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Dining two steps away from the Colosseum or raising your glass for a toast as you look out over the entire eternal city from the table of a three-starred restaurant? Not as unattainable as you might think if you follow our affordable luxury tips for eating out in Rome.
Here are some recommendations to enjoy the best restaurants in Rome, with some experiences you can enjoy while spending up to 25, 50 or 100 euros.
From 0 to 25 Euros
You can't put a price on a good pizza with a view of the Colosseum. Or can you? The Ristoro della Salute is the perfect place for a drink or an authentic pizza (13 Euros).
Since 2009, celebrity chef Fulvio Pierangelini has been managing the Food&Beverage offering of the 11 luxury hotels making up the Rocco Forte Group. The group's pièce de résistance is its Roman establishment Le Jardin De Russie, located in the Secret Garden of the 5-star hotel of Via del Babuino next to Piazza di Spagna. Without exceeding your budget, you can order one of the little signature focaccia breads such as the version with asparagus, black truffle and cheese (22 Euros) or a dessert like the lemon and basil meringue pie with caramelized cherries (18 Euros), accompanied with a glass of Sauvignon.
From 25 to 30 Euros
Have you ever heard of the historical wine bar in via dei Prefetti called Achilli al Parlamento, which boasts a Michelin star? The news is that the brand has opened another venue inside the D.O.M Hotel in via Giulia. The scenario is a magnificent 18th century palazzo curated by architect Antonio Girardi, which moves out of doors in the summer months to occupy a charming terrace overlooking the rooftops of the Regola district. Here you can select a dish from the menu "Materie prime in pillole”: a spoon-served oyster with gorgonzola cheese mousse and orange marmalade, a sepia 'meatball' swathed in an almond crust and a tartar of Mazara prawns with white chocolate and blackcurrants (30 Euros).
The Vivavoce restaurant is located on the premises of the Gran Meliá Rome Villa Agrippina, which is just a 5-minute walk away from Piazza del Vaticano and St. Peter's Basilica: it represents a fusion of luxury, glamour and history. Here the view takes in the Gianicolo and luxury is also expressed in 10 thousand square metres of private garden, called the Antichi Orti Domiziani. The cuisine is artfully overseen by starred chef Alfonso Iaccarino, through his alter ego Alex Miceli. Those wishing to keep within this price range, can choose between a Sorrento lemon risotto with sea urchins and mint and the John Dory with new potatoes, boletus mushrooms, spring onions and truffle (30 Euros each).
From 50 to 100 Euros
Another delightful garden is that of Palm Court, which is situated inside the Hassler, the iconic hotel at the top of the Piazza di Spagna Steps. The cuisine is in the capable hands of chef Francesco Apreda who, together with long-standing sous-chef Marcello Romano, offers dishes of the chic Roman tradition. For example, the traditional Amatriciana is served here with crisp matchstick-cut guanciale, pecorino cheese, a well reduced sauce and a refined mix of peppers. If you order this dish with a drink, your budget can still go to a glass of wine.
Don't be afraid to book at the restaurant La Pergola because of its daunting prices. Since 1994 chef Heinz Beck has been in charge, bringing three Michelin stars to the restaurant housed inside the Hotel Cavalieri Hilton. The view of Monte Mario is not to be missed. By just ordering one lavish dish, you can afford to add one of the wines from a monumental list. Here are a couple of examples: amberjack marinated with yuzu fruit and lemongrass served on guacamole with a soya macaron (39 Euros). Alternatively, little wholemeal maccheroni hand-made on a metal rod, served with red prawns, smoked aubergine coulis and crisp breadcrumbs (49 Euros).
Try not to be overwhelmed by reverential awe as you enter the Hotel Splendide Royal and go up to the seventh floor. Here you will find a gourmet restaurant terrace to leave you speechless with its amazing panoramic view of Trinità dei Monti, St. Peter’s and the Gianicolo. The restaurant is called Mirabelle and located no more than a few steps away from Via Veneto. From the menu of this restaurant, where chef Stefano Marzetti is in charge, you may decide to honor his Mediterranean cuisine by choosing a pan-tossed black ink risotto with cuttlefish, red prawns in a little seafood and tomato sauce followed by steamed blue lobster, sea urchin emulsion and algae bread. If you order a glass of wine, you will be close to your maximum budget allowance of 100 Euros.