If you should ever find yourself in need of an excellent, inexpensive meal while in Rome, stop by Trattoria Da Vito e Dina located a couple of blocks from Vatican City and Piazza del Risorgimento. This quaint, out of the way trattoria tucked away on a quiet side street, caters mostly to a local clientele giving credence to a hard and fast traveling rule of thumb; if you want a good meal at a good price, eat where the locals eat.
The family-run restaurant (located at Via degli Scipioni, 50) offers up some of the best traditional Italian fare in Rome. The ingredients are fresh and the meals made to order. The quality and taste of the food more than reflect this. The owners, Vito and Dina go out of their way to provide a satisfying dining experience for their customers. The wait staff is friendly, engaging and most attentive without being obtrusive. The trattoria has several tables located on the quiet street and about 10 tables inside. The size is small to be sure, but the dining experience is huge and the atmosphere is free.
Highlighting the menu are such items as ricotta and spinach filled ravioli (Ravioli Ricotta e Spinaci), lasagna, Straccetti con Porcini (thinly sliced steak with porcini mushrooms) and Supli (rice croquettes filled with mozzarella and deep fried). For desert you can choose from a variety of traditional Italian treats including tiramisu, panna cotta and cannoli. A three course meal for two, including wine, can be had for a very reasonable 40 euros. Not bad when you consider the average meal for two in Rome runs 70 euros or better.
The bottom line is that it is always difficult to find a good place to eat when you travel anywhere and not end up paying astronomical prices for food that is mediocre at best. Trattoria da Vito e Dina is an exception to the rule and well worth seeking out on your next visit to Rome. They may not speak much English and you may not speak much Italian, but that's not a problem here. Somehow it all works and language is not a barrier when you walk through the front door of this hidden gem of a trattoria. The food is excellent and reasonably priced and the service is unforgettable. As if that were not enough, you walk out of the door feeling like you are a part of their family.
Via degli Scipioni 50. Prati, Roma. Tel: +39 06 39723293. Opening hours: Mon; Wed-Sun 11:30am - 12:00am