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!
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