I don’t often write negative things about places I go, I prefer to just not write anything, but in some cases I think people need to be warned.
On a recent trip to Rome I spotted an interesting looking restaurant in Via dei Coronari, not far from the Piazza Navona. It is one of my favourite streets in Rome, lined with interesting shops and stylish cafes and restaurants. I vowed to return on my next visit.
It has a cheerful and stylish interior and I thought it would offer an interesting modern menu. I walked in to find it reasonably busy, but not full.
I tried to attract the attention of someone who might show me to a table. The person who appeared to be the owner studiously ignored me. She was busy fussing about the cash register and having a conversation with a friend on her mobile. The eyes of the rest of the staff members glazed over as they looked in my direction.
Finally I was able to indicate that I would like a table and was made to wait while a table that had been vacant for some time was cleared, but not before more important tasks were attended to.
I took my seat and a menu was brought, then I was ignored for some time until a girl who appeared to do nothing except wear a too tight jacket barked at the waiter, the only person who seemed to be doing anything, to take my order.
While I watched and waited other people entered, were ignored and walked out. My order was taken, a bottle of water was brought to the table and I began my wait for my meal.
The owner in the meantime joined a friend at the table next to mine and ordered some lunch for herself. It arrived promptly and she ate it and resumed her spot behind the counter.
It can be fun to watch pretentious people performing for an audience and the antics of the staff amused me for a while, but after 30 minutes my food still had not arrived. I asked the waiter if he could look into it for me and he snapped that it was not his fault.
10 minutes later I told him that if it didn’t arrive in 1 minute I was leaving. Again he sniffily told me it wasn’t his fault and the owner joined in telling me they were very busy…they were not. No apology was made for the delay.
After more than 40 minutes this plate of spaghetti arrived.
It could have been prepared from scratch in about 10 minutes and by this time I was furious and wished I had walked out 30 minutes before. I paid the bill and left.
As I walked back down the street a while later the owner was leaning in the doorway smoking a cigarette…a nice touch.
Don’t waste your time and money on this awful place. It really is the worst service I have ever had in Italy and I was disappointed that I had wasted my time there. I don’t think this was just an off day. These people have a bad attitude and serving customers seems to interfere with their chats to friends.
To make up for it I went later to the very excellent Caffe Greco in the Via Condotti for coffee and cake. I will tell you all about it in my next post.