Sunday, November 24, 2019
200 Reviews of Rome: Bar del Fico
Bar del Fico, where have you been all our lives!
Okay, well, not all our lives. We've only been to Rome five times over the many years, and I'm not sure Bar del Fico would have been quite what we were looking for the first couple of times we were there. But located as it is in the general heart of our (and most travelers) stomping grounds, just outside of Piazza Navona in the twisty warren of streets a skootch towards the Tiber, it seems both sad and happy that we missed it over our last few trips. Sad because it would have rescued a few wandering nights of not quite being able to settle on where to go, but happy for the obvious reason of finding it and the slightly less obvious reason of giving the sense that in every way Rome has its endless layers, willing to reveal more things to one the longer one pours over those same streets.
Bar del Fico is the perfect sort of evening, drink and a snack, shabby chic (it even says so on the google map!), find a seat in Rome and soak it all in kind of place. We got a nice couple seats in the loungey bar area and had (probably) a Negroni and wine, but I might be wrong because I vaguely remember mint in my drink. We got nuts with it all, as is proper. We ordered some nice cheese and I had a fried pizza aperitif thing that I liked an awful lot. The price was reasonable. Everyone was nice to us. And that's about it, except for the context, which follows:
In thinking I would dash off a review of Bar del Fico, almost a month after going there just one time, I figured I should do some basic research, so I looked up Bar del Fico and got an eyeful of the reviews. It was chaos, just like Rome! To start with Bar del Fico is, as is common in Rome, kind of three or four things at once, consisting of several different rooms. It seems to be a cafe, something converting to a lounge, a cocktail bar, and also partly a more straight up restaurant. The pictures all look like they're from seven different places (though there are a couple of cocktails with fresh mint which supports the theory I had one of those). The reviews also encompass this diversity with people enraptured over the friendliness and wonderful food to the point where they moved into a local hotel and went to Bar del Fico twice a day, all the way to a minority who are still wounded by the staff's cruelty and the possibility they were cheated. I am not here to dispute any of these sorts of takes on the place. Rome can be like this. We have but our singular experience. There is no place with so many stars that you don't take your chances.
We took ours at Bar del Fico.
It worked out.