Vicolo del Mattonato 2. Phone 06-580-3601.

    Green Pizz (Green Peace)—Choose from at least a hundred different kinds of pizza at this fine pizzeria located a few blocks from Rome's Termini Station and Via Veneto. Sit down in either the Roman countryside-style dining room upstairs or the medieval banquet room downstairs—or (in warm weather) their gazebo. Vast selection of salads and meat dishes as well as pizza. Evenings only, every evening 7:30 pm-1 am. Reservations suggested. $. Most major credit cards. Via Cernaia 16. Phone 06-474-1322.

    Ivo—The pizzeria of native Trastevereans. Family owned and operated for centuries, it seems. Famous for the Roman style (thin, crispy pizza crust) with many toppings and always loaded with mozzarella. Munch outside in the charming Trastevere atmosphere or inside the air-conditioned dining room. Wednesday-Monday, evenings only, 8 pm-midnight. Reservations suggested. $. Most major credit cards. Via Francesco a Ripa 158. Phone 06-581-7082.

    La Maremma—A modern and stylish eatery, La Maremma specializes in gourmet pizzas, serving both Roman thin crust and the Neapolitan fluffy crust variety. Located in the fashionable Parioli district, just outside the Villa Borghese Gardens. Tuesday-Sunday 7 pm-midnight. Reservations strongly recommended. $. Viale Parioli 93. Phone 06-808-6002.

    Sette Oche in Altalena—This is the hot spot in Rome for both pizza and live music. Located in the Trastevere section, which is known for its nightlife. Tuesday-Sunday 7:30 pm-2 am. Reservations needed. $. Most major credit cards. Via dei Salumi 36. Phone 06-580-9753.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | Breakfast and brunch  | French  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Seafood  | Steak houses  | Additional experiences

    SEAFOOD

    Gigetto Er Pescatore—The best fish in Rome. A popular spot on Saturday with the young rich crowd. Monday-Saturday 12:30-3:30 pm and 7:30-11:30 pm. Closed Sunday. $$$. Most major credit cards. Via Santa Elia 13, Parioli. Phone 06-807-9929.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | Breakfast and brunch  | French  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Seafood  | Steak houses  | Additional experiences

    STEAK HOUSES

    Il Caminetto—Great steaks, wine and atmosphere, along with light Italian cooking. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Daily 1-3:30 pm and 8 pm-midnight. Viale Parioli 89. Phone 06-679-3298.

    Il Toscano Girarrosto—Grilled meats from Tuscany, with a wide wine selection and homemade desserts. $$. Most major credit cards. Tuesday-Sunday 12:30-3 pm and 8-11:15 pm. Via Germanico 58/60, in the Prati section. Phone 06-3972-5717.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | Breakfast and brunch  | French  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Seafood  | Steak houses  | Additional experiences

    ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCES

    Fantasia di Trastevere—Carved from the ancient Theater of Tiberius and remodeled by Queen Christina of Sweden in the 1500s, this site provides a folkloric floor show to accompany your marinated salmon, mezze maniche con straccetti di manzo e zucca gialla (rigatoni with shredded beef and yellow squash) or filetto di rombo (turbot with pine nuts and raisin sauce). Evenings only, 8 pm-midnight. Reservations advised. $$. Most major credit cards. Via San Dorotea 6 (heart of Trastevere). Phone 06-588-1671.

    Giovanni—A pleasant, comfortable restaurant owned and managed by a kind and efficient family from the Marche region. The cuisine is delicate and simple. Ask for the traditional tagliolini al sugo di carne (homemade pasta with red meat sauce) or the lentil soup. For dessert, we recommend the millefoglie (thick, cream-filled multilayered puff pastry). Sunday-Thursday 12:30-3 pm and 7:30-11 pm, Friday 7:30-11 pm. Reservations recommended. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Via Marche 19. Phone 06-482-1834.

    Hostaria Antica Roma—Here's dining on the Appian Way within ancient Roman ruins, an ideal choice if you're visiting the Catacombs of San Calisto. Fresh seafood, potato dumplings with fresh clams, crepes with walnuts—just a few of Massimo's specialties served hot and with a smile. Reservations imperative. Tuesday-Sunday 1-3 pm and 7:30-11 pm. $$$. Most major credit cards. Via Appia Antica 87. Phone 06-513-2888.

    Nino's—While shopping around the Spanish Steps, you might want to stop in at Nino's for lunch. It's famous for beans alla Fiorentina and mushroom dishes. Good millefoglie (thick, cream-filled multilayered puff pastry). Monday-Saturday 12:30-3 pm and 7:30-11 pm. Reservations accepted. $$$. Most major credit cards. Via Borgognona 11. Phone 06-679-5676.

    Pierluigi—Tucked away in a corner near Piazza Farnese is a trendy source for centuries-old Roman recipes: Begin, for example, with one of their specialties, pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) or minestra broccoli (broccoli soup). Follow up with spaghetti con frutti di mare (spaghetti and seafood sauce), then proceed to pesce al sale (fish baked in a salt shell) or calamari e gamberi fritti (fried squid and shrimp). Enjoy this repast in either their garden or their air-conditioned dining room. Tuesday-Sunday 1-3 pm and 8 pm-midnight. Reservations suggested. $$. Most major credit cards. Piazza de' Ricci 144. Phone 06-686-1302.


    Favorite restaurants  | Local and regional specialties  | Breakfast and brunch  | French  | Italian (including pizzerias)  | Seafood  | Steak houses  | Additional experiences



    Information prepared by Weissmann Travel Reports
    Copyright © 2000 by Reed Travel Group. All rights reserved.




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