UPDATE OCTOBER 2015: Flavio back on notice after a shocking number of complaints by visitors who cite miserable service and inconsistent food. Waaaay back in December 2012, I wrote a post in which I put Flavio al Velavevodetto (and few other places) on notice. That year, Flavio, a Testaccio-based restaurant specializing in traditional Roman fare, had gone from being completely satisfying to wildly inconsistent, a change that was likely linked to opening a second restaurant, Velavevodetto ai Quiriti in Prati. Service glitches and food failures became increasingly common, which isn’t unusual for a restaurant to suffer following expansion. Many readers and app users reported negative experiences–so I was concerned–but I remained optimistic that things would turn around.
Fast forward to December 2014 and Flavio al Velavevodetto has more than just rebounded. It has surpassed its earlier reputation and is one of the few places in Rome that manages to maintain an extremely high level of quality, both in its raw ingredients and its final dishes. Meat comes from the restaurant’s own herds and flocks, while seasonal vegetables are cultivated on their land in northern Lazio. Ingredients are transformed into superb Roman classics like polpette di bollito (fried disks of shredded beef), tonnarelli cacio e pepe (fresh pasta with Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper), rigatoni alla carbonara, rigatoni alla gricia (pasta with guanciale, Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper), fettucine con rigaglie di pollo (fettucine with chicken innards), coda alla vaccinara (oxtail braised with tomato and celery), coratella di manzetta maremanna (veal heart, lungs and liver), and trippa alla romana (tripe cooked with tomato, Roman mint and Pecorino Romano), just to name a few of the menu’s many highlights. The wine selection is wonderful, with a healthy number of quality organic wines from Lazio, plus some interesting natural wines from other Italian regions, which are well-suited to the cucina romana.
Throw in a historic setting (the restaurant is based inside the Monte dei Cocci, an ancient Roman archeological site) and Flavio al Velavevodetto is pretty close to perfect. There are still occasional missteps, especially regarding the service. As a regular, I don’t experience many of the shortcomings app users and readers have cited in recent emails to me, but last week, a €6 vegetable side dish, which was aggressively over-salted, appeared on the final bill after we reported it was inedible. Regardless of these occasional service glitches, the food and atmosphere are stellar and Flavio and his team are doing some of the finest cucina romana anywhere. Bump it to the top of your Rome dining list, if it’s not already there.
Flavio al Velavevodetto
Via Monte di Testaccio 97
+3906 574 4194
Open: Daily, including holidays