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“Ok, but NOT number 2 in Rome”
Review of caffe universale - CLOSED

caffe universale
Price range: $41 - $82
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Neighborhood: Navona / Pantheon / Campo de’ Fiori
Description: Caffé Universale è un locale moderno, dove è possibile bere la migliore qualità di caffè e thè, e gustare una cucina creativa e una carta dei vini con le migliori etichette. Caffé Universale is a modern local,where is possible to drink the best quality of coffee and thè, and to taste a creative kitchen and a wine list with the best labels.
rome
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Ok, but NOT number 2 in Rome”
Reviewed February 1, 2013

I was very intrigued by this place reading all of the reviews that cite it's gluten-free options. I was also, however, a bit nervous since it had so few reviews.
I guess what I can say is that my instincts were right on both accounts; there were many gluten-free options and the quality was average, and the few reviews were indicative a restaurant that seems to not have found it's own identity. .
The normal menu is quite large, but also varied,and not in a good way. There are Roman dishes, seafood dishes, a huge salad list...it just felt sort of jumbled. My friend said that her 'Cacio e Pepe' was edible, but subpar.
The interior was also confused, we felt. Like this restaurant is not sure if it's a fine dining place, or casual or a caffe. There were elegant touches, but, for example, the tables lacked tableclothes that covered the whole table. Oddly, even with all of the bright colors, it felt sterile.
The service was good, but seemed to 'serious' for the level of the restaurant.
Why such a low rating from me? First of because this was a totally forgettable evening, and secondly because I just can't believe this place is at number 2 on Rome's TA page. It seems crazy to me that this restaurant, which offers none of the usual warmth or character of an Italian restaurant, could be a place that represents what Rome's culinary scene has to offer.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank michelle j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stefano F, Direttore at caffe universale, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
We are very sorry that you were not happy here with us and please come back to find you as our guests to give us a chance to correct the mistake. Most of our customers are excited about the food and service but I realize that we can wrong too.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

87 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    66
    13
    2
    2
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great for hungry gluten-free Americans”
Reviewed January 30, 2013

Wow, if you aren't ready for a two and a half hour meal with all the bells and whistles and great attention to detail, then don't go. My non-gluten free husband even loved this place.

Not only did I have the best birthday meal ever, I had the best gluten-free meal ever. Two gluten free appetizers and complimentary champagne were brought out even before we ordered. The food was so tasty . . . the pasta wonderful. What a treat to enjoy pasta in Italy despite my gluten intolerance.

It was wonderful watching Stefan (?) and his two waitstaff operate. We were fascinated. They work as a great team.
And dessert . .. oh wow, so good. I had the chocolate ganache torte, I think. And the almond/coconut cookies that came with the bill just melted in my mouth.

I think I gained about ten pounds on this trip with all the gluten free restaurants in Rome, but if I had to pick just one place to indulge, this would be it. We liked it so much we went back two days later. A bit expensive for the average tourist, but worth it for a splurge. And not very traditional Italian food, more modern, but it was still so fresh and tasty.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank GallivantinGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stefano F, Direttore at caffe universale, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Thank you!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Lived up to expectations”
Reviewed January 29, 2013 via mobile

Given the flattering reviews here on trip advisor my fiancee and I went to caffe universale with very high expectations, and they did not disappoint. Not only was the setting, food, and wine all excellent, but the service was second to none. The entire staff shows a genuine pride in their restaurant and care for their customers which puts caffe universale in a league of its own for Roman fine dining. I hope when we come back, whenever that may be, that this restaurant hasn't lost its unique charm.

Helpful?
Thank chuckles1225
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Stefano F, Direttore at caffe universale, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
Thank you!!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 reviews
“a wonderful experience”
Reviewed January 25, 2013

Forget about the Colloseum. Forget about the Foro Romanum. Forget about the Vatican. If you're Rome bound, there's one place that should be on the top of you're list and that is the caffe/restaurant universale. Seldom have we encountered such fantastic hospitality and incredibly good food; don't be misled by the narrow entrance; dining is in the back. We had the ravioli, almatriciana and the steak tartare, an absolute success.
we hope this restaurant makes it to the top of the trip advisor list!!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Roel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stefano F, Direttore at caffe universale, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful place!!”
Reviewed January 25, 2013

My husband and I were recently in Rome for the Christmas holidays and we had two of the best meals of our trip at Caffe Universale. We went once for lunch and again for New Year's Eve dinner (which was one of the nicest evenings I have ever had!). This place is a treasure! The space is beautiful, the food is outstanding and the staff attentive and friendly. Sephan, the owner, is delightful and will make you feel welcome the minute you step in the door. Don't miss this wonderful place, it is worth it.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Joe_N7165
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stefano F, Direttore at caffe universale, responded to this review, January 28, 2013
Thank you!!!!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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