These food and restaurant pages are part of Paradoxplace (about Paradoxplace).  In addition to its restaurant and food pages, Paradoxplace contains over 7,000 photographs covering much of Italy. Spain and Portugal, France, and Britain, and other places as diverse as Constantinople, and Mughal India.  Paradoxplace also contains extensive illustrated chronologies, maps etc featuring  the interesting movers and shakers and places in the worlds of history, art and thinking - from the end of the Western Roman Empire (about 500AD), through the boomtimes of the high middle ages (1200s) and the  Italian Renaissance (1400s) to the entry of the Nation States of Early Modern Europe (around 1600AD).  Wherever possible, looking, eating and story telling are combined - apart from the special food pages linked above, many of the other pages have food photos and restaurant and hotel notes.

 

We are not commercially sponsored (but have nothing against this in principle!), and we make no charge for any of the listings and recommendations - the only criteria are those of interest and that we or our friends have enjoyed them.   Feedback is encouraged, as there is only so much one person can eat and photograph in a lifetime - email afletch at paradoxplace dot com.

 

These guides were researched in the early 2000s .... not much has changed for many of the restaurants except many now have websites, which makes it easy to check information about them.  We can't vouch for up to date accuracy, so you should check first.

 

 

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Rome Restaurants and the Albergo Abruzzi

 

Back to Paradoxplace Rome photo galleries

 

 

 

 

Morning view from Dom Paradox's room in the Albergo Abruzzi.  The Pantheon was built around 27BC by Marcus Agrippa, who was the husband of Augustus' wanton daughter Julia.  Agrippa predeceased Augustus and so never got to be emperor.  The building there now - one of the oldest public buildings still in use in the world, is a complete rebuild done by the builder Emperor Hadrian in the early 120s.   Hadrian swung the entrance round to face north, which makes it an interesting photographic challenge.  The round roof of the Pantheon is made of (ancient Roman) concrete, and is 142' in diameter (around the same as the drum of the dome of Florence's Duomo), with a large hole in the middle to let in light (and rain - there are drains in the floor for this - the Romans thought of everything). 

 

The Piazza Rotonda is a busy place, but there is no traffic apart from delivery vehicles, so it is not noisy.  It is also amazingly clean thanks to the efforts of the mostly young female street cleaners.  There is a coffee roaster somewhere in the NE corner of the Piazza so the olfactory senses are  well prepared for breakfast in the cafe opposite - which offers another experience of the old building and Romans going to work or taking their children to the school down the road.

 

Street sweeper

Breakfast table

 

For those interested in domestic detail, Dom P was camped in the room just under the hotel sign.

 

 

Ristorante Piperno

 

 

Ristorante Piperno

 

Sunday lunch at Ristorante Piperno in a little almost piazza in the Ghetto - Monte De'Cenci, 9.  Closed Sun PM and Mon.  Tel 06 686 1113.  Always book.

 

The Jewish style flattened then crispy deep fried artichokes (carciofi Judea)  are obligatory,  the house Frascati is unusually good, and the deep fried Bacalà in special batter is mouth watering.

 

 

Sora Margherita

 

Nearby, upstairs at Pz delle Cinque Scole, 30 is Sora Margherita  - a different style of ghetto eating - unmarked door (except for orange fly screen), no booking, share tables etc - actually technically it's a club that you have to become a member of - Sora Margherita Associazione Culturale.  Good food, good value and with luck good company at your closely shared table.

 

A bit further back up the street is another ghetto favourite - Al Pompiere (closed Sundays) at Via dei Calderari 38.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to Artichokes, another Roman favourite is Fava (Broad) Beans.  These are presented as a generously heaped plate of raw beans in their pods, accompanied by a plate of thick slivers of Parmesan cheese, a dish of olive oil and a sharp knife.  The diner is left to take off the outer bean shell and then the thin "shell" around each individual bean, and then eat with a piece of cheese plus olive oil.  If you are lucky some garlic rubbed toast may appear as well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Ristorante Romolo

 

 

Ristorante Romolo

 

Over the Ponte Sisto in Trastevere, there is a relaxing garden restaurant called Romolo at the house of the family of "La Fornarina" - the baker's daughter who was Raphael's mistress (right above - obviously - to be found in the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica di Palazzo Barberini if she has not been lent out to another exhibition).  The Roman style Oxtail (below) was excellent as was the house red.  Via di Portia Settimiana, 8.  Tel 0658 18284.

