It has a loyal following among trendy foreigners, but somehow (thankfully) this trattoria on one of the busiest pedestrian thoroughfares near the Spanish Steps has maintained its local flair. The menu consists mostly of traditional Roman pastas and meat dishes, including the most perfect carbonara I’ve ever eaten (no small feat in a city where it’s on every menu), plus the odd riff on other regional plates such as Ligurian pesto. Lighter eaters and carbo-phobes, however, can make a very satisfying meal of salmon carpaccio and an insalata mista. The room is the architectural equivalent of a mid-century nonna—as comforting and homey as the food, with framed prints and old newspaper articles hanging at odd angles against yellowing walls; and there’s one communal table in back where solo diners or sociable duos can share a meal with strangers. On Saturdays, watch for sportily attired ambassadors in for a post-tennis lunch.
Insider Tip: Beltramme doesn’t have a phone or take reservations. At lunch you can usually walk right in, but expect a wait for dinner if you arrive after 8:30 p.m.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.