I thank Jen Kalb for suggesting The Terrior Guides’ _Food, Wine, Rome_ by David Downie, 2009. . A sucker for books about Rome, I have it in hand already. The series emphasizes eating in the local tradition; in this edition, as on an unnumbered opening page, the author states that his recommendations are “unabashedly about eating and drinking the Roman way”; “reflects native sensibilities”.
Occasionally I’ll post his recommendations over the next few weeks. Yet I’ll not tire Chowhounders’ eyes with all the recommendations for all 10 chapters (divided by area in the city), but instead restrict myself to just neighborhoods where I plan to frequent in the next two years. I’ll list
1) Downie’s recommendation of restaurants where I’ve never been or about which I have only some information;
2) places where I’ve been and found either praiseworthy or blameworthy;
3) places unknown to me which other Chowhounders have found praiseworthy or blameworthy.
Today I’ll list the chapter “Campo de’Fiori, Ghetto, Capitoline/Forum”.
I. LISTED BY DOWNIE AND UNKNOWN TO ME:
1. BAR BENITO, Via dei Falegnami 14. A _caffe_ and _tavola calda_. Sounds like a place for breakfast.
2. DA SERGIO, Vicolo della Grotte 27. Mixed reviews from Chowhounders.
3. GRAPPOLO D’ORO–ZAPANO, Piazza della Chancelleria 80. Recommended by a _New Yorker_ writer years ago, and thus raises my suspicion that it now might be resting on its laurels. True?
4. LA CARBONARA, Campo de’ Fiori 23. I can’t get enough of spaghetti carbonara. Here it’s made with penne. Are both the restaurant and its speciality dish praiseworthy?
5. SETTIMIO AL PELLEGRINO, Via del Pelegrino 117. Said to be hard to get a table, and cold to foreigners (“‘we don’t take reservations unless we know you’”). Service said to be “small, overworked, studiously insouciant”, yet “Few places are more authentically Roman”. True in part? in whole?
6. SORA LELLA, Via di Ponte Quattro Capi 16. I’ve always wanted to eat here, yet mixed reviews from Chowhounders have made me cautious. Is my caution warranted?
7. LA VECCHIA BOTTEGA DEL VINO. Via Santa Maria del Pianto 9A/11. Said to be a wine and lunch spot.
8. AL GALLETTO, Piazza Farnese 102. Mixed reviews from Chowhounders. Is the view of the Palazzo Farnese make sitting outside worth it?
II. LISTED BY DOWNIE; EXPERIENCE BY ME AND FOUND PRAISEWORTHY
9. Dar Filettaro a Santa Barbara
10. Der Pallaro
12. Sora Margherita
13. La Taverna del Ghetto (100% Kosher, including the wines; if you want milk with your coffee, you get soy.)
LISTED BY DOWNIE; EXPERIENCED BY ME AND FOUND BLAMEWORTHY
14. Giggetto al Portico d’Ottavia
LISTED BY DOWNIE; FOUND BLAMEWORTHY BY CHOWHOUNDERS
15. Roscioli, found blameworthy by Chowhounders both in atmosphere and cuisine.
I would particularly welcome Chowhounders’ judgements about ##1-8. I am grateful to those of you who responded to my listing of restaurants from _The Concise Blue Guide Rome_. And I remain grateful to this Italy Board, which has proven to be invaluable to me over the years. Next week, time permitting I’ll post Downie’s recommendations for Campo Marzio, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and post in the same format.