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Dinner right by Pantheon for first night in Rome?

I pretty much only have dark chocolate, fior di zucca, and pistachio
(I know it will be good when it is tan and not bright green!). I thought Giolitti had the best pistachio hands down...in Rome. Couldn't touch the pistachio I had at Buoncore on Capri which was my fave of the trip. Never made it to Raki in Sorrento although David and Primavera were very good. The pistacchio at Giolitti had me in tears lol For the record I think the most transcendent gelati I ever had in all of Italy was in San Gimignano over a decade ago but it might be because I was in Italy for the first time with my husband and everything, just EVERYTHING, felt so beautiful and perfect. But I often dream about that gelati...

And honest to God vinoroma, every single Italian from the desk clerk to the guy who served me my coffee at Tazza d' Oro to the taxi drivers all recommended Giolitti or Fassi (sort of out of the way for us and we didn't get to go) as the very best. I wish I could link this to my Facebook page because I did a blow by blow of every single thing we ate for two whole weeks and the night we first went to Giolitti I got the most "likes" because of a food obsessed Roman guy and his fiance who heard me telling my dad I wasn't going to put the panna atop because I don't love unsweetened whipped cream. Well this guy went nuts! He spent the whole ten minutes we waited on line begging me to change my mind, waxing poetic about how Giolitti hand whips its panna etc. He told me at one point it would change my life lol! The fire in his eyes was so convincing that I gave in...just to make him happy. It WAS quite good and when we went outside to eat our gelati he sidled up to me and whispered in my ear " Prossima volte, doppia panna. Mama Mia! Roman Secret!" He was adorable and very passionate about food and his city.

As for the bracciole it is exactly how my Sicilian great grandma made it IN Sicily AND in Sunnyside, Queens. Basically with whatever salumi scraps were in the fridge. And potato and egg were always on hand etc. It always varied a tiny bit depending on what was actually available, however even in Sicily they were filled with lots of things. She would wait until she had a "collection" and then it would be made. Trust me, the involtini at Cesare were fantastic. Tender and very flavorful. I would have needed two more to be full though ;)

One of the priests from Santa Maria Maddalena church (my fave! i consider myself a "recovering" Catholic and yet I would find myself there each evening for part of the mass....just gazing at the celing) around the corner from the Pantheon recommended Da Tonino to me. I looked on Yelp and Trip Advisor and it looked very rustic and simple. We walked there one night and it was closed for ferie. Alas. A few others brought it up as well, so I will put it on my list for next time. That night we ended up eating on the Pizazza Navona which I knew would be touristy and meh. I was annoyed and refused to order anything major so just got an order of carciofi a la Romana and carciofi a la Giudea ( still so bummed Piperno was closed!). Even though it was not artichoke season, both were excellent. Can't recall the name of this outdoor place, they all look the same, but everyone actually liked what was ordered.

Really fell in love HARD with Rome. Jealous you live there vinoroma.

about 8 hours ago
ZenFoodist in Italy

Dinner right by Pantheon for first night in Rome?

Not sure if I should be posting these as separate reviews but if the moderators see fit they can move them.

We loved Emma so much that we returned for our final lunch before our flight to Barcelona. This is something we never do on vacation because we are generally trying to cover so much ground. But Emma was so perfect on every level. Spacious, air conditioned, filled with locals and groups who were clearly on food tours, awesome wait staff etc

The pizzas were fantastic( although I much prefer pizza a taglio) and super thin and the toppings were excellent. Our fave was the escarole and anchovy. The salumi offerings (that truffled mortadella!) were top of the line. The suppli and Dior di zucca were expertly fried. Every pasta we had was so perfectly seasoned. Their Amatriciana was outrageous! Their sautéed greens and salads were also generously portioned and well prepared. We particularly enjoyed the artichoke salad. If I lived in Rome this would surely be my go to spot. Also helps that Carapina Gelati is right around the corner. Definitely find a way to get to Emma!

