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Via di Pie di Marmo, 28
Tel. 06 6798628
Billing itself in
English as a “Gourmet Restaurant,” Green T takes traditional Chinese cuisine to a new level of elegance, more
akin to “real” refined Chinese food encountered in China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan. Adapted to its Roman location,
here one does not eat Chinese style—sharing all the dishes amongst the assembled diners-- but rather orders antipasti,
primi, and secondi in servings for each individual.
Prices are very high when compared to portion size. The interior
is comfortable and somewhat slick post-modern Romano-Japano-Chinese style. When the restaurant is slow, service can be good
to excellent. The two owners—an Italian man and Chinese woman—endeavor to attend to each table themselves, letting
a plethora of black robed staff act mainly as delivery people and busboys. However, when Green T is busy, having to wait for
the owner to come to your table to take the order, including the wine order and the water order and the food order, can cause
unpleasant delays. Every restaurateur's necessity of delegating to and training a professional wait staff seems to have fallen
by the wayside at Green T.
The food is very good, full of rich flavors, generally well prepared
and presented. However, as mentioned, portion size is extremely small, a la nouvelle cuisine. Asked if the 20 euro
dim sum sampler would be a good appetizer to split amongst 3 people, the answer was “yes” with the addition of
a spring roll order. When the food came, it hardly sufficed and was impossible to reasonably split 3 ways: 2 springs rolls,
and one of each of the tiny dim sum, save 6 little triangles of tasty shrimp toast.
The main dishes also arrived on the small side, though generally
flavorful. The pork belly in clay pot is excellent. A goose dish was rather uninspired, dry, and somewhat tough.
One high point was the wine suggestion: Rubico's Lacryma di Morro
di Alba for 18 euros, an inspiring, perfumed red wine from this little-known grape called “tear drop.”
Although a recent visit left us less than satisifed, the restaurant we have returned to more than any other
in central Rome is Ristorante da Fortunato near the Pantheon. A favorite of celebreties and politicians, here skilled waiters deliver a
menu of classic dishes. White table cloths, subdued atmosphere, and generally flawless execution from the kitchen make
Fortunato a standard bearer.
At times, the place is too staid and food has recently demonstrated less consistency. The risotto with saffron
and zucchnini flowers is always good. The galleto al diavolo was uninspired--little to suggest anything but
slightly undercooked roast chicken.
Via del Pantheon 55 - 00186
While taking a break from visiting the new and intriguing Museo Nazionale Romano Crypta Balbi, we ventured into the pouring rain
and up 2 block to Pizzeria Florida, our new choice for the favorite's spot amongst all the little, streetside
pizza places in Rome. This is a local favorite too, and the pizza is sold fast enough to always be fresh, with crisp crust.
Toppings are varied and interesing; the ingreidents very fresh and flavorful. Examples: ham, fontina cheese, & onions; cherry
tomatos and pepperoncini; fresh mozzarella and buffalo mozzarella. It's located right across the street from the
Via Florida 25, Rome
688 03 236
Paris in Trastevere di Dario Cappellanti
Piazza S. Calisto, 7/A
Tel 06 581 5378
Nine years of experiencing Paris in Trastevere puts it
among the top restaurants in this guide. Elegant dining rooms with wood paneling and lofty painted beam ceilings, delicate
sconces, and white table linens—it's a very Roman sort of eatery, but with a more refined sense of place than the majority.
Paris provides very good to excellent service, with waiters
not as staid as at someplace like Fortunato's nor too informal. One of the owners wearing a dark brown sport jacket and spectacles
usually drifts purposefully amongst the 3 or 4 dining spaces, inspecting the seafood cart or passing a watchful glance across
the room. Seafood is a strong suit in this Jewish eatery, given equal emphasis to meat dishes & pastas. The artichokes
and fried zucchini flowers—traditional antipasti—come delicately fried in fresh oil. Pastas are fresh, gnocchi
and gnochetti cooked to the perfect balance between firm and soft. The gnochetti with ragu di pesce combines the elements
of fresh potato pasta, pale, slightly cooked tomato sauce and subtle seafood flavours.
Unlike many of Rome's restaurants, the secondi
at Paris maintain the quality and flavour tasted in the primi. Mazancole (a kind of prawn) with a brandy sauce, beef
strips with a strong porcini mushroom sauce surrounded by a bed of fresh arugula, cod fish, roast beef (stracotto di manzo)
with a red wine reduction, and scallopina with porcini have all proven excellent.
Salita Dei Crescenzi, 31
Last afternoon, having succumbed to a traveler's cold, we found ourselves in need of nourishment without
the will to cook. We had the night before passed Armando al Pantheon and they were full up, but the place had that typical
Roman ambiance and an attractive menu that sticks in the mind. We thus returned for lunch and found one table still open.
