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“You need to know how to order”

Antica Osteria Rugantino
Ranked #2,470 of 12,875 Restaurants in Rome
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Neighborhood: Trastevere
Reviewed October 4, 2012

This was actually in September last year.

Ristorante Rugantino was right at the bus stop. I got one of the tables next to the wall. That’s the thing with eating alone. The best tables are always reserved for couples or groups. I was sat down by a cute guy, but had to order from a short Indian guy. At first I thought that he at least spoke English. He recommended the house pasta, which I did choose. For seconds I picked cuts of meat. For dessert I was undecided. I asked for the white house wine.
They also had two other menus. One was €10 and was vegetarian, the other was fish and was €16. If I had eaten there twice, I would have also tried the fish menu.
As I waited, I got my cold water and bread, then the wine. The later was nice. A bit acidic, but not too much. I wasn’t sure if it was demi-sweet or demi-dry, though I’d put my money on the first. A bit strong, though I’ve found that Italian wines tended to be a bit stronger than the similar Hungarian wines. Probably because of the more sun.
The atmosphere was nice. The servers were dressed in costume and there was Italian music playing from the speakers. The noise from the street wasn’t bad, maybe except for the occasional siren.
My first course arrived promptly. It tasted good, but a bit too much pepper. The pasta was cooked al dente, which is how it should be. It was my first experience with fresh pasta and it really wasn’t like the dried one. It was very filling and I was glad for the time between courses. They took my plate away long before they brought the next course, so I didn’t have to sit with an empty plate for long.
The restaurant was quickly filling up. Behind me an American couple sat. The man ordered beer, predictably, and had a problem with communicating with the server. I used the pick-and-point method and apparently the guy didn’t have the brains to do the same. He was quickly annoyed that he couldn’t chat about what he wanted. The service was generally good, though the tables weren’t served all at once. The food seemed to come by type, rather. Though it was very quick, so the people didn’t have to watch the other people at their table eat for long.
My second course just said cuts of meat, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I got some nice tender meats in a vegetable stew. It went well with the heat of the day. The taste wasn’t too much and I liked it more than I thought I would at first glance. I enjoyed the dish.
The panna cotta I got for dessert was delicious and cold. The top was chocolate cream though I could have chosen caramel as well. With desserts I always liked the ones that were not too sweet and that one was just right.

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Thank Zelda_of_Arel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 15, 2012

We read the reviews here and since they were mixed we figured we'd give it a shot. Bad move on our part.
The four of us were seated immediately outside and in less than 30 seconds had a huge basket of bread and bread-sticks and two bottles of water on the table. We had ordered nothing. I noticed the menu stated the bread was 2 euro per person, so that would have been about $10 for bread. We sent it back. Since we were going to order water anyway we kept that.
The waiter/waitress (it was hard to keep track of who was waiting on us) wanted to take our order right away, before we even had time to look at the menu. We ordered a couple of appetizers to start with (to get them out of our hair so we could read the menu) and that evidently confused them, as we then had to explain that we wanted a meal as well.

The food was probably the worst we had in our week trip to Rome. The "Rugantino Antipasti" was a lackluster mix of meat, cheese and eggplant. None of the four of us had anything good to say about or entrees (which were all different).

And to my surprise we were given the check before we had finished our meal, which is something we didn't see elsewhere in Rome.

The prices are OK, but there are much better restaurants in Travestere to choose from.

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Thank Al E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2012

Came upon this place in Travestere and while it seemed ok ish was soon to be proved very wrong.As always, avoiding the dreaded tourist menu is the sensible thing yet as very late , just in Rome and hungry went into this place.

Staff flustered and rude and more concerned to push chicken dish on us rather than the lamb we asked for.Had to almost plead for water and evenmore so for bread.Waitress well put out when pressed for olive oil and balsamic for the bread and a lengthy wait ensued!
Lamb was on the menu but destined for a huge crowd who had booked in and staff more concerned to get as much drink as they could to the tables than see to us.
Chicken dish was absolutely foul, chickn drumsticks barely cooked in sharp unflavoured tomato juice...Yeucccck! This was cooking at its very worst.Waitress merely rolled her eyes and didnt care ,pointing to large well inebriated crowd who were downing something similar.

Avoid this place like the plague, its one of the first you come to in Travestere and there are some great ones further in at a third of the price.

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Thank odysseus53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2012

I had a wonderful lunch here. The food was excellent, the staff friendly (and more than happy to converse in English - my Italian is very limited), and the service speedy. Particularly memorable was the panna cotta! I very much look forward to returning when I'm next in Rome!

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Thank Andrew N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

This was our last night in Rome and we had hoped to end with a nice meal... If only we had listened to the reviews on here. The fixed price menu was a disgrace - there were no side dishes at all so the chicken was just that (oh and some peppers). Plenty of dry bread (not even any olive oil) and as much warm water as ou could want. Highlight of the evening was the dessert - they joke about the dish of the day (if they make one) and I guess that the joke is that they never have anything other than the two standard dishes. The only good point was the staff who were worked off their feet turning tables. They were so good at their job that they were clearing plates before you had finished eating.

This is definitely a place to avoid.

Thank Tony C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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