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Rome Restaurants

Some notes on where we ate on our four day trip to Rome....we were on a budget but we still ate pretty well! See my blog for photos and links and more info on Rome:

Some of the highlights:

1. Trattoria Cavalier Gino (Da Gino


We walked in here for a late lunch and we immediately felt at home. They were so welcoming, and the restaurant was definitely filled with a lot of locals. We even saw the old man who must be Gino come over to sit and talk to people at one table. We ordered cacio e pepe pasta (as we did everywhere), and it might have been the best here, with the cheese making this wonderful velvety sauce. The portion was too big in my opinion, since it's a starter, but what can you do? They were out of the veal dish Sam wanted for his main, but he ended up with veal with mushrooms which was very good, and I had chicken stewed with sweet peppers, also wonderful. We also had a great side of swiss chard. I would definitely recommend this place. It's tiny though, so if you're going for dinner you probably need a reservation.

2. Dar Poeta (in Trastevere)

This one has been written about in a lot of places, but I'll chime in and say that I though the pizza was great. The crust was not too thick, not too thin, and it had a little bit of char to it. Lots of topping possibilities, but I recommend the super buffala with buffalo mozzarella, artichokes, and olives. The first time we tried to go on a Saturday night there was a two hour wait, but on a Monday night on the early side we were able to walk right in.

3. Il Fico

We ate here our first night because we were attracted to the lovely outdoor terrace in a narrow quaint street. The food turned out to be quite good too. We had our first cacio e pepe of Rome (oh how I LOVE that dish)...and I can't actually remember what else we ate!

4. Ristorante San Michele

We weren't planning to go here; it wasn't on our radar at all. But we were walking by and Sam smelled the grill and he said ok, we have to go...and so we went. There were some really good things, and some not so good things, but I put it on here because the good things were really good, and it had a great atmosphere. It was a Sunday night and the place was full, but they sat us without a reservation. One area is outside in a garden, but our table was inside. But it didn't really feel inside, as it was all glass covered with plantings all around us, which was nice.

We started with a vegetable plate and a grilled artichoke, which were good, and of course, cacio e pepe, which was excellent. Then Sam had lamb chops that he adored, while I thought my swordfish was overcooked, but I didn't have the heart to send it back. I ended with a slice of chocolate cake.

5. Forno Campo de Fiori

This wasn't quite what I had expected when people recommended it, but we had a really good sandwich with I guess what is called "pizza bianca" - sort of like focaccia bread, with mozzarella cheese and zuchinni. A great place for getting a quick snack or light lunch to go.

6. Shawarma Station

Not the best middle-eastern food I"ve ever had, but if you want something different than Italian food, and you're on a budget, it's a good place to go. We ate so much food we never even got hungry for dinner.

Jun 05, 2012
chicagofoodie84 in Italy

A Month in Bologna: Food Report (and blog)

A mistake! Thank you for catching it. Should be Via Cotellini 31 in Modena.

May 31, 2012
chicagofoodie84 in Italy

A Month in Bologna: Food Report (and blog)

I also meant to include something about a great restaurant we went to in Modena, after visiting Acetaia di Giorgio to learn about balsamic vinegar (which was wonderful).

After the Acetaia, we headed over to Ristorante Da Danilo (Via Petrarca 13). It was about noon when we stepped in, but the nice host apologetically asked us to come back in ten minutes. When we did we were still the first to sit down, so we had our pick of nice covered outdoor tables. We both ordered rocket (arugula) salad with parmesan, and they don't skimp on the cheese here - we had tons of big shavings all over the lettuce. Perhaps that's also why the salad cost more than the pasta course... We then shared tortelloni with pumpkin filling and ricotta tortelloni with balsamic sauce (after all, it is Modena). They were both utterly scrumptious. My favorite was the ricotta with balsamic, as I am not a huge fan of pumpkin (although that was really good too). The pasta itself was soft and not at all chewy, the ricotta smooth, and the balsamic sauce had just the right amount of acidity. One of the best pasta dishes I've had so far.

May 30, 2012
chicagofoodie84 in Italy

A Month in Bologna: Food Report (and blog)

Yes, you do pay for the location of Bistro 18. Today my husband and I had an argument about where to eat lunch, because he wanted to go to some places not in the center, that are less expensive and perhaps better food, but we had to eat early, and there was nobody in those restaurants, and I wanted to be outside and with we ended up at Bistro 18 again, and we both enjoyed the meal, although not so much the bill (55E for two courses each, two bottles of water, and includes the "service/bread" charge).

