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Taverna Rossini, Rome, November 7, 2014

Rossini is our neighborhood place. It is a lively, dependable restaurant with a large and varied menu, efficient yet friendly employees. We are “regulars.” When I called to make a reservation a couple of hours before we wanted to dine, the woman taking reservations recognized my voice (and no doubt my accent) and said “Sí, Barton per due, fuori.” (Yes, Barton for two, outside.)  We got our favorite table, away from the sidewalk traffic, next to the outer wall of the (seasonally) heated outdoor dining space. When we eat at Rossini we (almost) always eat out-of-doors, although the dining rooms are lovely too.

Rossini's lively outdoor dining area. Make a reservation for Friday or Saturday. It is very busy with groups.
Rossini’s lively outdoor dining area. Make a reservation for Friday or Saturday. It is very busy with groups.

This is a huge restaurant including a bar (Caffè Rossini), a pizzeria/trattoria, and a pescheria (fish restaurant), all run as one efficient unit. One person at your table can have pizza, another pasta, steak, elegant salad, or a finely prepared salt cod. There are antipasti and desserts worthy of the splurge.

It is not the best pizza in Rome, but it’s good, made of quality ingredients. I think they take it out of the oven about 30 seconds too soon. When they leave it in longer and it gets a little more carcinogenic it tastes better. It is the package that is Rossini that makes us go back over and over: location, staff, quality, conviviality. A 12 minute walk from home makes for a nice stretch of the legs before and after dinner.

We have had a favorite — and personal — waiter for the more than two years we have been going to Rossini. His name is Stefano and sadly (for us) we learned last night that he is leaving Rossini and taking a position with Royal Caribbean in the U.S. Although his English is excellent he has put up with my Italian. We will miss seeing him every time we not only dine there, but every time we pass by during his shift.

Rossini is easy to access via the Tram #19 from Prati/Vatican area or the Tram #3 coming from the Coliseum or Ostiense. Details on their website. 

Pizza Quality: 2  Excellent ingredients, thin Roman-style crust, although could use a few more seconds in the oven as the crust can lean to soggy in the middle. Nice options, some non-traditional and the only place that I know that serves a pizza especially for four people to share. 

Service: 3  Efficient, friendly, bi-lingual with memory for regular customers. The staff is focused on making sure you are served promptly, but you are never rushed. Linger over coffee and wine and watch the parade of patrons. Our favorite wine is almost on the table before we are seated. 

Ambiance: 3  From the pleasant and spacious indoor dining rooms to a generous outdoor space, Rossini is a delight. In winter they provide lap blankets even though the outdoor area is covered and has heaters.

Bonus: 1  Extra credit for great waitstaff and varied menu plus a decent wine list. No need to drink jug wine with your pizza.

Total Points: 9

Returnability: Go-to Place – fine if you are in the area (or in this case fancy a nice tram ride)

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