Saturday, June 24, 2017

200 View of Rome: Fluid


4 Stars

In the heart of the Piazza Navona neighborhood lies Fluid, a sort of bar, er, or cocktail bar? with food? The lines of definition are all murky on places like this in Rome. Just go on in and see what happens. It will reveal itself soon enough. They might not want you. They might be delighted to see you. Food? Drinks? Free? Expensive? There may be no room. Is there live music? A disco? Who knows.

To me Fluid was a Cheshire cat sort of place. There are no great shortage of these in Rome because especially smaller cafes and shops have a way of disappearing like they were never there, especially when closed and shuttered, and then being so obvious at other times one cannot even conceive of overlooking them. This is not to say that Fluid is hard to find. We never looked for it. But wandering its street dozens of times we came upon it once by chance, had a lovely early drink and buffet, and somehow never happened upon it again.

Anyway, here we are. Let's go inside. Sure, you're on the Internet and can actually find 360 degree walkthroughs of the interior of Fluid, but pictures are bullies. The will take over your mind. They will burn an idea of a place into your consciousness, and the idea, smaller than the point of a pin, will seem like a whole world. But words, these words, will seem to tell you almost nothing, and only later will you understand that nothing is exactly what you needed to know.

So, Fluid. First you must wonder why I keep saying the name of the place: Fluid. Is it because it is not a good name? No, though a good argument can be made for that. It is because the second I stop saying the name "Fluid" I start to think the name of this place is "Liquid". But it is called Fluid, not Liquid. Though I hope you can see how I might make the mistake.

Remember how I said I will seem to tell you almost nothing...

I love how this place is decorated. We sat in a room at the way back with illuminated floors that changed colors endlessly. The walls were rocks in cages. The ceiling was some kind of crinkled material. Long and narrow Liquid, I mean Fluid, is a kind of a grotto. It has no windows and it feels as if it has been carved into some low stone bluff of the Piazza Navona neighborhood. Is there a lot of stone in the area west of Piazza Navona? I don't know. Maybe. It's theoretically possible.

We went at an odd, early evening hour because we especially like off hours, having issues with... people. This allowed us to have that room of colored lights and imprisoned stones all to ourselves for most of the time we were there. They had a cocktail menu with about 400 choices in it, fully described in English, one of my favorite languages. This fecundity of choice is never a good sign for good cocktails, something I'm only more aware of now, but I got in the spirit anyway. I might even have had two cocktails! They weren't very strong. They were mainly fruity. With drinks we got buffet. It was a fair share of what I might call "Italian Junk", which, frankly, is not all that bad. The potluck celebrations we have occasionally at the library I work at in Minnesota should only do half so well and I'd be pleased. I remember we were positively excited about all the papaya. They had good papaya at that buffet. Rome likes fruit!

And that's about it. The people were nice enough in there, and it was starting to fill up more as we were leaving. I know it's a pretty long review for a little 4 Star place we went to just once, but, you need to know! And that's why I'm here.

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