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Rome recommendations, especially near Colosseum and Vatican

I've eaten very well at Zanzara, but also prefer Sorpasso (you must book ahead) and Romeo. All near the Vatican.

Yes, Asino d'oro is a good choice for after the Colosseum. Nerone is ok. It can be good. I also like Taverna dei Fori Imperiali. And on Via Urbana is Urbana 47 and Brocoletti.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Oct 22, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Rome:Just back

Thanks so much for checking back in.Glad to hear you had two very good, yet different, experiences in Rome.
Yes, Cesare is a hike, but worth it.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Oct 17, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Florence Christmastime

It's hard to comment on what is open or not for the holidays, since places tend to change their opening times and menus from year to year.

You are right to avoid hotels. That said, Se.Sto, on top of the Westin Excelsior has one of the most talented young chefs in Italy. Creative, new cooking, with drop dead views.
http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.c...

I'd love to be able to recommend some other places, but without calling around (or trying to look at non-updated websites) it's hard to say what will be open.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Oct 17, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Looking forward to a food filled week in Rome!

You've certainly done a lot of research!!!

I'm going to add my two cents by telling you which places I would eliminate:
L'Arcangelo: I know this gets a lot of hype, but it can be a very strange place to eat at. I get feedback that isn't always the best, concerning both the food, as well as the attitude.

Cavour313: This place used to be fun to go to, for the wines as well as exotic-at-the-time things like cous cous.

All the rest of the dinner choices are good ones.

Lunches:
I've never heard of Pianostrada

I love Villa Laetitia!!! Very cool hotel!

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Oct 17, 2014
minchilli in Italy

En route from Florence Airport to Chianti

You could go to Da Burde. One of my favorite restaurants and it's only a five minute drive from the airport. It's on Via Pistoese 154. You could even take a taxi there and back from the airport, picking up your car after lunch. That way you can get there faster and not have to deal with finding it.

http://www.vinodaburde.com/

I would go there more often, but it's a hike from the center of town. So take advantage of the fact that you are nearby! It wouldn't hurt to reserve, and make sure they know you are coming.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Oct 11, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Trevi Fountain

The new Massimo Riccioli restaurant is not too far from the Trevi Fountain (assuming that is where you are staying? Near there?). He has the restaurant in the Majestic, on Via Veneto. He is the owner and chef of La Rosetta, which is all seafood. But here he takes on meat as well. The dining room is very opulent, but intimate at the same time. Here are some photos of the rooms, as well as some of the dishes, which definitely are on the creative side of things.

http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.c...

Not cheap, but you said 'any price point.'

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Oct 11, 2014
minchilli in Italy

(absurdly?) long Rome report

Thanks so much for taking the time to report back in, with such great attention to detail!

I was really interested to hear your reports from both Checchino and from Arcangelo. I love the food at Checchino, but find the atmosphere always a bit deadly. It's always quiet as a tomb, and the waiters look scared out of their wits by the owner. Love the food, but never feel very comfortable there.

Arcangelo: I want to like it more than I do. Like you, I always feel as if I am imposing on them. It's never relaxing, and their always seems to be a certain level of stress going on in the background. The food is good, but I agree not mind blowing. It's just never a place I dream of going to if I have a choice.

Again, thanks so much for the report!

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Oct 10, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Our Rome List- would love some input (we get there today-- oops!)

You've certainly done a lot of homework!

Of the resturants I'd skip:
Da Teo
Le Mani in Pasta
I haven't been to Settembrini since the changeover of chefs, so can't really comment on that. I've heard good things, but just haven't been.

For the mixed batch at the end, they are all actually quite different. I'm not a huge fan of Roscioli and Al Moro can be a bit challenging if you just walk in as an obvious tourist. Trattoria Monti is lovely, but is not Roman. And you can't really compare Checchino to Perilli. Checchino is much more of a restaurant (with prices and wine list to match) and Perilli (always one of my favorites) is much more rough and tumble trattoria.

Pizza:
For sit down pizza I'm a fan of Gatta Mangiona.

Coffee: unless you are actually near these places I'm not sure it's worth a trip of your way unless you are a complete coffee fanatic.

Gelato....I guess we'll hear back from you!

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 30, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Tuscany report (with a touch of Le Marche)

forgot to mention thanks for the great report!!! Can't wait to hear where you went in Positano and Rome.

Sep 30, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Tuscany report (with a touch of Le Marche)

Glad you found and liked Palomba in Orvieto! The dish you had is called 'in salmi' and is a typical umbrian way of cooking game birds and other small animals like guinea hen and rabbit. There are actually no olives in the dish. It is made by cooking the fowl with aromatics in a pan, along with the liver and heart. It almost always includes some sort of citrus peel (orange or lemon) as well as carrot, celery, onion and thyme and bay leaf. Often a few capers and/or anchovies go in as well and some wine. Once the meat is cooked the aromatics get pureed along with the liver, to form that very intense sauce. Which is actually part of the dish and meant to be eaten with bread, or more typically torta al testo, an umbrian flat griddle bread.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 30, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Rome Hole in the wall cheap Italian Restaurant Near Termini.

