My husband and I went to Florence, Positano & Rome over Thanksgiving. We had some great eats and disappointments so thought I'd share our experience. I kept our dinner budgets to under 50 euros per meal. I had the house wine by the quarter litre as my husband doesn't drink. Our order was usually either a shared appetizer or secondi, our own primi and a side. Though we were kind of worried that this would be frowned upon, sharing & not ordering the full three course, we noticed a lot of customers doing similar things or only ordering either the primi or secondi. All in all it was more than enough food for us. For lunch, we grabbed panninis, pizza by the kg, & gelato as we were busy heading from one attraction to another.
We stayed in Oltarno on via Santo Spirito down the street from Santo Bevitore but we didn't get around to trying it. We were told that the average meal would be around 50 euro per person so we left it to the last night which then ended up being too late.
Trattoria del Carmine: We had the parpardelle al sugo & penne amatriciana and shared the osso bucco. The amatriciana reminds me how we can't get that light and fresh of a tomato sauce in the US. The osso bucco was satisfying but suprisingly light.
All ' Antico Ristoro di Cambi - We had florentine steak here with sides of white beans & green beans saute in tomatoes, pappa al pomodoro and ribollita. The steak was tender not too fatty, all around a very tasty steak. It makes me think of ribeyes in the US but again, some how lighter. the restaurant accommodated us by giving us a steak that was under 1 kg. We could have gotten steak florentine for cheaper at Trattoria del Carmine but was very happy with our experience at Cambi.
Carapina - The gelato here was in its own class. You could taste a refined difference in texture & temperature. although we don't know enough to really say if this is how gelato should be. The flavors are very creative & unique.
Gelateria la Carraia - if you're looking for value for money, you can't beat this place, the scoops are huge for 1.5 euro.
We tried to go to Trattoria Sostanza but didn't realize that they only had 2 seatings, 7 or 7:30 pm and 9pm and we missed both.
There were only 3-4 restaurants opened as it is the slow season. We only had 2 nights there. While some might say there's nothing to see here in the slow season, I'd disagree and think that the locals actually come out in the slow season and you can see life as it should be in Positano.
Meditteraneo - I'd skip and go to Chez Black. ok food.
Chez Black - Doesn't really compare to the good eats in Florence & Rome but pretty good for the options available. We got complementary bruschetta to start & also lemon sorbet at the end of our meal. We ordered the marinated white anchovies, shrimp & arrugula pizza, cuttle fish ink pasta. The portions were enormous and we could have shared either the pizza or pasta and gotten another appetizer or side dish.
There is a great latteria next to Hotel Poseidon where you can get an enormous panini for 3.5 - 5 euro. They're very generous with the mozzarella & proscuitto.
La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali - a disappointment although the carbonara was great. I think what really put it off for me with this place is the over seasoning. Everything that came out of the kitchen was overly salty to the point that you couldn't taste much else. I'm a bit sensitive to salt, usually break out in sweat and get really itchy and the meal here set it off big time. We ordered porchetta, carbonara, cacio e pepe w/ truffles & insalata mista. The cacio e pepe was a sore disappointment. It was pasty and didn't really get the taste of the truffles. I had my first cadio e pepe at ristorante sul lago pagnanelli and again at Mani in Pasta and I couldn't stop eating it. If I had it for the first time here, I'd probably not eat it again.
La Scala (60) in Piazza Scala (Trastevere): My favorite meal. We had ravioli w/ truffles, risotto with honey mushroom, sausage & salted cheese and braised oxtail. We used the bread to scrape up every drop of sauce possible on the pasta & risotto plate. The braised oxtail again was very satisfying and light.
Taverna Romana in Monti: I was looking forward to this as it was packed the might we passed by it on our way to Imperiali. It underwhelms. We had artichokes w/ offal, cacio e pepe, tripe & saltimbocca. The saltimbocca was nice and only thing memorable. I've had better tripe in the US unfortunately....not meant as an insult.
Gigliotti(gelato) : again, great value for money & an experience but i don't think this is what gelato is supposed to be like.