I was disappointed Armando al Pantheon was closed when we were there. I would have loved to have tried it. Don't miss Giolitti for gelato ( ask for "doppia panna"), Tazza d'Oro and Sant' Eustachio for coffee (the granita di cafe con panna got me through many a scorching day!) the pistachio cookies at Salumeria Antica Ansuini right across from the Pantheon (perhaps my fave sweet on the whole trip. Fell in love with Cosimo the elderly man who makes them!) and we really were smitten with a little panini place called Panino Ingenoso right across from Adrian's Pillars a tiny walk away from the Pantheon. My son loved their porchetta, olive and orange panini! So good! I really miss Rome. It spoke to me. Planning a return trip next year. Enjoy every minute!

about 20 hours ago
ZenFoodist in Italy

Dinner right by Pantheon for first night in Rome?

Lisaonthecape,

Do your best to figure out how to fit Cesare in. It was our most memorable restaurant experience and if it weren't a 25 euro taxi ride away we would have eaten THERE twice. The tram is fast and much less expensive but be had limited time because my husband and son had gotten Juventus v. Roma tickets and had to be at Stadio Olimpico by 5pm. We had a 2pm reservation at Cesare since we were attending the Pope's Angelus at noon at the Vatican and this gave us just enough time to get to the Monteverde neighborhood. It all worked out perfectly and sitting outside under the grapevines with a crowd of Italians (not one tourist in sight; the owner actually came out to ask us how we had stumbled upon the place!) eating dish after dish of delicious food made for a really pleasant Sunday.

Split between five people the gnocchi friti caccio e pepe was perfect. All of the fritti we had from the melanzane polpette to the manzo to the baccala to the suppli were absolutely greaseless. These people are expert fryers and must change the oil all the time. I was able to peer into the kitchen from my seat and I have to tell you, it was absolutely spotless. Remarkably so.

The most notable dishes, in my estimation, were the tonnarelli with baccala, pecorino and basil (very odd for me to see so many fish/ cheese pairings in Rome as this marriage is anathema in our Italian American household), the baccala prepared with peppers. tomatoes and raisins (might be the best baccala dish I ever had and we make a lot of baccala!) and the cacio e pepe which was very aggressively peppered and had real bite. The involtini di manzo were tender and stuffed with herbs and carrots and simmered in a wonderful tomato sauce but sort of left us cold as we make our own bracciole very heavily stuffed with salami, ham, provolone, potato, egg, parsley, breadcrumbs etc. Even though these were a completely different animal, it was hard not to compare. I can't tell you how much we loved being here for our Sunday lunch. It was the meal we will probably remember the most from Rome. Do your best to get there! And don't miss the tiramisu for dessert. It was the perfect sweet ending.

about 20 hours ago
ZenFoodist in Italy

Dinner right by Pantheon for first night in Rome?

Can't convey to you all how much we loved Roscioli, Emma (ended up eating at Emma twice which we never do on vacation, but we loved it so much!) and Cesare al Casaletto. Elizabeth Minchilli had me a bit nervous about the service at Roscioli, but our waiter was extremely warm and gracious and it was the perfect first meal in Rome on the evening we arrived. The burrata with oven dried tomatoes was outstanding and the Paestum buffalo mozzarella the way it was all over Italy- slightly sour. Not a fan but that has nothing to do with Roscioli. My husband's pasta with sea urchin was so perfect and briny, my son's carbonara absolutely delicious, my parents' carbonara divine, and my gricia the best of the trip. Theb black pepper that is used is so much better quality than the black pepper elsewhere. We had sides of salad and sautéed chicory to round things out. And also an order of meatballs which was the classic trio of beef, pork and veal just like at our home but with the addition of a smoked provola and nutmeg. Interesting. Perfect meal. Simple, high quality ingredients that melded together to create a dinner we will remember for quite some time. I just wish we had been a bit hungrier because we had driven up from Naples where we had had a big lunch of pizza and fries calzones at Brandi. It was a great food day!

about 22 hours ago
ZenFoodist in Italy

La Scoglio? Da Teresa? Quattro Passi? A perfect lunch for a full day boat charter?

