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“Theatre!”
Review of La Barca

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La Barca
Ranked #8,716 of 12,362 Restaurants in Rome
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Vatican / Borgo
Cardiff
Level Contributor
93 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
“Theatre!”
Reviewed 3 October 2012

We were staying in the Borgo Pio area and didn't have any plans for dinner but decided to wander the back streets and see what restaurants we could find. We came across La Barca and it looked busy so we decided to go in and take a look. We were greeted by a very friendly (over the top!) waiter and shown to a table. We suddenly realised that the only Italians in the restaurant were the waiters, every diner was either English or American. We hate 'touristy' restaurants and always go where the locals eat, so this type of restaurant was our worst nightmare! We were tired and decided that despite our suspicion that we had just entered into 'The number one tourist trap of Borgo Pio (Vatican area)' , we decided to stay and see what the food was like. Without requesting it, we were each served a glass of Prosecco, then a large plate of carta di Musica (very thin, crispy sardinian bread) was placed on our table (the cost of this was later shown as the 'cover charge'on our bill) The bread was good. Our waiter then asked what we liked 'meat or fish?'. We asked for a menu and he became quite abrupt and told us that he would bring us a selection of meat and fish and that we would only pay for the food we ate! We objected to this and we were eventually brought the menu. We watched the waiters perform the 'what do you like, meat or fish?' ritual with all the other diners and watched plate upon plate of food and bottle upon bottle of wine arrive at their tables. We saw the horror on their faces when they received the massive bill for the whole theatrical performance that they had been dragged into. It's sad because the food that we ordered from the menu was really good, infact I'd go as far as saying that the pork was the best that I had ever tasted and there really is no need for the restaurant to do what it does to tourists. Let your food do the talking and tell your waiters to give up acting, shut up and just serve what your clients ask for! Your food is good, your service is not!

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
2 Thank italyintimefortea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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29 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    6
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Amazing Experience”
Reviewed 11 June 2012

Like most other reiewers we were recommended La Barca by the concierge at the hotel. From the outside it looked like the kind of place you wouldn't step foot in. My husband and my 2 kids (under 10s) never saw a menu. We were asked what we liked and didnt like - and our glasses were never empty. The food was incredible - I would have given it michelin stars and I have eaten at quite a few starred restaurants. I was worried about the bill but it was an experience. The final fruit platter and limoncello shots was to die for. Pleasantly surprised with the 120 E bill given the amount we ate and I had sea bass too. Just a fantastic experience and superb attentive service. If you're on a tight budget don't go - but for fantastic food, service and a great atmosphere this place delivers on all counts

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank weekend-traveller233
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
205 reviews
147 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“Average in every way”
Reviewed 11 September 2010

This restaurant gets recommended by local hotels. They are tucked behind a gas station and I would think they don’t get many other customers besides tourists funneled in by hotels who are probably getting a commission. They ask you which hotel you came from. (In Rome if your hotel recommends a restaurant, tour guide, etc, they are likely more interested in what is in it for them than or you.) Food was average as was the service. We ordered off the menu and had no problems in regards to overcharging. Beware! Rome is a city where everyone is trying to take advantage of you. It’s practically a sport, so don’t let them start choosing dishes for you or bringing things you didn’t order. You will get a mountain sized bill. Using the menu our two pasta dishes, an appetizer, a bottle of house wine and dessert came to 65 Euros. This is not unreasonable for a restaurant in a major city. Food was good but not great. Our bill was itemized and there was no problem with it.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TravelTurtle66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
33 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Exactly what the tourist must avoid”
Reviewed 23 August 2010

This restaurant is the perfect example of the trap tourists can fall into. A nice waiter invited us to come inside while we were reading the menu, he insisted on bringing many different dishes, telling us we'ld only pay for what we eat. The food was good but at the end he brought a bill of €120 for 3 persons, we almost never had the chance to order what we wanted and we ended up negociating the price with the owner, who seemed like a mafia mob.

    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Joel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“An Absolute Tasty, Fun-Filled Delight!”
Reviewed 11 August 2010

In summer 2008 our family of 4 stumbled on La Barca by accident, as the place we had planned on could not accomodate us & recommended La Barca close by. We arrived early at 5 pm & were the only clients for about an hour which worried us, but the hospitalble & charming waiter Angelo made us feel welcome right away. Offering no menu in between the chit chat, he said --"do you prefer meat or fish? " We said fish and then the feast began to roll -- starting with a bottle of Proseco, slices from a football-sized Sardinian cheese wheel, anchovies 6 inches long like butter, not salty, an almost endless and steady delivery of plate after plate, course after course, plus wine. When I tried to decline the second bottle of wine, Angelo shrugged, said, "come, now," opened & poured. Part way throughg, our 2 teenagers got nervous about the cost. We replied that by this point , too late, in for a penny, in for a pound. The food was so good and interesting and the entertaining conversations with Angelo and the two brother owners were an absolute hoot. The bill was just a small piece of paper with the number 230 -- worth every euro penny. They gave a free bottle of white wine in their signature bag and because we liked one of the digestifs (Myrtillo de Sarda) so much, they corked the bottle and handed it over too! Go to La Barca and live! Go for the full treatment, trust the staff adn enjoy.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Ko-Les-Nad-Ark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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