A few months ago, I realized that I had never written an article about where to eat in Rome here on the blog. It is also true that, in the last year, between dinners with friends, some dinners with colleagues and the impartial advice of my colleague Chiara (La Gastromaniaca) I have been able to turn some restaurants between Ostiense, Testaccio and Trastevere. I also “put my hand back” to my knowledge of the restaurants in the area where I was born and raised, where I must admit that I rarely went out for dinner (spending most of my life I often preferred to “go out”). I liked all the restaurants I am talking about: each has its characteristics, of course (faster or slower service, larger or smaller portions and so on), but the fact remains that I appreciated them to the point of recommending them to my time.
Restaurants and pizzerias
In the Ostiense area, I dined here with my colleagues in June 2019. The seats are 52, takes its name from the chef Tommaso Pennestri and the menu includes few dishes that want to revisit the Roman cuisine “in a modern key”. The value for money I found it enjoyable and dinner with a side dish and dessert is around 25/30 euros per person (we also took two bottles of wine, a white and a red to satisfy all tastes).
Finding parking in the immediate vicinity is perhaps not very simple, but if you arrive on time and “waste time” to turn even the parallel streets (including via Ostiense), you will not have too much difficulty in parking.
Where it is: Via Giovanni da Empoli 5;
Official site: trattoriapennestri.it
This place is part of a “chain” of three restaurants open in Centocelle, Pinciano and Trastevere. The restaurant offers traditional dishes from Lazio, prepared with km0 products: all that the restaurant offers is “DOL”, of Lazio origin.
I have been to the restaurant in Trastevere several times (so my advice refers to this location). The seats are about sixty, and on the menu, there are numerous exciting dishes, ranging from pizza to pasta (such as pappardelle with white ragù di Magalitza), black pork shank with beer, porchetta rabbit from the Monti Lepini and much more. The guys are amicable and easygoing, the cost of the dinner (first or second course, with a side dish, wine and dessert) is 30/35 euros per person, and I find it a perfect price for local, hospitality and quality of food.
Where it is: via Goffredo Mameli 21, Trastevere area
Official site: I have not found an official website, so I refer you to the Facebook page.
It is part of the San Francesco hotel and is the most expensive of the restaurants I am talking about in this post (but it deserves all it asks for more).
We are talking about the chicest restaurant among all those I mention in this post. But also about the restaurant that surely offers the most in terms of service! Do not expect infinite portions and a “battle” environment because you would risk being disappointed. The minimal-looking room (the dimensions are smaller compared to other restaurants), the waiters follow you step by step, and the seasonal (and high-quality) ingredients make the restaurant perfect for a “level” evening. The prices of the second courses vary from 16 to 24 euros. If desired, Jacopo is also a cocktail bar.
Official site: www.jacopa.it
Where is it: Via Jacopo de ’Settesoli, Trastevere area
Seu Pizza Illuminati
I went to dinner here just 15 days before Christmas 2019, to have a dinner with my colleagues. The expectations were very high, and I must admit, with extreme joy, that the restaurant has respected them all (even going slightly further). You must book your table in advance, they never reserve a table for more than ten people, and the place is always full! In addition to the “usual” Margherita, the marinara and perhaps another couple of “common” pizzas, you can find extraordinary proposals, which may also seem a little crazy, but which are the result of a long study by the chef. The fried, even sometimes with different ingredients than usual (the pumpkin supplì was perfect) were very light: for the first time in a lifetime, I was practically not already full after only one “miserable” supplì. The pizza was just as light, I ate the one with sausage and broccoli: some proposals will be “heavier” than others, but the dough is one of the lightest around.
For pizza, beer and dessert, we spent 25 euros per person (the ingredient repaid all the high cost for a pizza). They work on three shifts and must book well in advance (no, the night before is not enough even if you are looking for a table for two).
Where it is: Via Angelo Bargoni 10 – 18, Trastevere
Ice cream shops and patisseries
I discovered this ice cream shop when it opened in via dei Colli Portuensi, a few steps from my house (and not in a metaphorical sense, a few steps really), often passing in front of it before stopping for the first time to taste its ice cream. The Trastevere restaurant, which does not have a sign to attract the attention of passersby, is small (38 square meters including the laboratory), but characterized by a decidedly very sober design. The tastes you can try are just 30 (half of those that were in the “old” local).
Where is it: Via di S. Cosimato, 14a.
I met Gianfornaio because my grandmother, until a few years ago, went to the Ponte Milvio restaurant to get bread for family lunches and dinners. In the meantime, he also opened other stores, and I started celebrating birthdays in the office bringing something to eat: the pizzas of the Gianfornaio! As a great lover of bread (and of the dessert for breakfast) I can easily say that their focaccia is one of the best I’ve ever had to taste. Every time I pass through via dei Gracchi, where one of the clubs is located (the one where I usually go), I would go and sit for hours at one of their tables to eat (almost) everything they offer!
It is probably not one of the cheapest bakers in Rome, we agree on this, but in my opinion, the quality of the products offered to the clients repay all the costs!
Where it is: it has 5 points of sale. Usually, I go to the headquarters in Via dei Gracchi 179