It turns out to be a charming restaurants, one room, with a clear view into the kitchen and listed in the Slow Food guide
to Italian osteria. We had but two pasta dishes--spaghetti with truffles (19 euros) and ravioli al Armando (9 euros) and both
were excellent. The spaghetti a very simple preperation of dried pasta perfectly cooked al dente with olive oil, salt, and
shaved truffles. The ravioli a delicious construction with champignones and a light-handed cream sauce with cheese.
Piazza de Ricci, 144
06 688 07879
At the top of our list in all respects:
excellent ambiance & service, superlative Italian cuisine with innovative touches, upscale décor, and a praiseworthy
wine program. Each visit to Pierluigi happens by chance, as we stroll down the Via Monserrato, and we recall how much we liked
the last visit.
Facing the Piazzaa
de Ricci, with seasonal outdoor dining, inside Pierluigi exudes relaxed elegance, with soft tones, brick arch doorways between
dining rooms, and fine modern art. As seems to be the case with all great Roman restaurants, the family of the owners is ever
present, the father greeting you as you walk in, the son chatting with guests, and the mother strolling through the dining
rooms with a warm smile and vigilant eye for all. Skilled waiters dressed in black, multilingual, informed, and professional
will provide sage advice on daily specials and recommendations from the robust menu. Seafood is unsurpassed. A tuna tartar
showed off the succulent flavours of the pink, very fresh tonno, served on a bed of diced apples with a sprinkle of sesame. The eggplant with buffalo milk ricotta
and the Catalan seafood salad, both excellent. The latter exuded robust, clean flavors of warm shrimp, squid, clams, and potato
just sautéed with savory olive oil, salt, on a bed of arugula and cherry tomatoes.
Home made pasta with tuna, capers, peperoncini, and black olives: unsurpassed.
The risotto a la pescatora, creamy tomato
and crustacean sauce, with a couple of whole shrimp tossed in for good measure and flavour. Other classics include Spaghetti alle vongole veraci and a wide selection of fresh fish prepared to your
The wine list
results from years of experience in selecting the best from all of Italy's regions, with every selection served by the white
shirted sommelier, who also advises every patron, pairing with the food ordered. The list also includes a section of red and
white half bottles, perfect for lunch for 2.
Desserts are excellent.
It's relatively rare that we get excited about a menu, but the written offerings at Pizzeria Ristorante
La Focaccia had us salivating. The menu of this restaurant near Piazza Navona is extensive, the pizza offerings interesting,
the salads wonderful, and many of the fried dishes unique.
The food actually lived up to its promise and is highly recommended.
The problem: service. Although on our first visit, we were seated and given good service, attentive and
pleasant, our neighboring tables who arrived at the lunch rush were not so lucky. They had to wait substantial amounts of
time both to order and to received their food. A return for late dinner showed the same--this time for us. One hapless waitress
rushed around and had no idea how to prioratize, and she forgot our wine order. If you can, sit outside.
So, go for the food, but with patience.
Via della Pace, 11
Tel. 06 688 03312
Via del Vaccaro, 1
Tel. 06 67 93 897
Looking at the menu and the place, we had higher expectations
than Abruzzi could fulfill. Service was pleasant, but the food mediocre overall, including some of the “house specialties,”
which were lacklustre.
Next time in Rome, consider a jaunt to Rieti, a nearby high Medeival city along the Appenine mountains with
some instructive restaurants and comfortable hotels.
Check out the incomparable Bistrot of Rieti, operated by the fiery Rita Galassetti, whose creativity sparkles
in multi-course fixed menus: web
Via Monterone, 85
Tel 06 688010
L'Eau Vive exists a bit outside the usual spectrum restaurants
in Rome, and is a nice choice for special occasions. Occupying two floors and several rooms of a Renaissance palace that also
serves as home base for a convent, French food—for the most part—is cooked and served by the nuns themselves as
part of their order's religious work. This does not mean it's fare for the poor, quite the contrary. Lunch for three with
one glass of wine each totaled 130 euros.
The food can be very good—soups (including the unusual
lettuce soup), pates, and salads are excellent—but the main dishes follow the style of pre nouvelle cuisine France,
with gloppy corn starch filled sauces and somewhat dull flavours. A recent sampling of Tournedos was quite overcooked and
arrived warm, not hot. The salad with chevre chaude, honey, and shaved almonds, though, was superlative.
Service can range from excellent to extremely slothful.
If the place is full, expect delays. At Christmas lunch, it took 2 hours and 20 minutes for three to have a shared pate sampler,
a salad, and a main dish, waiting for 30 minutes to have the cheque delivered after asking three times. The glasses of red
wine arrived after the main dish was on the table, and although they rushed out the salads before the table had completed
the appetizer, we then waited for half an hour or more to get the main.
Nevertheless, on other occasions the sister servers
have been attentive, friendly, and fast. L'Eau Vive carries an unusual mix of the cosmopolitan—with nuns from all over
the world, many dressed in the clothes of their homeland—the somewhat retro French food, and the unique surroundings
of historic Rome.
