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Downie's _Food Wine Rome_: 2nd Post: Vatican area, Prati

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Downie's _Food Wine Rome_: 2nd Post: Vatican area, Prati

Sid Cundiff | Dec 12, 2009 09:28 AM

Downie's _Food Wine Rome_: 2nd Post: Vatican area, Prati

Views of Chowhounders needed and most welcome about Downie’s suggestions for this area, which he puts into two chapters. For Downie, who writes about restaurants with authentic Roman cuisine, see my post from 28. Nov. One Chowhounder has suggested that Downie needs to be read carefully for his “hidden teaching”, that Downie enthuses about a few places and mentions the others as curiosities.

For two nights this spring I’ll be staying at Hotel Sant’Anna on the Borgio Pio, very close to San Pietro. I’ve always found the Vatican area a gastronomic wasteland, and I’ve assumed that the food gets better the further north and east one goes from the Vatican. (Not that Rome’s eating is like Venice and Florence, two cities where from my experience the better places are around the edge of the city. Rome’s center has plenty of outstanding and good eateries.)

The Vatican area’s lack seems to be reflected by Downie, who mentions only five establishments in his chapter “Castel Sant’Angelo, Prati, Vaticano”, ##1-5 below. (I’ll not mention all that he lists.)

I. LISTED BY DOWNIE AND UNKNOWN TO ME:

1. L’ARCANGELO, Via Giuseppe Gioccino Belli 59/61. Downie: Roman cooking lightened and updated, updated Quinto Quarto cooking, possibly the best tripe in town

2. AL RAGNO D’ORO DA MARCO E FABRIO, Via Silla 26. restaurant/pizzeria

3. FRANCHI, via Colla di Rienzo 200-204. Reviewed by Downie in one sentence as a simple, quick lunch

4. IL MATRICIANO, Via dei Gracci 55. Several Chowhounders have found this place blameworthy. Downie calls the amatriciana, the house speciality, among the best in town.

5. CESARE, Via Crescenzio 15. Am I correct that our own M. Fant likes this place?

6. ANTICO FALCONE, Via Trionfale 60. Downie waxes lyrical for this place’s authenticity, the carbonara, he says, is among the best in Rome.

7. CACIO E PEPE – DA GIANNI, Via Avezzana 11. Downie says simple food at low prices; short menu (a good sign); house specialty tonnarelli cacio e pepe, in huge portions. no credit cards.

8. MICCI, Via Andrea Doria 55A www[dot]fratellimicci[dot]it

9. OSTERIA DELL’ANGELO, via Giovanni Bettolo 24/28. Supper a prix fixe menu, when one pays for everything whether eaten or not.

10. GRAN CAFFE BORGO, Borgo Pio 170, just a cafe, near my hotel.

II. LISTED BY DOWNIE AS NOT AUTHENTIC ROMAN YET A“TRENDY TABLE”

11. DA BENITO E GILBERTO, via del Falco 19

12. IL SIMPOSIO DI COSTANTINI, Piazza Cavour 16. I’ve been here, had a good meal, esp. the wine; yet for a high end restaurant, I prefer other places in Rome. It’s both a wine bar and a restaurant.

13. SETTEMBRINI, Via Settembrini 25/27 www[dot]settembriniroma[dot]it

III. NOT LISTED BY DOWNIE YET FOUND PRAISEWORTHY BY SOME CHOWHOUNDERS

14. Sor'eva, Piazza della Rovere 108.

15. Giarrosta Dal Toscano, Via Germanico 56

16. Sagra Del Vino. off Via Marziale

17 . Ristochicco, Borgo Pio 186

18. Tre Pupazzi, Borgo Pio

IV. NOT LISTED BY DOWNIE; FOUND BLAMEWORTHY BY ME

19. Les Etoiles, 14 Les Etoiles, Hotel Atlantic Star, via dei Bastioni 1. You can’t complain about the view; the food for the money might be better elsewhere, in my judgement.

20. Taverna Angelica, piazza Americo Capponi 6, Borgio Bitttorio 17. For the money I’ve eaten better elsewhere.

V. NEITHER LISTED BY DOWNIE NOR MENTIONED BY CHOWHOUNDERS YET FOUND PRAISEWORTHY BY OTHERS:

21. Il Mozzicone dei Fratelli Poggi, Borgo Pio, 180, recommended by a blogger priest, who says the carbonara and the liver are good

22. Osteria dei Pontefici Ristorante - Pizzeria, Via Gregorio VII, 53

23. I San Pietrini Ristorante Pizzeria, www[dot]isanpietrini[dot]it

I'll also need recommendations for a bakery in the area.

I thank all who replied to my earlier post. Your judgements and suggestions were very helpful. Now please tell me what you know about above.

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