b

BahamaViking's Profile

Title Last Reply

Best Ethnic Restaurants in Rome???

Oh bless you for posting this! Looking forward to trying some of your places. Here's what we've found:

Chinese: agreed - have found cheap but not excellent.

Japanese: WokWe on Viale Regina Margherita, 19 (near Via Salaria) has an all-you-can-eat sushi belt for 19.95, and upstairs is Mongolian bbq/mixed asian buffet also all-you-can-eat (not the typical Italian "just fill up one plate" but actual "go back as many times as you want" for 19.95. Not the best sushi in town, but decent, consistent, and safe (we eat there all the time), and you can't beat the price. The upstairs mongolian bbq/buffet is surprisingly good and a great place to bring picky eaters because they'll find something, even if it's just grilled chicken breast and a salad.

Indian: Have also tried Himalay's Kashmir down by Piazza Vittorio Emanuelle II - more Pakistani than Indian - decent and cheap tasting menu but not the nicest area. Jaipur on Via di San Francesco a Ripa in Trastevere is good too, as is Surya Mahal (Piazza Trilussa).

Mexican: Sadly, we go to Hard Rock for guacamole and fajitas - nothing else even comes close. Tried a place on Nomentana but it was pretty weak (Fiestas and Siestas or something like that - their version of guac was sour cream with green food coloring).

American: Agreed, Hard Rock is the best option. We've tried a few of the T-Bones but have never been impressed.

Thai: We like Sala Thai on Via Topino between Piazza Verbano and Corso Trieste - consistently good and apparently the only place in Rome to get cilantro on a regular basis!

Greek: Mythos on Via Flavia is fine for take-away. The only decent sit-down we've had is at Akropolis in Trastevere (Via di San Francesco a Ripa, 103), and even there, the atmosphere isn't amazing. Both are run by actual Greeks, but overall we're surprised at how few Greek places there are in Rome.

German - If you want German beer and a plate of brats, or even just big chewy pretzels, Lowenhaus off Piazza del Popolo (right by Brillo Parlante) is one option.

Other: For some reason Blau Kongo (Swedish!?!?!) gets rave reviews on TripAdvisor but we haven't tried it yet.

Nov 09, 2010
BahamaViking in Italy

New-ish restaurants in Rome

Hi ChocolateFrank. If you don't mind getting a bit out of the historic center, try VerRoma on Via Topino (between Piazza Verbano and Corso Trieste) - actual address is Via Sabazio, 22. Very creative, elegant fusion of Roman and Veronese cuisines, classy setting, friendly service, and a solid wine menu with some excellent affordable Veneto options. Website is www.veromaristorante.it. View the Italian page if you want the wine menu. Closed on Mondays. Believe it opened in early 2008. We go regularly and have never been disappointed.

Sep 13, 2009
BahamaViking in Italy

Rome - chow near Villa Borghese

Hi CJT. Sorry to not have responded sooner - haven't checked in ages! Our bad experience was a combination of service and food. We had mixed salads to start, and the lettuce was wilted. Given the abundance of good produce in Rome year-round and since it was summer, this wasn't normal, but we didn't complain. Then we had the worst amatriciana we've had in Rome, and we've probably had amatriciana in several dozen restaurants by now. It was both greasy and watery, the sauce was used inconsistently (my husband's plate had too much, mine too little), and the guanciale was overwhelmingly fat with almost no meat.

Then the guitar player came around and when we didn't immediately tip him for his two minutes of "work" (we didn't have small change), he pointed obnoxiously at the 5 euro bill wedged in his strings and said he wanted a tip. He didn't get one.

At the end of the meal, the waiter brought our bill on a sticky note (highly illegal) and had added a 6 euro tip for himself on a 44 euro meal. We live in Rome and have never received a bill with tip added on like that, and we know perfectly well that 1 to 2 euros would be a more than generous tip for a meal of that price, so insisted on an official bill and asked them to remove the 6 euro tip. So they added it as a "tax" on the official bill and we couldn't dispute it. I speak fluent Italian, so this wasn't an issue of an ignorant tourist getting bamboozled.

Overall the experience was so off-putting that we don't intend to eat there again. But our colleagues in Rome, and other chow hound posters, have recommended it, so again, maybe we just caught them on a really bad night! I hope our experience was unique.

