I am here in beautiful Roma - the weather is very warm and a bit humid - more than I expected, but Roma is always a bit of a surprise.
I've been doing my usual wanderings throughout Rome - all via foot as I am not inclined to use public or private transport while here. And, it is lovely and lively - very busy.
I have had some wonderful meals - some in old haunts; some in new places. At Navona Notte (an old haunt near Pizza Navona) I was a bit surprised to see that printed on the front of their extensive menu book, that they don't charge servizio - "only tips" - a new one on me. I have never seen it written out so clearly before.
Everyplace else has, always been above board. I wave away the bread as I am not a bread eater and the "pane" charge does not appear on my bill - everything else on the bills has been accurate to the penny.
Except a place I ate at in the Jewish Ghetto - I had a wonderful meal of thinly sliced raw artichokes, parmesan all lightly tossed in lemon. Excellent. I had a half bottle of white wine and an espresso. I had waved away the bread.
The bill arrived with a charge for "pane" - when I pointed out that I didn't have the bread, the server fingered the tablecloth and said it was really "coperto" - I said - No - there is no "coperto" in
Rome or anywhere in Lazio - he got a bit nasty. I said that I was fully aware of the law and I was not stupid - eventually they took away the bill and came back with a bill without the "coperto" - it was a small amount but I dislike when places like this live up to the worst of the reputation of the city.
I have been here for five days and no other restaurant has tried to pull this over on me -
I asked why if it was "coperto" the bill said "pane" - not surprisingly, they could not answer.
The only good thing from that experience was the excellent food - which is no small matter.
If you are in Rome now, find places that are incorporating the wonderful fava bean into some dish on their menu. And, as always take advantage of the magic they can make of anything involving artichokes.