About a 10 minute walk from your hotel is Danilo, a very old fashioned Roman trattoria. If you are going at dinner, it's good to reserve ahead. And ask for a table upstairs, which is nicer.

Also nearby is Trattoria Monti, a favorite on this board.

For gelato I suggest you take a walk down to the Monti neighborhood (about a 15 to 20 minute walk) It's a fun place to have a drink, then dinner, then gelato. There are lots of restaurants to choose from including a recent arrival, Brocoletti, which is on Via Urbana. For gelato in this neighborhood there is Fatamorgana, as well as Angeletto, on Via dell'Angeletto, which has gelato from Gracchi. For pizza in Monti we always go to Le Carette, on Via Madonna dei Monti.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 29, 2014
minchilli in Italy

36 Hours In Florence

It should be noted (although this doesn't have anything to do with food) that the Boboli Gardens, which is sited in this article, is currently closed due to damage from a recent storm.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 25, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Rome reservation check

Sorry you didn't like Pierluigi. Not really clear why you are saying that the fiori di zucchini was 'oddly battered." Do you mean it had an odd batter? Or you expected it not to be battered? They always are. And the amount of anchovy is traditionally very minimal.

Glad you liked Armando. I'm heading there right now!

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 24, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Long though incomplete/imprecise Florence review, including taking one for the team...

Thanks for checking back in. Your report is incredibly helpful. Especially the part about bad service at Santo Bevitore. Since I've heard that a couple of times recently I wonder if it is one specific waiter? But yes, that front room is very noisy, which is why I always reserve in the smaller back room. But glad you liked the food.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 24, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Brief recap of 2 days/nights in Florence

Glad to hear you loved Sostanza too! It really is a special place, and for some reason that butter chicken get's more love than the tortina di carciofi.

Here are a series of photos showing the magical way it's put together, over a bed of coals.

http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.c...

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 23, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Rome in October

I'm not a fan of Roscioli, as much for the service (which can be off putting) as anything else. That said, other people love it.

Hard to choose between Metamorfosi and All'Oro. They are both the best of the creative Roman cooking that is going on today. One is probably a taxi ride away (Metamoforsi) so you might want to factor that in.

If you'd like to try the artichokes in the ghetto then I would send you to Sora Margherita. As others have pointed out, it's not artichoke season right now, and they are all coming from France. At this time of year the French ones are a bit tough, and I prefer them at Sora Margherita (over Piperno and Giggetto) since they fry them at a higher heat for longer, making them extra crunchy so the toughness doesn't matter. But it's more of a lunch place in my opinion.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 23, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Three nights in Rome- one is a Sunday

In Trastevere I like La Gensola, which is mostly fish

Sunday evenings can be a bit of a problem for restaurants but it is great for pizzerias, which are all open. Gatta Mangiona, for example, if you feel like heading that far.

Restaurants that are open on Sunday include Flavio Velavevodetto, Perilli, Urbana 47, Cesare and Taverna dei Fori Imperiali.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 23, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Florence & Rome in September

His list is spot on, expect for a few stragglers.
Antica Pesa is very much a movie star kind of spot these days.
And sadly, Camerino is now closed.
But all the rest are some of my favorites.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome

Sep 19, 2014
minchilli in Italy

(long) Florence Trip Report

Jumping in a bit late to the wine discussion here. I agree with Allende and with Jen. And I'll even agree with Collioure, since I too have direct experience with Wine Enthusiast tasting methods.

All that said, I would urge you, if you do happen to see what you call a 'knock out wine' in one of these humble trattoria setting to not order it. It is most likely there to appeal to tourists and will almost certainly have been sitting around for years, suffering through torrid summers and cold winters on some forgotten shelf. It will, 90% of the time, be undrinkable when uncorked. And, if you end up sending the wine back (as you should) it is a heavy financial burden for the trattoria to bear.

I realize that this is a hard concept to wrap your head around. That if the wine is there, and for sale, you should expect it to be drinkable. It's just not the case.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 19, 2014
minchilli in Italy

(long) Florence Trip Report

Thanks for taking the time to check back in! What a detailed report.

Sounds like you did very well. Yes, Santa Trinita is a great gelato spot. Did you get a chance to try Carapina, also one of the best?

Bevitore is definitely in the restaurant category. It sounds like the rabbit pasta you ordered was 'in salmi' which is a sauce made out of the the rabbit and livers. The lemon would have been a piece of lemon peel which is cooked with the rabbit and liver while it stews. So it wouldn't have added the accidity that you may have been expecting. And for the amount you ate - 2 primi, 2 secondi and a bottle of good wine, 95 Euros sounds about right to me.