Mar 25, 2009
BahamaViking in Italy

Rome - chow near Villa Borghese

There are a few exchanges you might find helpful ("Il Tinello in Rome help requested" and "Piccolo Abruzzo") from back in the fall. We stayed in the Borghese/Veneto area for a few months and really enjoyed Piccolo Abruzzo, its sister restaurant Brancaleone (although it's just been expanded - not sure if anything beyond appearance has changed), Cesarina, and Girrarosto Toscana. The first two are definitely family run (same family), second two a bit larger and less rustic but still consistently good. For less intimate meals, San Marco and il Pomodorino are also reliable. Our one bad experience in the neighborhood was Vladimiro di Marcello, but I know other diners have recommended it any maybe we just caught them on a bad night. Good luck!

Jan 26, 2009
BahamaViking in Italy

Gem off Via Veneto (Lo Stil Novo)

Hi StacyM and family - welcome to Rome! Glad you guys liked Lo Stil. I think they change the lamb daily depending on what the chef buys in the market - sounds like you got something delicious.

Were you looking for non-Italian food in the neighborhood in a post a few weeks ago? If so, we finally tracked down the Greek place I mentioned earlier. It's called Mythos and it's at Via Flavia 44 (tel 06/47825813) right off Via XX Settembre. It's very casual (more a cafeteria than a restaurant) but excellent, authentic, and extremely affordable. Have a great trip!

Oct 22, 2008
BahamaViking in Italy

Gem off Via Veneto (Lo Stil Novo)

We've been dining out in the Via Veneto area for over two months and can't say enough about our recent discovery, Lo Stil Novo Ristorante, approx two blocks east of Via Veneto at Via Sicilia 66B (tel 0643411810). It's a cozy underground restaurant decorated in muted shades of ivory and cameo pink, balanced with a dark hardwood floor and soft lighting. Harry Connick Jr. croons in the background. Most tables are semi-private, divided by stone archways and a wide central hallway.

The food is sublime - incredibly fresh and creative. We've tried the lobster salad, stuffed zucchini flowers, sea bass, turbot, pasta in white ragu, cacio e pepe, lamb variations, and veal. The deconstructed lobster salad is deliciously sweet and comes with a seafood flavored mayonnaise for dipping. The zucchini flowers are rich and creamy, garnished with slivered mushrooms and crispy guanciale. A crispy shell envelops tender turbot, which is rolled with mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes. All of the lamb variations (four on the plate) were delicious, but the chop with the almond crust on mash potatoes lightly flavored with orange stole the show. Pasta and breads are homemade every day (and it shows), desserts are rich and creative. The chocolate souffle resembles a lava cake and the robiola cake provides a delicious and not-too-sweet alternative to cheesecake. The wine selection is large and not overpriced. Normally red drinkers, we've been wowed by the house white, but also found a lovely Shiraz for 21 Euros.

Service is professional, well-trained, and courteous. Prices fall within the normal range for quality seafood (12-17 Euros for appetizers and primi, in the mid 20's for secondi). They're only open for dinner (and are closed Sundays), but they open at a relatively early 7:00pm and are very convenient. This is the freshest, most creative, and finest food we've found in the area and we're happy to consider ourselves "regulars."

Oct 07, 2008
BahamaViking in Italy

Piccolo Abruzzo in Rome

Hey Stymie. I've only been once for lunch with a big group. We did the big antipasti spread plus two pastas each (and wine). It came to about 25 per person, if I recall correctly. I'm guessing if we'd done the whole meal (secondi and desserts), it probably would have come to the regular 42 a person, but can't be sure. From what I've seen, most Roman places don't differentiate between lunch and dinner menus (or prices!). Hope that helps.

Sep 07, 2008
BahamaViking in Italy

Il Tinello in Rome help requested

Hi Steven. Haven't been to Tullio yet. Al Vero Girarrosto Toscano is one of the ones I listed above (you have the full name, I only wrote "Girarrosto Toscano" and gave some pretty vague directions, but it's the same place!) We highly recommend it.

Another decent place nearby is Cesarina (Via Sicilia and Via Piemonte - lovely Emilia-Romagna food - lasagna to die for, never tasted chicken noodle soup with such subtle flavors).

One place right near your hotel that I would avoid like the plague is Marcello di Vladimiro. We just went tonight and were highly disappointed with the food (nasty watery amatriciana), the annoying guitar player/singer who had the audacity to come on out and tell us he wanted a tip, and the con artist waiter who brought out the bill on a Post-It note and felt free to add in a 6 Euro tip (on a 44 E bill - WAY TOO HIGH) and claimed it was a "tax." I've seen people recommend that place but am on a mission to steer innocent victims away from it!

