09 April 2011
Our Rome-based friend D hipped us to a common trick played by no-reservation restaurants in Rome: whoever answers the phone at the restaurant, whether or not it is the owner, will insist you just come on down, that you'll be seated no problem, regardless of the no-res policy, as long as you mention that you spoke to the owner on the phone. Upon arrival, naturally, the owner is either absent or has no recollection of you, and you get stuck milling around with all the other anonymous tourist cattle waiting for tables.
Ristorante Da Enzo, a noted destination for traditional Roman home-cooking on Via dei Vascellari in the eastern Trastevere, does actually take reservations. At least for their first seating. For their second seating they perform a variation on the above ploy, by merely claiming to take your reservation, at which point they note your name on their hand, or something, and then wash their hands.