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“You can do better than this..”

Ristorante da Cencia
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Ranked #9,495 of 12,443 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
Lazio, Italy
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“You can do better than this..”
Reviewed 18 April 2014 via mobile

Went here with my girlfriend, the place was super packed and the greeter offered us a table. When we got to the table, it was literally really close to another couple almost invading their personal space! We had to wait forever for our food and when it came it was alright. The best food you will eat in Italy will not be at this restaurant.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Leiden, ze Nedderlands
Level 6 Contributor
174 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Very nice”
Reviewed 20 January 2014

A very popular place with locals, it actually had a line of people waiting for a table inside. Contrary to Italians that done parka's, scarves, caps and gloves once temperatures dare drop between 15 Celsius, we had no problems sitting outside on the closed in terrace with heaters so we merrily ate while they waited. The menu offers a wide range of pasta, meat and fish (including some excellent spaghetti con tartuffo) but no pizza. Prices are moderate; a four course dinner and wine cost us about 35 euro a person.

Visited January 2014
Thank HaagseBluf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
200 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Enjoyable experience”
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.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TurinTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vlijmen, The Netherlands
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great food and service”
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!

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Inge V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
90 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“Great Local Hole in the Wall”
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.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank ryandvy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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