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“Enjoyable experience”

Ristorante da Cencia
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Ranked #9,554 of 12,775 Restaurants in Rome
Price range: US$20 - US$39
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Trastevere
Reviewed 16 January 2014

Living in Italy, I knew exactly what I wanted to eat in Rome, as I wanted to try the local specialities, amatriciana, gricia (like amatriciana without the tomatoes), oxtail and lamb. I also knew that the best area to find these dishes cooked well was in the Trastevere area, which is teeming with places where you can have a decent meal.

The night before I had been in another restaurant which had been disappointing, not so much for the food, but for the service. The first thing that struck me here was how friendly the staff was, and that there were many locals dining there, which is always a good sign. Although there was a long queue of people waiting for a table they didn't rush us at all, and even offered us free limoncello after the meal, which I didn't expect as it obviously meant that we stayed a little longer.
I had the amatriciana and my husband had the gricia, which were both excellent (maybe the pasta is too al dente for tourists) and then we had the ox tail and lamb, again, both perfectly cooked. Another thing I appreciated was the fact that they didn't try to sell us expensive wines, because actually the house red they serve is good.
We had a very pleasant evening, ate really well and spent 25 euros per head, so excellent value for money. In fact, we ate so well we did something that we never do on holiday, i.e. go back the next day! This time we went at lunch time, but everything was just as nice.

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Thank TurinTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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66 - 70 of 809 reviews

Reviewed 17 December 2013

The restaurant looked ok, nothing special, but the atmosphere was cosy and we had something like: let's try it! What was striking was that most of the people in the restaurant were Italian. The waiter was very friendly, we ordered a nice white wine for a very reasonable price. I wanted to have the artichoke, carciofo in Italian. He asked me if I wanted the carciofo fried or boiled, I made the choice to take it fried. What I got on my plate later on was the best artichoke I ever had in my life! My husband had mozarella and prosciutto and afterwards he ordered a pasta with oil, red pepper and garlic...fantastic, the best pasta ever, and that wit so few ingredients!
For us, this was the best food we had during our stay in Trastevere and Rome and the waiter, his name is Donato, was really very nice!

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Thank Inge V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2013

If you want a dining experience that you can only find in Italy, you must look a little off the beaten path. So many of the restaurants in or near the tourist traps simply serve the food that can be found at an Olive Garden here in America. They are overpriced and the food undoubtedly comes out of a can or a box. I guess my point is, do not go into a little local place such as this one and expect a gourmet, American style Italian meal. You won't get one. What you will get is a truly authentic experience with the types of food that the locals eat prepared the way it was meant to be prepared.

I was bound and determined to find such places while visiting Rome. I stumbled upon this one on a side street in Trastevere and was intrigued by the number of locals I saw sitting outside of the restaurant which is, to me, always a good sign. I greeted the host in Italian before inquiring if he spoke English, also in Italian. He beamed and replied that he did and quickly had me at my table with water and wine served in about 3 minutes. Throughout the course of the meal, I spoke with a few of the other waiters in scattered Italian wanting to know what they recommended, what certain dishes were, etc. They were all very friendly and readily answered all of my questions.

The food itself was very good. No, it was not gourmet and I think that's what I liked about it. It was a nice, simple, well prepared Italian meal that didn't try to push too many exotic flavors in one dish. True Italian cooking is characterized by its simplicity and use of very few ingredients which is why the restaurants that use recipes with a huge ingredient list tend to not taste as authentic to me. The pasta was as it should be: not mushy but a little bit firm and springy. The meat was cooked perfectly and all of the portions were perfect sized. The bruschetta was crispy and the topping was not overly salty which was a strike that the restaurant I had dined at the previous night had against it.

With the overall feel of the restaurant, the friendliness and promptness of the servers, and the reasonable prices of the menu items, I would not hesitate to highly recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting Rome. It truly was one of my favorite dining experiences that I have ever had in Europe.

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1  Thank ryandvy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2013

Picked this place because it looked a little quieter than the nearby restaurants on the street. It was. The food was fine. The pasta was cooked perfectly but both of the sauces we got were a little salty. Service was okay.

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Thank Bonnie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2013

After a couple of mediocre experiences in Trastevere (lots of tourist traps), this restaurant was surprisingly amazing. I agree with previous reviews that the service could be better, but the food was simply fabulous. As a antipasti I had the best bruschetta I had up to now. It was perfectly crunchy and the taste of the black olive tapenade was perfect. Then I had a very BIG piece of lasagna, and that was also superb! Check the picture. The taste was great. I ate almost all of it, so I was too full to take a dessert, but those looked also divine. Portions are LARGE. There were also a lot of locals in this restaurant, which made the atmosphere quite amazing. Go here if you're visiting the Trastevere area!

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Thank Cornelia D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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