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The Best in Rome

Rome Restaurants: CAMPO DE' FIORI & THE GHETTO

Al Bric
Just off Campo de’ Fiori, this wine bar/trattioria reeks with old world character, from the valuted ceiling to the walls, decorated with wine labels. Bi-frontal windows, open to passing foot-traffic, display an incomparable selection of French and Italian cheeses, home-made grissini
(bread sticks), foie gras, patè and a list of French and Italian wines selected by owner Roberto Marchetti. The menu features unusual flavor combinations, such as Roman pecorino cheese paired with chestnuts in a maccheroni sauce, or sword fish Stroganoff seasoned with thyme. Among the divine desserts, our favorite is a confection of chestnuts with cinnamon cream. €€€
Via del Pellegrino, 51 tel 06 687 9533 Open continuously 12:30 to 23:30


With it’s ringside position in the magnificent Piazza Farnese, and its old-world elegance, the Camponeschi family restaurant has charmed Italians and tourists for decades. The three dining rooms are decorated in warm colors, antique furnishings and period chandeliers. The menu offers superb renditions of regional specialties. Seafood enthusiasts might try astice, (baby lobster) with truffles or millefoglie di triglia con cialde di pecorino — a layered confection of Mediterranean fish served with roman pecorino cheese. On a chilly winter evening, warm your insides with pasta topped with mountain goat ragu sauce. In any season, don’t shy away from desserts – they’re worth the calories. The wine list is exceptional. Start your evening with an apertivo in the adjoining wine bar.
Terrace dining is a must in warmer months. €€€
Piazza Farnese, 50 tel 06 687 4927 Closed Sundays and in January.

Open Baladin

On the site of the former Crudo restaurant, this sleek establishment serves a wide variety of boutique beers along with perfect beer-food, from chicken and burgersof every kind to fries and salads. It's the latest creation of Gabriele Bonci, one of Italy's most influential bakers, and arguably, the king of Roman pizzza, best known for his Pizzarium in Prati and Tricolore in the Monti district.
Via degli Specchi, 6 tel 06 683 8989 open daily noon- 2 am


With a location steps away from Campo de' Fiori, and the ambience of an updated trattoria, it's no wonder Ditirambo attracts its share of the tourist trade. The menu is intriguing — unusual combinations of ingredients like sardines cooked with figs sound tempting, but not all the dishes are successful. The menu changes monthly, and everything is fresh and top quality. We tried a flavorful eggplant with pesto sauce, but were disappointed by the octopus salad with ginger, which was oddly bland. Among the desserts, the coffee semifreddo was heavenly, but a millefoglie with almond cream and berry sauce was too syrupy sweet. The menu includes a selection of small vegetarian dishes, which are a wonderful idea. Make a meal by ordering several and enjoy the variety of flavors and textures. The extensive wine list includes some 200 labels from all over Italy. €€
Piazza della Cancelleria 74/75   tel 06 6871626

Da Giggetto
In the heart of the Ghetto, with a view of the ancient Portico d'Ottavia, this family-owned restaurant is a bastion of classic Roman Jewish cuisine. In warmer months, ask for an outside table, or choose one inside against the French doors that open out onto the street. Not to be missed: stuffed zucchini flowers, and the flawless carciofi alla giudia, crispy fried artichokes without a trace of grease. In season, try the puntarelle, a classic Roman salad with an anchovy dressing. Traditional pastas, such as amatriciana and carbonara are cooked to perfection here, as is another Roman classic, abbacchio allo scottadita, (roast lamb).
Via del Portico d'Ottavio tel 06 6861105. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Monday.

Hosteria del Pesce
Since opening in 2001, Hosteria del Pesce has been widely considered the best seafood restaurant in Rome. The fish is incredibly fresh and deliciously prepared. Brothers Johnny and Giuliano Micalusi use only the day's catch brought in each morning from nearby Terracina. It's displayed on beds of ice, giving you a preview of the menu as you enter. On the downside, it's expensive; the service can be a tad on the indifferent side; the place is usually packed; you can wait for your table even with a reservation; and the founding chef, Franco, recently left to start his own restaurant, La Lampara, (Via Pie di Marmo 36). Still, the Hosteria del Pesce is expanding, with a sister restaurant in Terracina and another opening in London. €€€
Via di Monserrato 25c tel 05 686 5617 Closed Sunday