If you get tired of Italian food (ha!), there's a good Syrian-Lebanese place right by your hotel called Palmira (I'd just get mixed appetizers - they're fantastic) with the staff is very friendly. The Chinese place a block or two up from you (Mandarin, I believe) is actually fine - not quite the recipes we're used to from the States, but tasty.

Sep 03, 2008
BahamaViking in Italy

Piccolo Abruzzo in Rome

Hi Stymie. We ate there a few weeks ago and it was 84 Euros for two people for the set menu, including bottled water and house wine. "Menu" is a term I'd use loosely - we never laid eyes on a paper menu per se, they just kept bringing food and it was all good.

Antipasti included the most delicious (and garlicky) grilled eggplant I've ever had, buffalo mozarella, a basket of dried salamis you just hack off with a knife, slivers of roast wild boar, other grilled veggies, bruschetta, and probably a bunch of other things I'm forgetting.

Primi were two small plates of pasta - we had the choice between something creative or something traditional and went with traditional - believe we got cacio e pepe and amatriciana, but don't recall (either way, it was DELICIOUS, and not a pasta overload, the way many primi are).

For a main course, they brought out a frying pan with rabbit still simmering in herbs and wine. I normally won't eat rabbit, but this was lovely. The main course probably changes from day to day and I imagine they're flexible if you tell them in advance what you really like - the waitress certainly was very nice and I've been there since for lunch in a large group where they happily accommodated a non-cheese-eater.

Dessert was good, but I can't remember what it was. Then there were the freebies like the limoncello (pour as much as you want) after dinner. House wine was very drinkable, and we got the sense that it was a bottomless bottle but perhaps they would have charged had we started a second one. Anyway, delicious meal. Go hungry, leave happy - it's not cheap and it's a bit out of the way, but it's a lot of high quality food and a neat experience.

Sep 03, 2008
BahamaViking in Italy

Non-Italian Food Options in Rome-Via Veneto area

Yup Santa Maria della Vittoria is really close, and a few of the branches of the National Museum are only a block or so further away at Piazza della Republica (they're a nice option on a crummy day and often get passed over for the better known outdoor sights - a ticket is good for 3 days and works down at their branches near Piazza Navona - just don't buy it on Sunday like we did because they're all closed Mondays). You're going to be amazed at how small a town it is and how easy it is to walk everywhere.

I confess we've only been here for August so far and much is closed so I can't recommend a gelato place near Santa Maria. There's an OK enough one on Via Veneto (face Cafe de Paris, it's on the left) but it's not up there with the world-famous San Crispino down by Trevi or Giolitti by Pantheon.

We'll keep checking things out and will keep you posted! - The Bahamian and the Viking

Aug 27, 2008
BahamaViking in Italy

Non-Italian Food Options in Rome-Via Veneto area

Totally understand - we moved to the area a few weeks ago and sometimes you just need something different. The Rose Garden's restaurant (Il Roseto) has some upscale non-Italian menu items (amazing gazpacho, tasty beef carpaccio with guacamole) in addition to more classic Italian dishes and it's not ridiculously expensive, especially for a hotel restaurant in Rome, plus they're very pleasant.

Realize you mentioned Asian or American, but if you like Middle Eastern, we recently had a wonderful (and HUGE) meal at the Palmyra (not 100% sure about spelling and exact address, but there are signs for it all along Via Veneto and it'll be 2-3 blocks at the most from you on Lombardia or Lazio). For 50 Euros a person (again, not too bad for Rome, especially given the quantity and quality), the appetizers kept coming (salads, falafel, hummos, baba ganoug, etc.), then there were mixed kebabs and a stew for a main course, topped off with a collossal fresh fruit plate. We'll probably just do the mixed appetizers next time. Very friendly and helpful staff.

In addition to Shinto, another good nearby Japanese place is Ginza Gold about 6 blocks away at Via Barberini 53-57. It's fairly expensive by U.S. standards and the service is "different" (dishes are brought out as prepared, rather than serving everyone at the table at once), but it's fine.

There's a Greek place (very casual) someone took us to a year ago about 6-7 blocks away, but we can't remember the name or find it online. If it's still in operation and still good, we'll track it down and post again. Oh, apparently there's a French place called Bistro D'Hubert (via Sardegna 135/1) but we haven't tried it.

Avoid Cafe de Paris - it's disgustingly expensive and really not all that good. The nearby Westin's Cafe Doney is more reasonable, better quality, and I think it has a few non-Italian items - someone told me they got a good steak sandwich there but I didn't find it on the menu.

Realize you've done your Italian research, but if something falls through and you need an Italian place some night, our absolute favorite in the neighborhood is Piccolo Abruzzo.

