Here are some of the top picks from a month in Italy. Budget constraints and our love of cooking limited the number of places we went but here are some of our favorites. Upscale restaurants in Italy have gotten very expensive and we avoided those. All of the places listed below were under 50 Euros with wine.
Ristorante Galeassi is located in one of the best squares of the Rome, St. Maria in Trastevere. My friend Roberto Cremonini, who once lived in Rome, recommended. Roberto suggested the spaghetti with clam sauce which we had, along with a decent Risoto Pescatora. The place renewed my faith in Roman restaurants after a few disappointments on prior trips. It is located at Piazza S. Maria in Trastevere, 3, tel. (++39) 06 5809898.
Ristorante La Griglia is on the outskirts of Palau in northern Sardinia, about 2 KM along the road to Arzachena. The address is Strada Statale 125, Arzachena – Palau - tel. 0789 7088520. It is in an old farm house and specializes in traditional Sardinian cooking. You can get a multi-course tasting menu of a bunch of good stuff. This includes:
Zuppa Gallurese – consisting of dried durham wheat bread, stock and grated pecorino cheese, baked in the oven. It is even better than it sounds.
Fregula – a small pasta like couscous, served with small clams.
Porceddu – a young sucking pig grilled on a spit
Malloreddus – gnocchi served with fresh tomato sauce and minced sausage
There was also the Carasau bread found everywhere which is like flaky thin pita.
Ristorante Subarchile is located in a pleasant hotel in Orosei, an old town on the east coast of Sardinia. Orosei is one of the places you can obtain a boat to go to the beaches along the Gulf of Orosei, such as Cala Luna, that are only accessible by sea. This place provides upscale Sardinia food by a creative chef. There are over 44 fish dishes and nice pictures on the web site. We stayed at the hotel and ate there one night. We only kept to our under 50 Euro limit here by ordering the 15 Euro tourist menu which still gave us a modest sampling of what they can offer.
Villa Fumosa is also in Orosei, Sardinia, on the road to the town beach, It is a simple trattoria with excellent food and outdoor seating overlooking a lawn. They seem to specialize in very large square pizzas but we had more traditional pasta. It is located on Via del Mare Tel. 0784991044