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Restaurant recmmendations for Rome and Tuscany

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I returned this afternoon from a conference in New Orleans and, based on earlier suggestions for other NOLA travelers, I made sure I ate at Ugelsich's. Mother's, Nola, Bayonna, Peristyle, and Brigtsen's. Well, those recommendations were so fabulous that I figure I might as well see if I can get any ideas from the ChefTalk community for my next trip.

I will be traveling to Rome and Tuscany (this time just for fun!) in a couple weeks and am looking for must-eat restaurants or markets/vineyards, etc to visit. We will be spending two or three nights in Rome and three nights in Montebenichi in Tuscany, which I understand is no more than an hour southwest of Florence. We plan to use that as a homebase from which to travel around the surrounding countryside.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 11
Alas, it's been many, many years since I was in Rome :cry: :cry: BUT I remember having an unforgettably wonderful lunch at Taverna Giulia. I think it's near the Vatican. First time I ever had bresaola and arugula -- so you can tell that was long ago -- and pansotti with a creamy walnut sauce. I hope it's still there, and still as terrific. :lips:
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, now THAT sounds like a great start! I'll check to see if it's still around and let you know. Thanks!
post #4 of 11
Yes, Taverna Giulia is still there (Vicolo dell'Oro 23) and still renowned...but keep in mind that they serve Genovese and not Roman cooking:)

When eating in Rome, try to keep away from tourist traps, which are very diffused and, sadly, much more expensive than in other Italian cities. A good traditional cooking can be found at:

-Checchino dal 1887 (Via Monte Testaccio 30)
-Papà Giovanni (Via dei Sediari 4)
-Sora Lella (Via Ponte Quattro Capi 16)
-Sabatini (Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere 18)
-Piperno (Via Monte de'Cenci 9), Roman-Hebrew cooking

If you're looking for "elegant" restaurants, the top is "La Pergola" at the Hilton Hotel (Via Cadiolo 101), otherwise:

-Alberto Ciarla (Piazza San Cosimato 40), fish
-Coriolano (Via Ancona 14)
-Quinzi e Gabrieli (Via delle Coppelle 6), fish
-Rosetta (Via della Rosetta 8), fish

A curiosity? There is in Rome a restaurant runned by nuns...not that typical as they serve a French-ethnic cooking, but anyway it can be fun:

-Eau Vive (Via Monterone 85)

As for Tuscany, you'll be located between Siena and Arezzo since Montebenichi (are you lodging at the Castelletto di Montebenichi?) is about 30 km far from both.

If you visit Siena and have some time left (I don't think so considering how amazing it is, but who knows?) forget the restaurants and give a look to the Enoteca Italiana, which is one of the greatest Enoteche in Italy.

Tuscany has some of the top restaurants in Italy, so if you want to eat great those are the best:

-Enoteca Pinchiorri in Firenze (Via Ghibellina 87), outstanding for elegance, food and WINES! Of course very expensive...
-Gambero Rosso in San Vincenzo, to tell the truth it's not just round the corner for you since it's on the seaside between Livorno and Grosseto, but another wonderful place;
-The same for Caino in Montemerano (Grosseto)

-Another very good restaurant in Firenze is "Cibreo", Via dei Macci 118.

Like Roma, also Firenze is obviously full of tourist traps, but since the Tuscan cooking is usually better than the Roman, maybe you could enjoy also some famous "typical" restaurants even if they have worsened a lot during the last decades due to the hordes of tourists;)
The most famous of those places is "Latini", via Palchetti 6r.

Three good restaurants, close to your location, are:
-Locanda Arnolfo in Colle Val D'Elsa (25 km from Siena)
-Antonio in Castelnuovo Berardenga (20 km from Siena), fish
-Locanda dell'Amorosa (Località Svolta L'Amorosa, Sinalunga) between Siena and Arezzo

And for traditional Tuscan cooking:
-Torrino (Località il Torrino, Arezzo)
-Albergaccio di Castellina (Castellina in Chianti, near Siena)
-Osteria di Rendola (Località Rendola, Montevarchi, 30 km from Arezzo)

I'd like to tell you more about those places, but unluckily I haven't time enough :(
Anyway, hope this helps...and have a good time!

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

i was SO hoping that you would post a reply, being "in the area" (at least as compared to me!!). that is wonderful information. thank you!!:bounce:

yes, we will be staying at the Castelletto di Montebenichi. got a tip from the Savvy Traveler radio program about it. it sounds great and looks beautiful from the web site, so i hope it works out. we are frantically piecing this trip together, which we have had to throw together in a hurry. but of course, food is on the top of my priority list so i figured i would check in here to get some good suggestions. thanks for the great help!

post #6 of 11
We spent over a month in Rome, Naples, and Sicily last year, and have some super restaurant recommendations as well as hotel tips and maps posted at the URL below....Also, about a week before we left, I stumbled on the "Gourmet Travellers Guide to Italy" which added about 10 pounds to my carry-on, but was the best thing I brought on the entire trip. We found many great, off-the-beaten path places through that book.

It is worth a trip to the Island of Ischia just to vist da Peppina. Quite possibly the best meal I have ever had-country style Italian high up on the hill.

Scroll to the bottom of this page for food tips.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
thanks, solanna. we probably won't get south of rome, but we'll save your other suggestions for the next trip. will check out your ideas for rome, though.
post #8 of 11
Boy, am I listening!! Pongi, your suggestions are written in my travel journal. I'm planning our dining itinerary as I am our sightseeing!

Any suggestions for Milano? We'll be there two nights.
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post #9 of 11

Sorry if I haven't had time enough to send you my suggestions about Milano
before you're climbing the plane staircase...

Milano and surroundings are FULL of excellent restaurants, of any type (generally speaking, its liveliness and intense social and cultural life balance the limited touristic interest).

The tops are:

-AIMO E NADIA, via Montecuccoli 6 (Chef Nadia Moroni)

-ANTICA OSTERIA DEL PONTE, piazza G.Negri 9, Cassinetta di Lugagnano, 25 km from Milan (Chef Ezio Santin)

Those are two of the greatest restaurants in Italy...about the same level of Enoteca Pinchiorri.

On the other side, don't look for Gualtiero Marchesi who has moved to Erbusco, close to Brescia and pretty far from Milano.

Another recommendable place, both for culinary shopping and dining, is PECK, via Victor Hugo 4. This is, mainly, a deli shop-probably the best deli shop in Italy, a sort of italian Fauchon, which more recently has also opened a restaurant close to the shop.

I'm in a hurry now, hope to post more next Monday!

post #10 of 11
A good place that is very friendly, not expensive, and traditional in Florence is Osteria de'Benci (via de' Benci 13), if you have time to visit the Chianti classico zone which is a great day drive from you, if you love meat, a must stop is Dario Cecchini (via xx Luglio 11) in the town of Panzano, just off the Chiantigiana. The most impressive chianina beef you will ever come across! The best rec I have though is to pick up a copy of "Eating in Italy" by Faith Heller Willinger it is a wonderful and accurate guide.

Have a great trip!
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
thanks, mike. i will look for "Eating in Italy." this has been wonderful to get all these recommendations. wish we had enough time to eat at every place!!!


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