And the algae fritters that I described are really "fritelle di mare" which are really seaweed fritters. Flour, water, seaweed, salt, baking soda etc. They were served as an amuse bouche all over the coast!

1 day ago
ZenFoodist in Italy

La Scoglio? Da Teresa? Quattro Passi? A perfect lunch for a full day boat charter?

Ekc, please do that! He was such a gem and said very nice things about you. He was fascinated how two people who had bever met could have pulled this off lol The beauty of the Internet when it goes right!

I also heartily recommend Franchescillo in Masa Lubrese. Let Angelo take care of you there. 37 years waiting tables! And Da Franco Pizzeria in Sorrento as well. I will try to write up some reports for them but for the time being check them out. Oh! And Buonacuore Pasticceria on Capri. Best gelato I ever had in Italy! And they also sold stuffed escarole "scarola ripena" from a steam table in the back. Ridiculous! Not to mention the pignoli and lemon cookies!

1 day ago
ZenFoodist in Italy

Help us craft your idea of a perfect "Meals Game Plan" for Rome, Sorrento, and Florence, per piacere.

Posted a review of Da Teresa, which we loved, on my other thread.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1021063

2 days ago
ZenFoodist in Italy

La Scoglio? Da Teresa? Quattro Passi? A perfect lunch for a full day boat charter?

Jen

I thought of you as I chatted with all our taxi drivers and shopkeepers etc about food. Price always came up! They were obsessed. A variation of "Why would I want to pay for 12 dollars for a plate of pasta that my mother could make for me for free with sweeter tomatoes from our yard?" almost became an anthem. They all would recommend super fancy places because that's where they go when they are celebrating a special occasion. The simple, rustic, regional places were considered a waste of hard earned money. It was funny!

Sep 02, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy

La Scoglio? Da Teresa? Quattro Passi? A perfect lunch for a full day boat charter?

That's sweet of you, Gelaine. I've just returned from a spectacular two weeks which truly went perfectly (I know that would have irked many of those Fodorites or been perceived as some sort of a "brag" lol) and the food was...outstanding. All the preparation and planning, as always, paid off tremendously. One of the things I love about Chowhound is the excellent moderation. The insanity that went on at Fodor's would never be tolerated here which is one of the reasons I've been here from the very, VERY beginning and have continued to post for almost 20 years.

First off, heartfelt thanks to EKC. Sergio and I connected so well. Our family loves him. Our drive to Rome from Sorrento as well as all the other drives we did on the Amalfi coast will be remembered forever. He is a serious foodie and it was so wonderful to be able to speak in Italian with him. And trade countless recipes! My Italian improved exponentially! In a strange twist, it turns out his dad lived in Astoria and worked for a bread factory for a few years and my parents, who are from Astoria, knew his boss. Small world! We actually all teared up when we had to say goodbye in Rome! So Mille Grazie for the connection. I have already referred him to three people I met at our villa who return to the area regularly. And thank God we chose to stop in Pompeii on the way to Rome and not do the whole train thing. It was outrageously hot that day and my father's knee went out on him as we were walking through the ruins. It was excellent that he and my mom were able to sit in the cool car chatting with Sergio and drinking granita di limone while my little family finished our tour. All possibilities we considered when we decided to hire a driver. Sergio was a lifesaver. Oh! And he insisted on our stopping in Naples to eat at the legendary Pizzeria Brandi (da Michele was too crowded) the supposed birthplace of the margherita pizza on the way North. We begged him to come eat with us but he refused to leave the car and luggage. Of course we brought him a pie and tipped him (the horror! Do NOT tell the Fodorites that I am creating a "culture of expectation"! ) very generously when we got to Rome. In addition to that stop we made many bathroom stops which gave me a lot of time in the various Autogrills which strangely I love when I am in Italy. He went above and beyond and was most deserving of something extra.

When I have the time I will add to all the threads that I started because we ate very well in Rome as well as in the Amalfi area, but I wanted to start with this thread because both you and Jen were on it and offered excellent insight.

