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“La Cisterna is one of the most interesting restaurants in Rome”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of La Cisterna - CLOSED

La Cisterna
Cuisines: Italian, Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Families with children, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: Trastevere
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“La Cisterna is one of the most interesting restaurants in Rome”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2011

Visited the family-run La Cisterna in Trastevere, Rome in July 2011 to celebrate hubby's birthday with family. We had been a few times before and had always taken other people there for its typically Roman food and fantastic historical interest. After dinner one of the original family will take you downstairs to see the medieval underground Well (cisterna) and tell you the history of the building, which is fascinating. The Nazis took over the restaurant during the war and when it's lit you can see evidence of the swastika in the Well. Ava Gardner once danced there with Frank Sinatra. The underground cavern was once the main restaurant at street level but when the Tiber overflowed the building flooded and so the 'new' restaurant was built on top. In the summer you can dine outside and be serenaded by the house quartet (family members of course). Trastevere in itself is a lovely part of Rome to visit and having La Cisterna there is icing on the cake.

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank FrancesJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

37 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Maplewood, New Jersey
Level Contributor
113 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“enjoyable experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2011

Our visit to La Cisterna, which had been recommended to us, was marked by excellent service and above-average food. Though a very personal taste, the lamb was quite excellent, reminding me of the style of lamb I had eaten so many times when roasted over an open flame. Our waiter, somewhat of an older gentleman, was very gracious and aimed to please, while remaining insistent on certain things ("THIS cheese is for the soup"). There was a strolling guitar player/singer, who was quite nice, both personally and in terms of ability. Of course we did visit the famous fountain, and enjoyed the history along with one of the current owners. Overall, it was a very enjoyable evening, and we may not have discovered Trastevere without it.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank drkunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Average food, good service, probably a better experience if you can eat inside”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2011

We went in August and so all the seating was outside. After dinner, when the waiter gave us the tour of the inside I think we thought it was prettier inside and would have preferred to dine there. (They were not serving there though...)

The food was OK, the service was good. Nothing really special though for sure.

  • Visited August 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mike W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level Contributor
44 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Charming atmosphere made for a wonderful evening in Trastevere!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2011

Trastevere is a perfect neighborhood for dinner in Rome. Perhaps it is because we live in the West Village/NYC but we felt right at home in the winding streets and party atmosphere. What was puzzling was why la Cisterna wasn't more crowded. It was truly amazing! The outdoor area isn't much to look at (view of graffiti walls) but inside...inside is magical. It is the oldest known tavern in Rome- and has been built over repeatedly but you can still see the historical site as you travel thru to the basement.
As for the food, it was wonderful and fresh. We had pastas (carbonara and arrabiata) and entrees (grilled beef and chicken) and had no complaints! The service was lovely, and the gentleman who played guitar was an added touch. He approached each table AFTER their main courses were cleared and asked what sort of music he might play for them. It was sweet. And romantic. Just like La Cisterna!

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank nickijags
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn
Level Contributor
204 reviews
135 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Great Experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2011

La Cisterna, in the Trastavere, Section of Rome, is undoubtably a place for tourists. However, the food there is some of the best in Rome, especially the roasted lamb. It's so good I usually get two meals. This in not to say the rest of th efood isn't good I just happen to be partial to lamb. We have been there a few times and were never disappointed. The service was always excellent. The treat you like family and go out of their way to please you. The wine is from a family estate and very good. Whilr there at the end of the meal ask to the tour of the celler. When they were renovating there found a old Rome kitchen & well as wel as catacombs, it's a nice way to end the night.

  • Visited May 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Gardoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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