May 30, 2012
chicagofoodie84 in Italy

A Month in Bologna: Food Report (and blog)

Hello Chowhounders,
I definitely got a lot of help from lurking around this board, so I wanted to give back with some of my thoughts on the restaurants I've eaten at in Bologna. I'm copy/pasting from my blog here, but I am also including the link to see photos, hoping that's ok.

Al Sangiovese (Via Paglietta, 12
)You're not likely to stumble across this, as it's on the southern edge of the walled area of town, but it's worth seeking out. This was actually our post-climb to San Luca lunch since Meloncello was closed, and it was a fantastic substitute. The dining room is cozy, with an english-speaking table next to us but it didn't feel touristy at all - nothing really does in Bologna. The waiter was friendly, but not overly so. They didn't have any carafes of wine, but we each had glasses of, of course, sangiovese.

For a starter, Sam had vegetable pie covered in some kind of lovely cream sauce. And I finally tried a local delicacy, passatelli en brodo (in broth). These are basically noodles in broth, but the flavor is so much more intense than what that sounds. The noodles are basically half cheese, and the cheese infuses the's delicious, and filling. For the next course Sam had a special, cheese filled agnolotti with tomato and basil (pictured at the top of the page). And I had beef carpaccio covered in grana padano cheese, lettuce, and TRUFFLES. The carpaccio wasn't sliced quite as thinly as I liked, but that's my only complaint. The food was really really good.

Trattoria del Rosso (Via Augusto Righi, 30)

Trattoria Rosso is near the University in Bologna, and known for being a great place for eating on a budget. Every day they have a 10E three course menu, although when we went we ordered off the a la carte menu, which was still extremely cheap.

Best thing we had there, and one of the best things I've tasted in Italy, was the polenta appetizer with squacquerone cheese. We loved the cheese so much we bought it at the market the next day. And combined with the crispy fried polenta...oh my goodness. I couldn't stop eating it even though I knew I had a big bowl of pasta coming. In fact, I think I need to return just to eat this again, it was that good.

We also tried the chicken liver pate with toast, which was good. For the mains, which I forgot to take a picture of, we had tagliatelle with lamb ragu. This was good, but not great - too oily for my taste.

We sat outside, and while the service was brusque, it's definitely a great value.

Bistro 18 (Via Clavature, 18)

When friends who don't eat meat visited us, I took them here for lunch. It has outdoor seating, is in the center of town so is great for people-watching, and has a varied menu. Several of us got one of the specials, some kind of noodle with porcini mushrooms, which was really wonderful. For appetizers we got various things, including an eggplant dish and an onion frittata. But I still remember that mushroom pasta. I was too busy talking to my friends to take photos that first time...

But then, we returned for lunch again today, on our last day. I had a potato flan with creamy truffle sauce that I was coveting on someone else's plate last time, and the simple spaghetti with tomato sauce and basil, which was just outstanding, and a perfect way to say goodbye to Italy. Sam also very much enjoyed his trofie pasta with pesto and his sliced beef w/vegetables.

Tamburini (Via Caprarie, 1)

Part-deli, part-take home food emporium, part-cafeteria. This place is just a fun place to look around for a foodie. But I recommend eating at the buffet if you're short on time and/or money. You can get a good hearty meal for 10E or less. I had a salad with mozzarella, artichokes, tomatoes, etc. and a side of potatoes. There are several pasta and meat dishes that change daily. It's right in the center of everything too.

Eataly (Via Degli Orifici, 19)

I was surprised to see an Eataly here, as I know them from the states. The one in Bologna is not quite the same seems to be mostly a bookstore, with also some overpriced gourmet food items. There are also three different places to eat - a self-service cafe on the bottom floor/outside, a slightly nicer restaurant on the second floor, and I think an even nicer restaurant on the top floor. On our first day in town we ate on the second floor. I think I got a trio of vegetable dishes which was good - it's not always easy to find in bologna, but the whole thing was not exceedingly memorable.

Scalinatella (Via Caduti di Cefalonia, 5)

We went here for pizza, and that is what we had. Very good pizza straight from the wood-burning oven...I had delicious pieces of eggplant and zucchini on mine that clearly came from the roasted veggie antipasto bar. Definitely recommend.

Le Sfogline (Via Belvedere, 7)

If you have a kitchen or any way to cook pasta STOP, DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200, JUST GO STRAIGHT HERE!! It's on Via Belvedere, right behind the Mercato delle Erbe (a great indoor food market) on Ugo Bassi. It's the most incredible homemade pasta. I tried a lot of homemade pasta in our month in Bologna, and I thought they were all good, until I had the ricotta tortelloni from here. I wish I'd found this place earlier, so I could've tried everything (especially the artichoke lasagna). The outside was soft, the inside creamy...oh man. And not even that expensive - 25E a kilogram, and only 7E for a portion for two.

