Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

« Previous Post | Daily Dish Home | Next Post »

Restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila on researching where to eat in Rome

A reader recently wrote in saying that she was off to Rome and that since I seemed like such an Italophile, could I suggest where to eat there? Truth is, and it's a terrible lapse, I haven't been to Rome in a while and I know much has changed. The city seems to be waking up, culinarily speaking. I'd love to go -- and soon.

I could suggest a few of the classic restaurants, but better she check out what's happening now. So I referred her to a blog I've been following lately, mostly via Twitter. That's Katie Parla -- Rome-based art historian, food and travel writer and sommelier, at Parla Food. (She has some good tips about Istanbul and Turkey on her site too.)

Also, check  "Food Wine Rome" (Terroir Guides: $24.95) from David D. Downie, an expat journalist and novelist who lives in France and Italy. If you go, you might want to pick up his new guidebook to "Quiet Corners of Rome" (Little Bookroom: $16.95) too.

I also suggested she check out the travel pages at Faith Willinger's site, www.faithwillinger.com. Hit "travel" and then beneath the little map of Italy, you'll find a search box. Willinger is a food writer and cookbook author who has lived in Florence for more than 25 years and now contributes stories on Italian food and wine to the Atlantic Monthly's online Atlantic Life Channel.

Also, the well-traveled chef Mario Batali's Rome restaurant suggestions can be found at babbonyc.com. I don't know how up to date they are, but restaurants in Italy don't change as much as they do here from year to year.

Lastly, I checked the "not to miss" list of Italian restaurants that an editor of Italy's "Guida dei Ristoranti L'Espresso" had given a friend (who gave it to me) last year when I was on my way to Sicily. One Rome restaurant is included: Il Pagliaccio from chef Anthony Genovese. The restaurant has just 28 seats, so this one requires reserving well ahead. 

And if you can read Italian with the help of a dictionary, check out L'Espresso, where you can search by region and town for reviews published in the magazine. It took me forever, but I finally found the link to the book "L'Espresso Guida Ristoranti d'Italia 2011." You can pick it up at bookstores in Italy for 25 euros. Another worthy and reliable guide is Slow Food's "Osterie d'Italia 2011" (available only in Italian), which collects casual and/or rustic restaurants that subscribe to the Slow Food philosophy.

Anybody out there have other Rome favorites?


Six days, six Bay Area restaurants

Top reviewed restaurants of the L.A. Times

113 wine picks

-- S. Irene Virbila

Follow me on twitter.com/sirenevirbila

Photo: Julia Roberts in "Eat, Pray, Love," eating gelato in Rome. Credit: Francois Duhamel/Columbia Pictures. 

Comments () | Archives (5)

The comments to this entry are closed.

EATROME is my pal Elizabeth Minchilli's brand new app. The name says it all. For years Elizabeth has been the secret power behind legions of food writers who seek out her expertise. Now everyone has access to her through this elegant, thorough app. http://bit.ly/fl6Z0F

The app EatRome is the most complete resource for eating in Rome. It's written by free lance writer Elizabeth Minchilli who I call "the answer lady". She knows everything about food in Rome and has created a beautiful, clear, prodigious app so now everyone (not just friends like me) can benefit from her knowledge.

Great post, and all good friends. But am I allowed to add my own name to the mix? I report on Rome restaurants for magazines like Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure and LA's own Good Food. But also on my blog: Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome. But mostly on my new app, Eat Rome (available on iTunes).

take a look at the new app EAT ROME by Elizabeth Minchilli and scouts....

In our Rome the Second Time: 15 Itineraries that Don't Go to the Coliseum (Curious Traveler Press), we offer out-of-the-way dining suggestions in two near-in "suburban" Rome neighborhoods: Flaminio and Appio Latino.
Try us.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


Recent Posts
5 Questions for Thi Tran |  August 6, 2012, 8:00 am »
SEE-LA hires new executive director |  July 31, 2012, 9:34 am »
Food FYI: Actors reading Yelp reviews |  July 31, 2012, 9:16 am »
Test Kitchen video tip: Choosing a bread wash |  July 31, 2012, 6:04 am »



About the Bloggers
Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.