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:: Rome : Navona-Pantheon
Sangallo is now one of my very favorite restaurants in Rome, and here's why.  Your evening here includes a delightful seven-course tasting menu, four seemingly bottomless glasses of accompanying wines, exceptional service, elegant yet comfortable ambiance, and that attention to detail and quality that you have come to expect from the family-run restaurant in Italy.  All for €75.  (And if you don't want the wine, you can have all of the above for only €55.)  Just order the menu degustazione, then sit back and let Sangallo make your evening fantastic.

Sangallo    €€

Vicolo della Vaccarella, 11/a (00186)  Google Map
Tel. 06-686-5549

Incrocio Montegrappa

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:: Bologna
A midscale neighborhood restaurant with an extensive menu; however, once we tried the pizzas we were hooked! The “Gustosa” pizza, a house specialty, is comprised of mozzarella, gorgonzola, nuts, and speck, and it is divine (specktacular, if you will). The house wine is a simple Prosecco (well-suited, we thought, to the pizza – though we have learned that Italians never drink wine with pizza, only beer!); there are other wine options by the bottle. If you go the pizza route, you can expect a very reasonable bill for a fantastic meal. If you opt for a multicourse meal, do expect to pay a bit more. Closed Tuesdays.

Incrocio Montegrappa
Via Montegrappa, 7/d, Bologna
Tel. 051-224-871

Da Bucatino

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:: Rome : Aventino-Testaccio
The specialty here is bucatini all’amatriciana – and if you order it you’ll be fitted with a special bib to keep the hearty red sauce off your clothes. Despite this oddly gimicky custom, the dish is incredible, as are the melt-in-your-mouth roast meats. The cold antipasto buffet is also particularly good.

Da Bucatino    €€
Via Luca della Robbia, 84/86 (00153)
Tel. 06-574-6886


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:: Rome : Via Veneto
A little piece of heaven right across the street from the embassy! Very thoughtfully prepared food and beverages for various occasions:  a quick bite or caffé in the bar downstairs, a couple of small lunch plates in the little “box” upstairs, or a full-on sit-down meal with great wine at the tables upstairs.  Wonderful staff, creative fresh food.  My favorite place for classic Roman-style artichokes (upstairs, in season).

Moma    € / €€
Via San Basilio, 42 (00187)
Tel. 06-4201-1798, 06-4782-1058

I Colori del Vino

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:: Rome : Via Veneto
The pace is very relaxed at this lovely, recently redecorated enoteca situated a few blocks from the American embassy. Choose from a discerning list of wines by the glass, pick a bottle from the shelves, or go with a bottle recommended by the knowledgable staff. A small but very enticing selection of Italian and French formaggi and salumi beckons from the glass case at the bar (there is even Spanish pata negra ham). The calm, grown-up atmosphere is perfect for relaxed conversation.

I Colori del Vino    €€
Via Aureliana, 15 (00187)
Tel. 06-474-1745


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:: Rome : Auditorium-Parioli
Fresh, colorful, Sicilian-style seafood that will take your breath away. If you are a fan of raw fish and they are offering a carpaccio antipasto special, do not miss it. Order a bottle of wine from the distinctive Donnafugata winery, and spend the rest of the evening going “Mmmmmmmmm…”

Siciliainbocca    €€
Via Flaminia, 390 (00196)
Tel. 06-324-0187, 06-320-7745

Taverna Rossini

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:: Rome : Salario-Nomentana
Our neighborhood standby. The staff may be a bit cold, but the food is always great, and they are always open. Many a Sunday evening finds us at Rossini for our final food fling of the weekend! My favorite place for spaghetti alle vongole. Open every day.

Taverna Rossini    €
Viale G. Rossini, 54 (00198)
Tel. 06-8424-2903