In the end, we settled on Da Teresa for our full day on the coast. Although Conca del Sogno and Lo Scoglio looked divine and I had heard so many good things from fellow travelers about both, Da Teresa was the most convenient to visit the day we had out on the water because it didn't make much sense to come back toward Sorrento from Amalfi for Lo Scoglio which was my first choice. And after a few hours with our captain who really knew his "food stuff" I decided I would trust his opinions in the end, kickbacks or no kickbacks.

Da Teresa did not disappoint. It is accessible solely by boat which only led to its charm. Disembarking was a somewhat tough as the seas were a bit "agitato" that day. My dad actually lost his footing and fell onto the dock which scared us all. Thank God he was okay and nothing was broken or sprained.

We sat out on a big covered terrace on stilts overlooking the sea. It was hot as hell even in our bathing suits, but I did my best not to let it bother me. Sliced peaches stepped in wine were immediately brought to the table. So refreshing. Platters of bruschetta with the ripest red tomatoes dressed with olive oil and basil followed (strangely in Praiano and Sorrento all the tomatoes we had, although sweet and delicious, were green!). Then came what are described as "algae fritters" which we had at a few restaurants on the coast and my fave of all, anchovies and smoked provola within a zeppoli of sorts. Oh my! A mixed chilled seafood platter was next, best of all was the paper thin marinated sword fish. And then a delicious non- breaded eggplant Parmesan which featured the most delicous sauce and a platter of sauteed baby clams.

For second courses, my husband and I were brought a freshly caught scombro to inspect and it was suggested we have it fileted with a spicy tomato sauce and paccheri. My mom, a vegetarian, ordered the homemade fusilli with zucchini, my son annelli with braised squid, my dad a grilled dentice with pasta with tomato and peperocino. Everything was sublime but the paccheri and pasta with zucchini were the best by far! It was so magical sitting outside while my son played on the rocks below and we watched the yachts and sailboats go by. We were looking forward to a swim in the sea followed by an evening "gelato crawl" in Sorrento and so we passed on dessert and just had the small glasses of Limoncello that was very graciously offered to us. More later, but for now photos because pictures tell the story better than my jet lagged self can!

I heartily recommend Da Teresa.

Sep 02, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy
1

Lunch spot near Casa Mila?

Navajas are our fave! We live in a very Asian area in Queens and although we have razor clams all the time here, my husband always says nothing beats the ones we had in Barcelona so many years ago. Excited to have Paco Merlago's! Thanks.

Aug 15, 2015
ZenFoodist in Spain/Portugal

Lunch spot near Casa Mila?

Awesome! I just switched my reservation so that we can have lunch there at 1pm. First meal in Spain. Photos look divine!

Aug 13, 2015
ZenFoodist in Spain/Portugal

Lunch spot near Casa Mila?

We will be arriving to our hotel which is a few blocks from Casa Mila to drop our luggage at about noon, but our rooms won't be ready most probably until 2 PM. I'm sure we will be exhausted from our flight from New York City. Thinking a nice lunch would be a good way to kill time before we head to the hotel to take a nap. Any suggestions?

Overall, we have reservations at Tapeo, Paco Merlago, Canete, Xiringuito Escrib (I know it's not Valencia but my kid wants a paella) and Botafumiero thus far. And we are sure to stop into Quimet y Quimet etc.

Problem is I'm just not sure geographically where everything is located just yet.

Many Thanks,
Lisa

Aug 13, 2015
ZenFoodist in Spain/Portugal

Finalizing list in Rome

Armando and Piperno are closed in August. Casere al Castaletto seems to be a local fave for casual, trattoria style Italian. Emma also looks good. Flavio seems to have its fair share of fans and naysayers, but it's still on our list.

Aug 07, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy
1

La Scoglio? Da Teresa? Quattro Passi? A perfect lunch for a full day boat charter?

Took the time to actually read the reviews in Italian and Da Teresa seems considerably more favored than Il Scoglio. I will talk to the locals when we arrive as we don't need to choose a place until after we board the boat.

Aug 07, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy

Sunday Lunch in Rome 8/30 after Pope's Angelus?

