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“Best restaurant in Castelli Romano”
Review of Il Teatro dei Sapori - CLOSED

Il Teatro dei Sapori
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Reviewed 4 November 2012

We moved from Denmark to Rocca di Papa in september.....we love Italy's and the cuisine and we are trying different restaurants as often as we can. This is absolutely the best restaurant we found in the Castelli area. Giordano - the owner made the best evening and dinner we had so far.

Thank ClausHansen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (60)
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2 - 6 of 60 reviews

Reviewed 2 April 2012

First of all, several things not to expect -- they don't take credit cards, so bring a little cash; there's no view; it's on a side street off one of the main streets through Marino and not immediately obvious; the owner's English is marginal but sufficient to get you fed; it is NOT alta cucina; it's not very big, and certainly not elegant -- no yards of white linen or fine stemmed crystal; you may not get a menu, although I think that officially they have one. Those irrelevancies aside, it is a wonderful place to have an informal, real, robust Italian meal. I don't know why the local person whose derogatory review in Italian precedes this one found it so unappealing, and maybe he's got more street cred than an American traveler, but I think he's wrong. Following a casual and enthusiastic welcome from the young man running it, the first indication that you have come into the right kind of place for a great Italian dinner is that it meets the Calvin Trillin test for judging a good Italian restaurant: virtually the first question from the proprietor after you sit down is simply "rosso or bianco?" (The Trillin version of this experience in the US is to walk in and be asked, "You wanna wide oo raid?") No bother with a wine list (Although perhaps they have one; if so, we never saw it.) This has happened to us in a number of small and unpretentious restaurants in Italy, and is invariably a harbinger of good food to come. The emphasis here on traditional "Roman" cooking with lots of tomato and cheese and meat rather than fish means that for most people the right answer is "rosso," at which point a carafe appears on the table containing entirely drinkable but not special local red wine. Enjoy it; it's cheap, and he'll bring another carafe if you finish the first.

We were staying nearby in a hotel which hadn't opened its dining room for the season yet, and wanted a simple dinner. We didn't need much; we'd had lunch in Grottaferrata. We drove into downtown Marino looking for a recommended restaurant which turned out to be closed. The second recommendation was too far to walk to, and we'd already paid to park the car, so we went looking for someplace else in the neighborhood. We stumbled into Il Teatro dei Sapori pretty much by accident. After the preliminaries with the wine, next question: "Antipasto?" We said we didn't want a big meal, but would like some vegetables to start -- out comes a plate of the usual grilled eggplant and zucchini, then artichokes doused with good olive oil, and unable to resist his natural inclinations, the owner brings a plate of prosciutto and fresh mozzarella. All excellent, accompanied by good bread -- we find that most of the bread in and around Rome is good, by the way, with chewy crumb, a bit of salt, and dense, crisp crust. By now, we are already feeling well nourished, but surely we want some pasta ... servings of lasagna appear, hot, with good meat, cheese, and tomato flavor. Another honest dish. Approaching fullness, we firmly refused the offer of a mixed grill platter, but one came out to an adjoining table of local eaters (The chef came out to have a glass of wine with them.), and it looked and smelled authentic and generous. It made me wish we were still hungry, but we weren't. We also politely declined dessert, but the owner insisted we try a small portion of his own "creation," which turned out to be a version of strawberry shortcake, with light cake, whipped cream, fresh, locally picked, wild strawberries (just coming into season when we were there), and a strawberry glaze -- more rich, real food. We finished with a thimbleful of grappa. Our bill came to about a third of what we paid the next night in another town for a more complex and elegant, but not more satisfying, dinner in a dining room with a Michelin star. Between the two, I'd head back to Il Teatro dei Sapori without any hesitation.

In short, this is a local, friendly, simple restaurant serving good, traditional dishes. The owner will try very hard to please you. Anyone who takes it for what it is and chooses to eat there will be more than glad to have done so. Go and enjoy it!

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Thank M N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2012

This is one of the best types of Italian restaurants, where you walk in and they ask you if you want your vino Rosso or Bianco. You just know you are in the right spot! The cook/proprietor did not show us a menu. We told him we would like vegetables for an appetizer and the choice of red or white wine would depend on whether he served carne or pesce. The appetizer was a plate of grilled vegetables, prosciutto with mozzarella, grilled artichokes, salami and parmasan!! The first course was with a wonderful homemade lasagna (uno per due) which was more than enough for us. We couldn't eat a second course. The owner introduced us to his cook and also gave us a lovely little homemade desert of a cake with strawberries. This is a local place and only takes cash, so be prepared. (We did not have enough but there was an ATM on the street around the corner.) The owner also speaks very good English. We think there may be a menu, but if you can get an Italian to cook what he does best, go for it!! It's hard to imagine getting a bad meal here.

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Thank erntravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2013 via mobile
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Thank casinoroyale80
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Reviewed 19 October 2013
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1  Thank donatella492013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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