I always shy away from recommending places to eat in Rome because, in general, everyone has their own specific tastes, likes and dislikes. But there are two places that I want to recommend that I tried during my most recent trip to the Eternal City- if you get to try them for yourself, please leave a comment on the blog and let me know what you thought of my suggestions.
Gusto | http://www.gusto.it
This restaurant group has five different locales, each of which is unique in its own right. The only one that I visited was the ristorante and pizzeria — during the day, around lunch time, they have an excellent Italian buffet lunch which is also quite reasonable in price. You can sit inside or out (I recommend indoors, especially during those hot days, plus there’s a lot of traffic in that area, most of it pedestrian and the occasional bus or car). The food was delicious, and they have something for all tastes. If you’re a vegetarian, they have a huge selection of vegetarian dishes to sample, and this might be a good place to eat. I think that finding decent places for lunch can be one of the most difficult in Rome, but this place serves up really great food.
The restaurant is located at Piazza Augusto Imperatore 9 in Rome (+39 063226273).
Il Pentagrappolo | http://www.ilpentagrappolo.com
Whenever I go to Rome with friends who are unaccustomed to the Italian “feeding schedule” (Italians tend to eat later than Americans), they are always complaining about how hungry they get between 5:00 and 6:00 PM. I always chuckle, but it can take some getting used to. Instead of diving in with the rest of the tourist crowd or eating two dinners, do what Italians do and relax with a glass of wine, a beer, an aperitif, and something to nibble on – such as a cheese plate or a plate of various Italian meats. The best place for this is a wine bar (many of which double as restaurants, so if you get comfortable and don’t want to search for another place, have dinner there, too!).
Il Pentagrappolois a great wine bar that is relaxing and comfortable. I found it to be slightly on the expensive side (four glasses of wine, a cheese plate and a plate of meats was almost $50), but it was well worth it because the staff was exceptionally nice, helpful and attentive. On some nights they have music and someone playing the piano, but it’s equally relaxing to grab a table with some friends, sip wine and talk about the day’s events! They have a great selection of wines to choose from – if you’re not sure what to try, the staff is more than willing to lend a hand.Il Pentagrappolo is closed Mondays as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons.1
It is located at Via Celimontana 21/B (00184) in Rome (map).