Enjoy!

Aug 26, 2008
BahamaViking in Italy

Rome Restaurant Itinerary - Feedback Requested

We moved to Rome a few weeks ago and haven't tried any place from your list yet (but we will!). That said, we have discovered a few fantastic places and if you can't get there on this trip, maybe next time. If salumi is a priority, try Piccolo Abruzzo on Via Sicilia in the Veneto neighborhood. They bring out a basket of different salumis as one of the MANY appetizers, their pastas are sublime, and a full multi-course meal with wine comes to about 42 Euro a person. Don't bother with the menu, just sit there and eat until they stop bringing plate after plate of deliciousness.

Antica Pesa in Trastevere was incredible for high-end authentic Roman dining - if you're feeling daring, try the tuna - it comes in a box and you have various spice powders (including cocoa!) and sauces for dipping. The pastas were perfectly seasoned, and my appetizer of cabbage and cheese (it tastes better than it sounds) was sublime. Clemente alla Maddalena near the Pantheon delivered too - not cheap, but this is a real chef doing creative things with Roman classics - it came highly recommended by a Roman friend who has written a book on Italian cuisine.

Further afield, we just discovered a place called VeRoma near Piazza Verbano (Via Sabazio 22). Wow. Classic Roman and Veronese fare with a creative twist, artistic presentation, charming service, and the most delicious and fresh ingredients we've had (and we've eaten at places like La Terrazza dell'Eden in the past few weeks). Minimalist decor, no view, and a bit out of the way (approx 2 miles northeast from Trevi Fountain) but the food is simply amazing. They started us off with a glass of sparkling wine and a delicate potato/fennel soup - both gratis. For antipasti, we chose fried zucchini flowers (layered with buffalo mozzarella and accompanied by tomato sorbet) and fennel salad (small buttons of goat cheese and a sprinkle of olives complimented the crunchy fresh fennel perfectly). We skipped primi piati and instead had the beef al'amarone (an incredible fillet mignon cut, perfectly cooked, on a bed of seasoned mashed potatos, and carmelized onions in amarone, topped with crunchy fried greens) and lamb five ways (not sure exactly what the "ways" were, but each was delectable). Wine was a steal (for Italy) - we had a Valpolicella Ripasso for 17Euros). For dessert we had the chocolate mousse pyramids, accompanied by a shot glass of strawberry reduction. It was sublime, and not pricy by Rome standards - antipasti and desserts 8-10 Euros each, secondi 18 Euros each.

Good luck and buon appetito!

Aug 23, 2008
BahamaViking in Italy

Il Tinello in Rome help requested

We moved to Rome a few weeks ago and are living near Il Tinello. We've eaten there twice in the last month and it's fine - decent pastas, fine antipasti, drinkable (and relatively cheap, at 12 euros a bottle) red house wine, good desserts, haven't had the secondi but friends had fish one night and they enjoyed it. We've only eaten in the outside airconditioned glass rooms so can't speak to the ambiance inside. In other words, it's fine, but I wouldn't put it in the "memorable" category as it is now.

If you like that area, I'd recommend Piccolo Abruzzo (Via Sicilia 237 - about 6 blocks east of Via Veneto) for a hearty authentic meal. Don't bother with the menu, just eat what they bring out, but beware there's a lot of it - multiple course meal and wine for about 42 Euro a person - a steal for the quality and volume. We also like Brancaleone right across the street from it for pizza/pasta/salad - the owner of Piccolo Abruzzo's wife runs Brancaleone. Also in the neighborhood, we like Girrarosto Toscano (head to the top of Via Veneto and make a right, following along the inside of the wall - it's a block or two down on the right). Delicious food, not terribly cheap but lots of free extras and a cozy setting. Cheap and cheerful (and reliable) places in the Veneto neighborhood include St Marco (Via Sardegna), il Peperone (on Via Veneto across from Hard Rock), and il Pomodorino (Via Campania 45/E).

If you're looking beyond the Veneto area, Antica Pesa in Trastevere is outstanding for authentic Roman food and great ambiance, and La Cisterna in Trastevere (if it's open) was very good when we ate there a year ago. It has a Roman prison well in the basement (ask for the "tour") and a troop of hilarious little old guys went from table to table singing - a memorable experience. Down near Pantheon, Clemente alla Maddalena was a stand-out for fine - and creative dining. Near Piazza del Popolo, Il Brillo Parlante (Via della Fontanella 12) is boisterous, good, and reliable.
Good luck and buon appetito!

Aug 23, 2008
BahamaViking in Italy