The lady who was working there even asked me - are you having something else to eat or just this - so she would know how much to give me. And they spoke a little English. They asked me to come back in ten minutes so they could make the tortelloni for me! And when I came back, I got to watch (see blog for pics). And then I got to eat! Dressed in a simple butter sage sauce, they were pure heaven!

May 30, 2012
chicagofoodie84 in Italy

Passover Seder in Paris?

Chabad is doing seders both nights -

Apr 05, 2012
chicagofoodie84 in France

Passover Seder in Paris?

That is SO nice of you....but we actually already ended up committed to going elsewhere, friends of friends invited us...thank you though and happy passover!

Apr 02, 2012
chicagofoodie84 in France

Passover Seder in Paris?

I found out that Kehilat Gescher is doing a community seder still, but on the THIRD night - Sunday night. They are doing with CJL - the liberal jewish community organization. I still haven't figured out exactly how to reserve a place - this is the number I got, I guess you can't do it over email - 01 55 28 83 84

Mar 08, 2012
chicagofoodie84 in France

Passover Seder in Paris?

Oh I misread your post; I thought you meant the second seder, that is what we are looking for. Would you mind giving me more info on who you got in touch with? Thanks.

Mar 06, 2012
chicagofoodie84 in France

Passover Seder in Paris?

My husband and I are looking for the same thing! I emailed Kehilat Gescher and still haven't heard back....

Mar 06, 2012
chicagofoodie84 in France

3 day food itinerary in San Fran - how does it look?

Thanks! This board is so such a great source of info, I love it

3 day food itinerary in San Fran - how does it look?

Thanks! I am thinking that perhaps we will spend our last half day before the airport, after we return from Napa, eating/shopping our way through the Mission district.

What will parking be like around there on a Wed afternoon, as we will probably still have our rental car....

3 day food itinerary in San Fran - how does it look?

So I sort of just realized we have an extra half day/dinner in San Fran - our flight is a red eye so when we come back from Napa we'll have more time in San Francisco - more to eat - yay!

3 day food itinerary in San Fran - how does it look?

Thanks! Unfortunately I can't eat a lot of that because of the no shellfish/pork restriction, but I'm hoping to fit the rest of those in!

3 day food itinerary in San Fran - how does it look?

Thanks Bobbyh...making things harder for me with the Frascati rec, as I really did like their you said - so many restaurants, so little time....I feel like we can't go wrong, so I'm trying not to stress out about the choices!

3 day food itinerary in San Fran - how does it look?

Thanks for the vote of confidence for Zuni! And the Gialina rec.

3 day food itinerary in San Fran - how does it look?

Thanks for the info! Unfortunately since we don't eat crab or scallops it's probably not a great idea...I think I'm totally fine with the fact that we won't be eating Chinese. Honestly, the Chinese I like is the horribly americanized takeout version I can get in Chicago (i know I know, its wrong, but given my food restrictions, it's all I've ever really had). We have lots of other food to focus on on this trip!

3 day food itinerary in San Fran - how does it look?

although I should probably stop saying that anything is out of the way and just listen to you guys telling me that SF is small (and unlike Chicago in that way)!

3 day food itinerary in San Fran - how does it look?

Oh, how I do love good chowhound debates - I was hoping I might spark one! My husband and I have been debating about Zuni for awhile now - we just started making roast chicken ourselves, so it seems kind of silly, but one of my favorite flood bloggers (shout out to raves about Zuni's chicken....I"m just not sure, we may have to just see what we're in the mood for.
It's interesting that someone mentioned Frascati because I originally had reservations there, then changed my mind because while the menu looked lovely it seemed like maybe it wasn't unique to SF and was like any nice restaurant we could go to in Chicago, but maybe I'm wrong and it does get very good reviews.
We are starting to get a lot of the traditional Italian style thin crust pizza in Chicago, but that doesn't mean we don't want to have it in SF! I'm guessing that on Thursday when we get in we'll probably do a little touristy cable-car stuff and then walk around north beach so we may end up wanting pizza dinner that night because we will be tired.

I'm also thinking we should try to fit in some casual mexican in the Mission district, burritos/tacos/etc....ahhh so much to eat so little time! And I do want to go to Tartine, but it just seems kind of far to go for breakfast seeing as none of our days actually center around that area of town...hmmm

3 day food itinerary in San Fran - how does it look?