 

 

Ristorante Romolo

 

 

 

 

Oxtail - Roman style

 

 

Down the hill a bit at  Via Benedetta 10 (no photos) are the modern stylish garden restaurant (expensive) and its next door (cheaper) osteria - Checco er Cartiere.  Excellent food and fashion in both.

 

 

Ristorante Pierluigi

 

 

 

Back across the river, Ristorante Pierluigi is far enough away from the Campo dei Fiori to avoid the worst of wandering tourists and is a buzzing Roman scene.  Fun, energy, Pierluigi strutting his stuff, and pretty good food.  Piazza dé Ricci, 144 (on Via Monserrato).  Closed Monday.  Phone 06 68 61 302.  

 

Happy Pierluigi diners - October 2006

 

 

Around the Pantheon and the Albergo Abruzzi

 

 

Trattoria dal Cav. Gino

 

Vicolo Rosini, 4 (off the Piazza del Parlamento / Via di Campo Marzo).  Cucina Casareccia (home cooking).  Had a really good small trat feel about it but the Dom had no booking so could not get in - will definitely be on the list next time.  Closed Sunday. Tel 06 687 3434.

 

Ristorante Settimo

 

Via delle Colonnelle, 14.  Small restaurant with Roman Cucina and good service (we had an excellent mixed hors-d'oeuvre plate followed by calves brains).  Closed Sunday and Monday.  Tel 06 678 9651.

 

La Segrestia

 

Via del Seminario, 89.  Great Roman food (and Pizzas) at a reasonable price - surprising for a place so close to the Pz Rotonda.  We had Roman egg soup and Roman tripe .... the seafood platter (again surprisingly for its location) looked outstanding.  Closed Wednesday.  Tel 06 679 7581. 

 

Il Buco

 

Via S Ignazio, 8 (at the back of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva).  The Dom's place to start regenerating the best tastes of Tuscany, against the energetic background class noise from the Jesuit school hall opposite and the security of the Carabiniere command centre next door.  Closed Monday.  Tel 06 679 3298. 

 

Ristorante San Eustachio

 

Just opposite the church of the same name -  Piazza dei Caprettari, 63.  Excellent food in a spacious street enclosure.  Closed Sunday.  Tel 06 686 1616. 

 

Maccheroni

 

Piazza delle Coppelle, 44.  Always full, and has now spread down the street and into a labrynth of cellars and in the process has lost it - unless you like your secondo slapped on the table before your badly cooked spag vongole is half eaten.  And why it is recommended on the slow food site is a complete mystery.  If you do go, booking is essential to avoid the dungeons, but in our view it has become the most indifferent of the places on this list if it's good food you're after and not just the buzz.    Phone 06 6830 7895.

 

 

 

Heading with attitude to Sunday lunch near Campo dei Fiori.

 

 

Around Santa Maria Maggiore (sort of)

 

 

La Forcetta d’Oro

 

Via S Martino ai Monti, 40 (/Via Domenichino)  (near S Prassede) - conveniently placed lunch location with mainly local Italian diners, in a mostly restaurant free area (unless you like Italian Chinese).

 

Ristorante del Giglio

 

Via Torino 137 (near the Opera House).  Tel 06 488 1606.  We had a good meal here after the opera in the early 2000s.

 

 

Cantina Cantarini

 

Piazza Sallustio 12 (E of V Veneto) - we had an excellent dinner there but it was in 1999.  Best to book - phone is in the DK guide.

 

 

 

 

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