I've phoned and emailed countless times during their posted business hours. No responses. Apparently they take 20 days off each August although the he website just says closed for Sunday dinner service and all day on Monday.

Aug 07, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy

Sunday Lunch in Rome 8/30 after Pope's Angelus?

Switched it! They were so very sweet. I made it for 2pm on Sunday. I don't plan to stay at the Vatican for too long as we have a four hour Pristine Sistine tour a few days before. Thanks for the help!

Aug 07, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy

Sunday Lunch in Rome 8/30 after Pope's Angelus?

Thanks, Jen. I had actually seen this thread but was hoping something new would come up. Def don't want Indian even though I love it. I think I'm just disappointed Piperno won't be an option. Love your idea of switching Cesare. Then on Friday night I'd try something else. Hmmmm....

Aug 06, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy

Sunday Lunch in Rome 8/30 after Pope's Angelus?

I had been envisioning dining al fresco at Piperno, but it doesn't appear to be open contrary to what the website says. Alas...

It will be our last big family meal in Rome, and I would love something special. We have Roscioli on Thursday, the night we arrive, and Cesare al Casaletto on Friday evening.

Any suggestions?

Thank you as always.

Aug 06, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy

La Scoglio? Da Teresa? Quattro Passi? A perfect lunch for a full day boat charter?

Ekc, in case you don't see my comment to you on the Fodor's Italy board, I just want to thank you for the recommendation of your driver, Sergio. I spent a half hour on the phone with him and not only will he drive us to Positano from Sorrento for other charter, but he will also drive us up to Rome and we will stop in Pompeii along the way. I absolutely loved him and connected with him immediately. He seems to know a thing or two about good food ;) thank you again.

Aug 06, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy
1

La Scoglio? Da Teresa? Quattro Passi? A perfect lunch for a full day boat charter?

Ha! I'm always embarrassed when my own husband doesn't interact with people at the same level of warmth and intensity that I do! We are kindred souls ;) I have no doubt that I will love our time in Italy. I had told myself that I would refresh my Italian for 20 minutes a day for the last month, and haven't yet started. That's my next project, although knowing me, I will save it for the plane.

Aug 05, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy

Piperno Reservation Frustration

Wondering if Piperno is closed for all of August. I've been on the website and my Italian is fairly decent and it seems like this is the only thing mentioned with regard to schedule:

"Riposo settimanale
Domenica sera e tutto il lunedì"

No Sunday dinner service and closed all day on Monday.

I emailed them in July and never heard back. Apparently this is the norm. I've been calling every day, and no one picks up the phone. Straight to voicemail. So I guess I'm safe to assume they are closed for August?

Really wanted my last meal in Rome to be a Sunday lunch there on August 30. Alas...

Aug 05, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy

La Scoglio? Da Teresa? Quattro Passi? A perfect lunch for a full day boat charter?

I will absolutely heed your advice, Jen. It will absolutely feel counterintuitive especially when I receive wonderful, warm, professional service, but I will listen :)

Aug 05, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy

La Scoglio? Da Teresa? Quattro Passi? A perfect lunch for a full day boat charter?

Absolutely the **local**restaurants. I'm not interested in fancy, stylized food. We do that sort of stuff enough here in NYC. No thanks. Someone on the Fodor's board was just imploring me NOT to tip in Italy, that it creates an expectation that people who live there resent. I vaguely recall this on past trips to Europe, but it is so odd for us. We are generally 20 percent tippers here at home. I hate to say this but I remember a lot of Italian service to be very apathetic, lukewarm at best. Perhaps if they had a tipping culture that would change!

Aug 05, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy

La Scoglio? Da Teresa? Quattro Passi? A perfect lunch for a full day boat charter?

Thanks, Jen. The Italians are DEF very consumed with the price. I noticed that too.

Aug 04, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy

La Scoglio? Da Teresa? Quattro Passi? A perfect lunch for a full day boat charter?

Ekc thanks for this insight as well as the driver info. The Fodors crew is way too cranky for my taste ;)

Aug 04, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy

La Scoglio? Da Teresa? Quattro Passi? A perfect lunch for a full day boat charter?