Thank you!! It's always good to hear I'm on the right track!

3 day food itinerary in San Fran - how does it look?

I just wanted to add on that we just switched hotels - we're not staying at the Hyatt Regency in the Embarcadero thanks to a great priceline deal - I'm happy about this as I don't need the craziness of Union Square all the time, there seems to be a lot of good public transportation outside the hotel, and ferry bldg nearby.

3 day food itinerary in San Fran - how does it look?

Thanks for all the great after dinner recs! I definitely wanted to go to BiRite so that may work well.

3 day food itinerary in San Fran - how does it look?

Thanks - not necessarily looking for trendy when I want pizza...we get enough of that in Chicago. In fact I'm starting it's silly to get pizza in San Fran at all, we'll see what we're in the mood for I suppose!

3 day food itinerary in San Fran - how does it look?

So you'd recommend Tomasso's over Tony's Neapolitan for pizza in North beach? Thanks for the Zuni vote!

3 day food itinerary in San Fran - how does it look?

Yup, it does include shrimp unfortunately. Thanks for the recs. I suppose we could also just get some really good non-dim sum Chinese if the dim sum proves too difficult.

3 day food itinerary in San Fran - how does it look?

Thanks - I do hear what you're saying about Zuni. I'm still thinking about whether it's worth it or not. Although I cook a lot, and have made roast chicken, I don't make it often so it might be a nice treat, but there are SO many restaurants I'm still not sure if it makes sense to go there.

3 day food itinerary in San Fran - how does it look?

Hello chowhounds!
You've all been such an invaluable resource as I plan my trip to San Francisco. Usually I am very good at trip planning/eating planning (ha), but I am a little overwhelmed by San Francisco, both because of so many restaurants and the logistics of making sure we're not trying to go all over the place and tire ourselves out.

Quick background - my husband and I are making the trip - we are in our mid-20s. We live in Chicago and are very into food. We will also be spending three days in Napa. This is basically our first time in San Fran (I was there with my family long ago) and we are staying in the Union Square area and will not have a car except on our last day as we had out to Napa.
We don't want to go to a fancy restaurant every night, but are not averse to doing so once or twice. I also know from experience that as much as I try to plan everything, my husband will have some bizarre craving at some point and we will have to ditch the plan.
*we have some food restrictions - we do not eat pork or shellfish*

Here's what I"m thinking....
Thurs: arrival
lunch somewhere near the hotel
perhaps take a cable car trip, walk around North Beach OR do the alcatraz tour that day, stil haven't decided on when/if to do that
casual pizza dinner - should we just go somewhere in North Beach like Tony's or is it worth trekking to one of the Pizzeria Delfina locations? (and if we are just getting off the alcatraz tour, is one easier to get to than another by public transport)?

would love to have lunch in Chinatown before a 2pm tour - is there anywhere to get dim sum where we can easily figure out what has pork/shellfish in it, or is it not even worth it?

dinner at Zuni Cafe - it's a bit out of the way from the hotel I think, but am fascinated by what I've read about the roast chicken, which is a favorite food of mine. Does it live up to the hype?

farmers market!!! so excited for this...and my husband is a mexican food lover so we'll have to try Primavera

Made a dinner reservation at Aziza - which is not that far from Golden Gate Park from what I understand, but I am worried that the way we would be dressed for walking around the park would not be good for Aziza, but don't want to go all the way back to the hotel and back again so hmmm

Anyway, sorry this is so long - I appreciate any advice on what I have been planning!

? re: The Mia Francesca group of restaurants

I LOVE Mia Francesca's in Lakeview on Clark St. Granted, I haven't been to all the other ones, but my husband and I go to Mia's all the time - great food, friendly does get crowded though, so make a reservation!

Dec 13, 2008
chicagofoodie84 in Chicago Area

Lunch and Dinner suggestions for girls weekend in Chicago

Yes, it is a chain...although I think that the menu varies a bit from city to city, at least from what I've seen because I've eaten at many of them. Despite being a chain, it remains one of my favorite fish places. I agree with nsxtasy that it certainly doesn't represent Chicago at all, but if your friend really wants to go there, rest assured that you will eat very good food.

Dec 10, 2008
chicagofoodie84 in Chicago Area

Alinea & ???

All the suggestions look great so far. The only thing I'd add is while it's not typical Chicago pizza, it is a fun spot with really good "oven grinders" (basically a Calzone) - Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinders. It's right by Riccardo Trattoria that someone else recommended, on Clark street not super far. Anyway it's not too expensive and very filling!

Dec 08, 2008
chicagofoodie84 in Chicago Area