Trattoria dal Cav. Gino
Vicolo Rosini 4
Tel. 06 6873434
Down a little side street off the Piazza del Parlemento is Trattoria dal Cavalier Gino,
which we went to and then walked away having spied the sign NO CREDIT CARD. We sprinted to a cash machine and returned, immediately
offering up that we had no reservation. We had to wait about 5 minutes while one waiter finished serving birthday cake to
a small family party--out soon-to-be table was the cutting board--and we were seated.
The ambiance is very much Rome a la 1963--the year the restaurant opened--with sayings about wine and Italian
landscape scenes painted on the walls. The place is clearly loved by locals and we tried to primi and two secondi: spaghetti
a la corbonara, spaghetti de la casa; beef involtini with tomato sauce, and roasted lamb. All were good--the house spaghetti
and the lamb were excellent--perfectly prepared and bursting with flavor. Service was friendly and generally prompt. The house
wine by the carafe--a Tuscan red--was quaffable. We also had a controrni of cold green chard with lemon. The total bill
was a little over 50 euros for 2, including 1 litre of wine.
Unfortunately, on a second visit--with reservation--both service and food fell below par. This time the
gnocchi were too soft and the tomato sauce dull; the main dishes uninspired. A different waiter provided decent service, but
his plate suggestions stunk.
Recommended by Slow Food.
Great place to have coffee or glass of wine: Antico Caffe della Pace, Via
della Pace, 3-4-5-7, tel. 06 6861216
An elegant tea room that also serves wine by the glass,
sweets, and snacks is located inside the Palazzo Pamphilj Doria: Caffe Doria di Ottavio Rossetti, Via della Gatta,
1/A, Tel. 06 679 3805.
A tourist restaurant with good service: Ristorante Maccheroni, Piazza delle
Copelle, 44 Tel. 06 68307895.
Do not expect spectacular or fresh food, but rather consistent tourist fare, mostly
“classic” Roman dishes. Service is efficient and friendly, atmosphere standard, with sprawling dining areas downstairs
and more quaint trattoria atmosphere at ground level. Open 7 days a week, year round.
Ristorante Federico I
Villa della Colonna Antonina, 48
Tel. 06 678 3717
This seafood eatery caters to tourists as well as locals,
and though the menu always enticed we had avoided it as a likely “tourist trap” for some time. There's a deck
area just off the street for outside dining and a bright, elegant interior.
Though based on only one visit, the cuisine ranked highly:
fish ravioli with orange sauce, seafood risotto, and gnocchi with tomato sauce were all good to excellent. The classic thick
tuna fillet with tomato sauce, capers, and delicious tiny black olives counts among the best seafood secondi we've
had. The potato crusted Bronzino was also excellent. A third dish that seemed intriguing, thin swordfish filets with
fresh grapes, lacked flavor and seasoning.
Multilingual and charming waiters dressed in Italian suits
provided excellent service once you pardon their eagerness to push extra dishes. “The tip is not included,” they
inform you upon receiving the bill.
The wine list needs some work—most entries are quite
pricey and numerous items have been scratched off the menu. There's a big Chianti section. We tried a vermintino (Mancini)
for 22 euros that barely passed muster: flabby and washed out.
Ristorante Toscano Il Buco
Via S. Ignazio, 8
Tel. 06 679 32 98
The flavors of Tuscany carried to Rome: game, unique
filled pastas like Nodini, hearty sauces like wild rabbit with tomatoes, excellent contorni, pheasant, grilled porcini mushrooms
& meats. The waiters are friendly characters , including the amiable Alfredo. The wine list is well chosen, and one can
ask for good suggestions.
This is the restaurants section of the destintion guide, for Rome restaurants, trattoria, osteria, etc.
Osteria (plural osterie). A tavern or humble restaurant
where wine is served as the main attraction and tasty food is prepared to wash it down. In certain cities there are now very
upscale restaurants that call themselves osterie, so if there is a pricey menu displayed, you are not in a real osteria. These
are great places to meet and enjoy the company of Italians you would never encounter in your customary travels as a tourist.
Ristorante Restaurant. In general, this is a more
formal establishment with waiters, printed menus, wine lists, and so on. This does not make it better than a trattoria or
an osteria, but the style of eating is often more ambitious, and prices are correspondingly higher.
Salumeria (or salsamentaria). A store that sells
cold cuts, including salami, prosciutto, and other sliced meats. Cheeses might be sold as well. A lot of salumerie also carry
olives, tuna, sardines, anchovies, and vegetables such as mushrooms, eggplants, onions, peppers that are preserved either
in oil or vinegar. This is a good place to put together a tasty, all-purpose meal or to buy delicious if somewhat-fragrant
ingredients or food to take on a train trip.
Trattoria (plural trattorie). One of the most
popular eating institutions in Italy. A trattoria is usually family-run, and the food and service are usually more casual
than in a ristoranti but also warmer and more personal. Clients become regulars at trattorie because their tastes and preferences
become known, and they become part of the family. MORE