One of the things to which we are looking most forward on this trip to Italy is a full day private charter on the Amalfi coast. I've been dreaming of a day like this, floating in the Tyrrhenian Sea, for quite some time and am so happy it's becoming a reality. Even happier that it will include my two healthy parents, husband and 11-year-old son. After much thought, we have chosen a day cruising the coast over a day centered around Capri. Most of the captains with whom I spoke brought up Il Scoglio for lunch. I've heard about it for years and read quite a few articles that talk about it in an almost "fabled" way, and it definitely sounds like it would be very memorable. The captain of the actual boat that I am taking recommended a place called La Teresa instead. He seemed very passionate about it, and although he will take us anywhere we choose, really seemed to make it sound like it was even better. I would imagine he gets kick backs etc so I weighed his words heavily. Of course I looked on yelp and trip advisor etc. Typical confusion ensues. Some love, some hate etc

He also suggested we dock in Positano and eat there if there was something we wanted to check out. I feel like since I have the boat, I would like to go to a place that I might not be able to easily access otherwise. Unless of course the best places are easily accessible. And even filled with tourists lol

One of the captains had recommended the Michelin star awarded Quattro Passi and when I looked into it I realized it was NOT the type of place I would want to be sitting in a wet bathing suit and cover up. And the vibe seems wrong for such a relaxed type of day. I want casual, big plates of pasta and seafood and contorni. This whole day is a gift to my parents who are turning 70 this year and I would love for our meal to be extra memorable. Nothing stiff or pretentious. Lo Scoglio looks like it would fit the bill but if there's anything else you feel strongly about, please let me know.

Thanks so much as always,
Lisa

Aug 04, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy

Help us craft your idea of a perfect "Meals Game Plan" for Rome, Sorrento, and Florence, per piacere.

I got into booking this whole thing hot and heavy today and DAMN after looking at the photos of Quattro Passi I would also not want to be dining there in my bathing suit and cover up. Have no idea why they would even suggest it. Da Teresa, Lo scoglio etc seem more our speed for this day. Still trying to sort out a place. We are definitely choosing the Amalfi coast tours over the Capri tours by boat and can pretty much choose to dock wherever we want. The captain strongly suggests Da Teresa but if I had to guess it's because he gets a kickback.

Aug 03, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy

Dinner right by Pantheon for first night in Rome?

Thanks! I have reservations made all over the place at this point and will be a good citizen and cancel if I can't keep them. I had to take a lot of strange times that were not ideal and who knows what the days will bring. Love the casual menu at emma. I think it will be perfect for that evening. Managed to get a reservation at Cesare al Casaletto for the Friday night. Roscioli for a lunch. Waiting on Piperno for a Sunday lunch. Let's see...

Aug 01, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy

Help us craft your idea of a perfect "Meals Game Plan" for Rome, Sorrento, and Florence, per piacere.

"For the lunch we have many choices, on the island of Capri or we can organise directly together when you'll be on board for the time.
Usually we prefer Nerano's bay, where you should taste the typical italian food ( not touristic ):

you'll taste spaghetti with zucchiné, fresh fish, and traditional food.

Then there is an higest quality restaurant "Quattro Passi" with one Michelin star, or the "Cantuccio restaurant"typical family or the old style.
Return at sunset-shadows.

We offer a nice aperitive on board... with typical products, Prosecco openbar, Caprese's salad, fresh fruits."

This place was mentioned by a couple of the captains with whom we exchanged email. Any idea about these places?

Jul 30, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy

Help us craft your idea of a perfect "Meals Game Plan" for Rome, Sorrento, and Florence, per piacere.

Yes! These places have been mentioned to us by all the captains with whom we talked. We will do a full day charter and can dock wherever we choose. Haven't even gotten to thinking about that part yet, but am super excited as it is our gift to my parents. I am hoping the weather will be perfect, the sea warm and tranquil and the food fantastic. Perhaps I'll even be able to get the Christmas card shot!

Jul 30, 2015
ZenFoodist in Italy