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Villa Borghese, Piazza Bucarest
This just-restored, frescoed neoclassical building, which lords high above the city, makes for an unbeatable setting to enjoy excellent modern Roman food.
Via A. Cadlolo, 101
Your best bet for a big splurge while in Rome—especially since noted German chef Heinz Beck garnered his third Michelin star. Expect nothing less than coffered ceilings, gilded mirrors, plush carpet, and umpteen forks. There's also a heavenly view.
Via dei Prefetti, 26
Near Piazza Navona, Obikà transformed an odd notion into a unique lunch experience: mozzarella di bufala tastings. This is not just any buffalo mozzarella cheese, but the best, from Naples and Salerno, delivered fresh daily. The table-hopping crowds at this modern eatery attest to its success.
Piazza delle Coppelle, 10a
For those important in-between-meal oyster fixes, this all-day wine bar never disappoints. You can play spot-the-politician—the eatery is handily located near Parliament—or get takeout for an alfresco snack.
FILIPPO LA MANTIA
25 Via del Pozzo delle Cornacchie
A double threat: The chef and architects are the current darlings of the style set. Sicilian La Mantia reinvents his native cuisine to delicious effect; Giammetta e Giammetta (twins) make the second-floor trat near the Pantheon buzz.
Vicolo dei Chiodaroli, 16
Modern by name and nature, this trattoria will make you feel fashionable for just sitting there. The futuristic steel bar and textural walls look appropriately edgy, and the menu's classic Latium dishes rarely disappoint.
Via di Monte Testaccio, 30
Run by the Mariani family since 1887, this absolutely authentic trattoria is located in a quaint stone house. Checchino is as cozy as it sounds, with menus to match. Standards include the pasta e fagioli, oxtail stew, lamb with Gaeta olives and arugula, great cheeses, and a special dish of organ meats.