Da Bolognese, Rome, Italy

If you feel like dinning among the world’s celebrities then when in Rome do as the Roma’s do and people watch at Da Bolognese.  On our way in for lunch one day we saw “Sly” on the way out.

 

We have dined here several times and while not excellent it is consistently good. The most outstanding dishes are the Bolognese of course, pounded veal as well as the fruit Gelato dessert which is also very picture worthy.

 

The service is excellent although they do tend to cater to the celebrities and regulars.  I could recommend many restaurants in Rome with better food at a more reasonable price however If you want to be seen and don’t mind the large check for adequate fare then I would recommend Da Bolognese. It’s a bit stuffy so leave the children at home this is not a family friendly place unless you are Tom Cruise.

 

Lori’s loves the pounded veal so I know I will be returning soon, so I have to go to work……      CIAO…

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Locanda dell’ Amorosa, Sinalunga, Italy

Le Coccole dell’Amorosa

Nestled in the small village (this means hard to find) of Sinalunga in our favorite region of Italy; Tuscany is Le Coccole dell’Amorosa located in the hotel Locanda dell’ Amorosa. This restaurant is one of the fine dining highlights of the region. We tried to book our reservation well in advance however we were politely declined due to the fact that they give their hotel guests first priority for seating. This is when it’s nice to have some friends in the area. Lori called our Italian friends who know everyone and they made a call or two and we were in. We arrived in the evening and really did not have a chance to enjoy the beautiful grounds of the Inn. Upon arrival we were warmly welcomed and seated at a table tucked away in a quiet corner of the brick arched dining room.

We settled in and selected the wine. I was on a Brunello di Montalcino kick this trip and therefore I ordered one. I don’t recall the producer however I do recall them having a good selection of reasonably priced choices. They graciously presented me with their special house wine Borgo Amorosa as a gift to take home. We really enjoyed it.

The first course choices all sounded so good it’s a good thing we brought Josh my stepson and his guest along so we could order them all and not look like the Tuscan pigs we were about to eat. All the pork and poultry came right out of their own backyard.

All other ingredients are sourced locally so that you are being served only the freshest Tuscan food available. For the first course we had fresh smoked pork that was thinly sliced and served with a fig jelly, a fresh pork pate and fried mozzarella. They all tasted as good as they looked.

I must mention just prior to the first course arriving Lori went to sit in the lobby due to the fact she was not feeling very well but the food was coming so we carried on and ate her meal for her !

The mains were awesome: Sliced Grilled Tuscan Beef, Grilled Tuscan Pork, Roasted Whole Leg of Lamb and a Braised Lamb Shank. With four mains and only three of us eating it’s hard to imagine we had room for dessert but it was a birthday celebration so we pressed on with homemade ice cream and a special birthday cake.

We had a truly fine dining experience in Tuscany. The service was magnificent. While we were enjoying our meal the friendly staff was serving hot tea and tending to Lori.

We will surly return to Le Coccole dell’Amorosa so Lori can order two meals to make up for the one she missed !

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Ristorante Rinaldi al Quirinale , Roma, Italy

We were sent to try this Restaurant by some American friends of ours. Having been to Roma hundreds of times I am always a little reluctant to try recommendations from infrequent visitors but these were people who do travel a lot and know good food. Please be advised there are many places in Roma to eat however there are a lot of tourist traps with bad food.

Fish was exceptionally fresh and service excellent. For an antipasto we had the fish assortment it was excellent, pasta was homemade with a nice pink seafood sauce and the secondi of grilled seafood (sea bass and prawns) was also great. We had a side order of Puntarelle it’s a Roma specialty which was to excellent. The house complimentary dessert of  dough with powdered sugar cookies was excellent so I recommend stopping there, the 4 cake assortment looked great but did not taste as good as it looked.

The waiter was a little pushy towards expensive items on the menu and the wine was unreasonably high priced ( a 7 Euro bottle for 40 euro which I had at another ristorante for 20 later on the same trip, not that I’m opposed to paying 40 euro for wine it’s just the value that bothers me a bit).We had a good time and don’t regret going however I don’t think I would return. Although there was a good number of Italians’ I don’t believe they were locals. It’s a shame this would have been a great find if they did not have a tendency towards taking advantage of tourists. Lori on the other hand feels I’m being a little harsh and the fresh fish is worth a return.

Ivan Klugman : The Photo Gourmet

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