Q: Do you know a really great restaurant in Rome? My family has visited before, but I don’t know any restaurants that would be a good fit for my wife’s birthday. She is a foodie and wine expert. We’ll also be with my 7-year-old daughter, who, luckily, has a pretty sophisticated palate for her age. Thanks! TZ
A: First of all, Buon Cumpleanno to your wife—Sounds like you’re planning a fantastic birthday treat!
Italians, as a rule, love to see (well-behaved) kids trying new foods and spending time with their families over special occasion meals, so most everyplace in the city should welcome you with open arms. Another suggestion: Lunch. If you’re not sure how long your daughter can stay out with post-flight jet lag, many top restaurants in Rome offer lovely set-price lunch menus where you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the same stellar service and dishes, but at a slightly less formal, and less expensive, time of day.
Antico Arco is a good option — it’s a small, elegant restaurant known for its modern Italian tasting menus and wine list of 1,200 varietals, plus an extensive wine cellar housed in an ancient 4th-century catacomb (that should impress a kid!)
Agata e Romeo is similar in size to Antico Arco, with a cozy dining room and upscale Italian offerings and long and impressive wine list. The menu offers a few more a la carte options, though, and prices are a bit more gentle. (Note, however, that they’re closed on Sundays.)
La Veranada is a fabulous choice for a meal in gorgeous surroundings (I’m not going to say romantic, since you’re traveling as a family, but it does have that kind of feeling). On a beautiful evening, you’d be hard pressed to find a more lovely spot in the Eternal City, and the food is as elegant as the setting. Added bonus: They offer brunch (not a mainstay in Rome), so that might be a fun way to celebrate if you’re in the area on a weekend.
Flavio al Velavevodetto is more of an upscale trattoria tucked into Monte Testaccio, and set on an ancient hill of Roman ruins that can actually be viewed from inside the restaurant. This is a traditional menu, the pasta amatriciana gets especially good reviews, but the setting is more elegant, and service more refined, than most trattorias.
Mangia and have a great trip!
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Photo Credit: Melissa Klurman