Again, many thanks for reporting back in!

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 17, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Florence-- your thoughts on our list...

For gelato you're missing some of the best: Carapina and Carabe.

Sandwich: Also missing one of the best, 'Ino, as well as the various tripe stands around town which are my favorite!I also love Semel.

Lunch: Good choices all.
Dinner: Also good choices.

You've certainly done your research!!

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 16, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Lookign for quick lunch place between Roman Forum and Piazza Barberini

I would suggest you just hop in a cab. If you are paying the extra for tours (which of course I recommend!) then the little extra for a taxi to eliminate the rush is a good idea.

Right in Piazza Barberini there is a new place that was opened by the folks at Eataly. It's burgers and other 'fast food' but done Eataly style, which means they are very good. You can read more about it here in detail and see some photos:
http://www.gillianslists.com/2013/12/...

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 15, 2014
minchilli in Italy

relatively inexpensive agriturismo with great food? (anywhere in Italy)

I visited a truly magical place in Basilicata some years ago: Agruturismo Acaccia. We actually filmed a segment for Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie there. Angela, the owner is an incredible cook and the food was outstanding.

I've heard since then that it's still as good.

Here is the post about it:
http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.c...

Which includes the video we shot.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 12, 2014
minchilli in Italy

One Night in Rome - Within Walking Distance of Pantheon - Help Wanted

I'm a fan of Costanza, and love their antipasto of focaccia, mascarpone and liver pate'. But your choice of Pierluigi might be a better choice for you, since you are also looking for beautiful setting. It's not cheap, but is gorgeous. Then afterwards you could stroll around and have an after dinner drink in Piazza Farnese (Campo is maybe too lively!). Before dinner drink at the Minerva rooftop would work.

As a dinner alternative for Saturday night I love Armando. More low key than Pierluigi, and good location.

I'm not a huge fan of Cul de Sac, if only because it's so uncomfortable.

Sunday lunch might be fun to do in Testaccio. Either Perilli or Flavio.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 11, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Dinner-Moderately priced near Borghese Gallery

Osteria Via Mantova is a great place. We went there recently and had fantastic fish. But they have a bit of everything, and is an easy walk from where you'll be staying.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 09, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Venice/Bologna- trip report

Thanks for reporting back in, it's always helpful to get these types of reports.

I can see how you had a mediocre time in Venice. You seem to have hit a lot of touristy spots, of which there are many (in fact the majority). But there are a lot of great places at about every price point, if you make the effort to search them out and do a bit of research ahead of time. Many are discussed on this board.

You also seem to have missed a lot of the best places in Bologna, and I'm a bit confused about your including Hosteria Giusti in your discussion of Bologna, since it's in Modena.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 09, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Gelato Rome? Frigidarium? Also: "Strange/new" foods....

The reason that no one mentions Frigidarium here is because it's a very commercial gelateria that uses industrial pre-made mixes. It's located near Campo de' Fiori and is much loved by tourists and junior year abroad students because its cheap and has huge portions.

There are lots of other, much better, artisinal gelaterie in Rome. In that same neighborhood there is Carapina, Gelateria del Teatro, Pica, and Vice.

Regional specialties? That's a pretty vague question to answer here. I think you should probably do a bit of research on Roman cuisine first, and then come back with specific questions. But if your husband is not adventurous I'm sure he'll be fine with pasta and pizza.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 04, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Rome reservation check

First of all, happy birthday!

I think you've made excellent choices. You've managed to pick restaurants with great food, all near your hotel and all quite different from one another.

I love Pierluigi, and think it's the perfect spot for a b-day celebration. One thing to keep in mind, though, is the price. The only thing I don't like about Pierluigi, is that if you don't know what you are ordering, the dishes can add up and get a bit out of control price wise. This tends to happen with the seafood antipasti and with the fish. So if the waiter says "would you like a little seafood antipasti' ask him to be more specific and make sure you get the price for each item. That said, it's all very good!

Some of my favorite dishes there include: sopressata of octopus; spaghetti alle vongole; scampi risotto;

For photos of this dishes you can see my blog post on it:
http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.c...

Have a great time!

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 04, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Sicily

In Ragusa, there is Il Duomo, one of the most famous restaurants not only in Sicily, but in Italy. High end, but will certainly be memorable. Make sure you reserve.

I'd suggest that for Palermo,which gets talked about often, you do a search on this board in the upper right hand corner.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 02, 2014
minchilli in Italy

Solo Rome/tips and recos

I eat alone all the time in Italy, including Rome, and never feel uncomfortable. But there is no bar service in most restaurants in Italy. But I would call ahead and reserve, especially since the weather will still be so nice, and you'll want to make sure you get a table outside if at all possible.

For specifics, there are lots of recommendations on this board if you do a search.

www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Sep 02, 2014
minchilli in Italy