I have read many CH threads about the city, and delved through the writings of Minichelli, Parla, Maureen Fant, and VinoRoma, who has been so helpful to me here in CH. I've come up with a list of what I think are some current favorites and would like comments on these: What dishes to order? Where to request to be seated? Which restaurants to cut (I have to cut a couple due to time limits.
We will have 5 nights in Rome during the first week in June. We arrive from Abruzzo on a Sunday, after having eaten a large Sunday lunch, probably at Angolo di Abruzzo in Carsoli (I'm open to any alternative recommendations for lunch close to the autostrada between Sulmona and Rome).
As background: I've been to Rome about 6 times but have not visited since 2007.
We are staying at JK Place on Via Monte d'Oro, which looks to be more or less between the P. Navona and Tridente. We prefer to walk but are open to taxi to meals. I've been to Armando al Pantheon several times and had excellent meals but I'd like to try someplace new (I know, not very Italian of me). But will keep that in mind in case we are too tired out to range too far one day. I've also dined at Matricanella, and wonder what the current thinking is on that place, which is close to our hotel. I eat just about anything and definitely want to have pasta with pajata once during this visit. I'd like to explore the canon of Roman dishes, which I do not know very well; I don't think I've ever had Caccio e Pepe, for example! I love lamb and artichokes and hope early June will see these on local menus.
The hotel will probably have an over-the-top breakfast which my partner will not be able to resist. So I imagine we would have dinner and not lunch as the big meal on most days, since lunch is too early in Rome to enjoy after a huge breakfast.
My partner barely drinks and we are not seeking out any great wine lists.
I've never been to AL MORO and wonder if I should include it, despite reports of poor treatment of tourists.
Ok, here is the unedited list:
EMMA PIZZA (maybe go here Sunday evening after big lunch in Abruzzo)
DA CESARE AL CASTELLETTO (maybe go here for Monday lunch??)
TAVERNACCIA DA BRUNO in Trastevere Is the suckling pig served every night and is it fabulous enough to make this one of our dinners? I just had a smashingly good version at Maialino in New York and if Da Bruno's is as good as that, I will be happy. I'm also interested in the possibility of trying some Sardinian dishes.
PIPERNO I've never eaten in a Roman Jewish restaurant; they serve pajata and the restaurant seems to be a local and tourist favorite. Good choice?? Between PIPERNO and POMPIERE, which should I choose?
Finally, I wanted to try one traditional Testaccio restaurant for the coda, pajata, etc.
I've marked down both AGUSTARELLO and PERILLI TESTACCIO. (Not FLAVIO AL VELOVEDETTO, due to recent poor comments). Which should I choose, or neither, and why? Will they both have pajata daily?
(A related question: Is pajata best in spring when there are many young lambs?? Is lamb in general better tasting in spring??)
Are there any Roman places that do a terrific roast suckling lamb in a wood-fired oven (I'm thinking here of the lechazo in Castilla Leon, which would probably be my pick for my last meal on earth)?? I did just find this, and wonder if any of the places listed here would be worth including--I can just about manage the Italian text:
EATALY in Rome.? Worth trying for things to bring home? (I live in NYC and have been to the one in Turin, but might not be able to resist going here as well) Anything special to look out for? Which other markets? Go to MORDE E VAI in Testaccio for one "light" lunch? For another lunch, the FORNO in Campo dei Fiori?
Where do find the best gelato near my hotel? Or near any of the above restaurants? We often forego restaurant desserts in favor of gelato but I doubt if I am willing to travel by taxi to eat gelato, hence the location caveat.
Finally, how far in advance do I need to book these places for early June? Should I be doing so now? Again, please let me know preferred seating areas to request.
Many thanks for any and all comments!!