Restaurants in Rome...
Eating is, of course, part of
the fun of visiting Italy and Rome offers a great variety of restaurants.
Until recently, the most common Roman dining experience was that of
the trattoria in which nonna served up old family recipes. That is
still available -- and of course marvelous --but now there's much
more to choose from in Rome's city center. The food world of Rome
is undergoing a bit of a renaissance: old favorites are being remade
in modern and slightly international ways. So, once you tire of pizza
and the Roman pasta standards, try one of the restaurants below for
a taste of the new direction in Italian cuisine. All are tourist-friendly,
centrally-located, and happy to seat single diners.
This restaurant, just
a few blocks from the Pantheon, shares a piazza with the
2nd century AD Temple of Divine Hadrian. Not bad! Nor
is the food. The Osteria dell'Ingegno offers inventive
Roman cuisine and a menu that changes every month. Prices
are affordable and the funky decor is welcoming. There's
a non-smoking section and a large variety of wines available
by the glass. Lunch is frequented by local business people
and the service is expedited so you can expect to have
lunch and be back out sightseeing in an hour or a bit
more. Linger a bit longer over dinner and you'll be handsomely
rewarded when you leave the restaurant and get a view
of the ancient temple illuminated in the Roman night.
Moderately priced. Closed Sundays.
Piazza di Pietra 45, 00186 Rome
Phone: 39 06 678 0662
This extremely friendly restaurant and wine bar in Trastevere
is a delight. The food is creative and seasonal and the
young chef, Giuliano Brenna, often stops at tables to
chat with the clientele. Giuliano and his staff speak
English and encourage diners to linger over dinner. Much
more than many restaurants in Rome which tend to be overly
bright and noisy, Asinocotto offers an intimate place
for conversational dining and fantastic food as well.
Gay owned, managed, and friendly. Moderately priced.
Via dei Vascellari 48, 00153 Rome
Phone and Fax: 39 06 589 8985
Margutta Vegetariano Le Cornacchie
a large portion of Italian food is vegetarian, those in
search of salads, vegetables, or variety will welcome
Margutta Vegetariana. There are three branches of this
restaurant, the most conveniently located for the tourist
is that on Piazza Ronadanini, squarely between the Piazza
Navona and the Pantheon. At lunch there's an economically
priced and abundant buffet that offers cheeses, salads,
vegetables, breads, fruits, and desserts. At dinner, order
à la carte from a menu full of pastas, pizzas,
salads, and more. Outdoor seating, air conditioned, brunch
on Sunday. Moderately priced.
Piazza Rondanini 53, 00186 Rome
Phone: 06 681 34 544
Chinese Feng-Shui meets Italy at this new restaurant near
the Campo dei Fiori. The minimalist design is in splendid
contrast to the fabulous Renaissance palazzo across the
street. Food is seafood-based and quite original. Expect
a meal here to be long and quiet. Open only for dinner
-- reservations strongly advised, especially on the weekends.
Medium-high in price.
Piazza della Cancelleria 64, 00186 Rome
Phone: 06 683 01162
Fax: 06 682 118 47
Here, Italy meets New York and only good things result.
Located in a Fascist-built square surrounding the Mausoleum
of Rome's first emperor Augustus, Gusto is many things in
one. There's a pizzeria downstairs that serves a quick lunch
of pizza and has a fantastic buffet with salads, light entrees,
fruits, breads, and cheeses. At dinner the pizza menu in
this area expands. Upstairs there's a more proper restaurant
that serves inventive Italian cuisine in elegant style.
Next door is a cooking and gourmet store chock-full of treasures
that will tempt both cook and diner. And around the back
there's a cigar bar and a cocktail bar (get great sandwiches
here at lunch). Air conditioned, outdoor dining, brunch
on Sunday. Pizzeria is moderately priced, restaurant is
moderate-high in price.
Piazza Augusto Imperatore 9
Phone: 06 322 6273
Underwater Rome? The closest you'll come is at Reef where
the bar looks like a fish tank and the rest of the restaurant
resembles a boat and a beach -- all made ultra-hip and cool.
The menu -- overseen by a chef from the Four Seasons --
combines traditional Italian cooking with exotic seafood.
This is definitely a place to see and be seen. Outdoor dining,
air conditioning. Prices high.
Piazza Augusto Imperatore 42-48
Phone: 39 06 68 30 14 30
Cooler than them all is Ketumbar in the Testaccio area of
Rome. This restaurant-bar is in a former papal wine cellar
and shares its location with an ancient archaeological site.
The dark, funked-out atmosphere is enhanced by windows filled
with ancient Roman amphorae (wine jugs). Ultra-modern environment
is combined with ultra-modern food here to make this THE
place to be in Rome. Don't go before 8:30pm as you'll be
the only one there. Moderate to high in price.
Via Galvani 24
Phone: 39 06 57 30 53 38