La Locanda del Pellegrino

Specializing in the cuisine of Italy's south, with Calabrian cheeses, sweet onions from Tropea, and the spicy 'Ndja sausage. The menu includes many interesting twists on traditional dishes, such as a delicious flan made with pecorino chese and roast beef cooked on lava rock. All served on colorful hand-crafted ceramic plates. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Mondays.
Via del Pellegrino 107
tel 06 687 2776

Osteria Romana
You may not find this charming, traditional restaurant in a guide book, but when ex-president Bill Clinton was in Rome as the guest of mayor Walter Veltroni, the banquet was held here. In warm weather, the terrace, facing a quiet little street, is as pleasant as it gets — tables topped with hand-painted umbrellas, blooming geraniums, candlelight. In winter, the elegant interior rooms provide a cozy atmosphere. Two set menus — one fish, the other meat — will be urged upon you by the friendly wait staff. All the dishes are delicious and typically Roman, but less hearty appetites can order a la carte. Try the bucatinii all'amatriciana, a bacon and tomato sauce with just a touch of hot pepper, or one of the fresh fish poached in a paper packet. €€€
Via San Paolo alla Regola 29-30-31   tel 06.686 1917 Closed Monday.

Romans Recommend:
Il Pagliaccio
With two Michelin stars, it’s the runner-up to La Pergola and possibly the most adventurous of the top group—so much so that I wouldn’t put it high on the list for newcomers to Rome. Our first several dinners there were amazing, with surprising but subtle tastes, but our most recent, our anniversary yet, was a real disappointment (except the amuse bouche and petits fours), with combinations that didn’t combine and an agonizingly slow pace. We recently tasted some tidbits made by the chef, Anthony Genovese, at a food event and decided we had to give the place another chance (someday; it’s very expensive). What we tasted was ravioli with barbecued pork—delicate pasta, flavorful meat with surprising flavors. It was like Italian dim sum. Need I say more?
Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 129a, 06-68809595, Closed for lunch Sunday through Tuesday, closed for dinner Sunday and Monday.
Recommended by Maureen B. Fant, ccokbook author, food writer, cooking teacher, tour guide.

Romans Recommend:
Il Sanlorenzo
If you like raw fish, this is your place. And if you don’t, it’s still great. Gourmet (but not tarted up) spaghetti alle vongole is fabulous. Almond-milk (latte di mandorla) sorbet for dessert. As upscale fish joints go, it’s a bargain, way better value (and not less good) than more famous competitors.
Via dei Chiavari 4/5, 06-6865097, Open for lunch Tuesday through Friday, and dinner every evening, including Sunday.
Recommended by Maureen B. Fant, ccokbook author, food writer, cooking teacher, tour guide.

The joy of this place is the outdoor seating in a lovely piazza. Opened in 1938, has been a favorite place for years, and although the quality of the food fell for a while, it has returned to its former level of excellence. Local specialities are on the menu with an emphasis on fish. We especially like the seafood appetizers, like the crab and lobster salad, and on the pasta side, we love the Spaghetti ai crostacei, with shrimps, clams and mussels. Inside, on the lower level, there's an excellent wine cellar where you can enjoy a taste at a small table while relaxing. €€€
Piazza dé Ricci 144 tel 06 68 61 302 Closed Monday.

One of the city’s oldest and most famous restaurants, near the ancient Portico Ottavia, in the heart of the ghetto, Piperno has made its way onto the intinerary of many a visiting celebrity — Tom Cruise took Katie Holmes here during their romantic tour of Rome. Although the restaurant dates back to 1860, the Boni family has kept in step with changing tastes, while continuing to offer classic dishes, such as ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta cheese, lamb sweetbreads with artichokes, and spaghetti topped with shavings of pecorino cheese. For seafood lovers, spigola and orata, two Meditteranean favorites, share the spotlight with crustaceans and a traditional platter of mixed fried fish. Finish your meal with one of the homemade jam tarts €€€
Via Monte De’Cenci, 9 tel 06.683 3606 Closed Sunday evening and Monday.

For decades, Marco Roscioli has produced some of the best bread and white pizza in Rome (Panificio Roscioli, via dei Chiavari 34). Now sons Pierluigi and Alessandro have opened a modern wine bar and gourmet shop in nearby Via Giubbonari with a small restaurant in the back. At the tables, you can sample any of the offerings from the spectacular selection of cheese, hams and salamis, oils and vinegars offered at the counter in front, or order one of the specialties prepared in the kitchen. Open for lunch, dinner and snacks. Reservations at dinner a must. €€
Via dei Giubbonari 21-22/a   tel. 06 687 5287 Closed Sunday.






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