/Il Comparone, My New Least Favorite Place

Il Comparone, My New Least Favorite Place


I had such high hopes for Il Comparone. When I first visited a couple of years ago the food was consistently great and service predictably Roman. I was always a bit put off by the 10-12.5% service charge which, in Rome, is absolutely never applied to bills outside of Piazza Navona and other tourist trap destinations. But, blinded by the moist maiolino and tender coda alla vaccinara, I made excuses for this ridiculousness. I even encouraged others to visit this place and many of them had terrible experiences:

Michael Marzpoosh recounted, “Went to Il Comparone for dinner tonight. Was extremely disappointing. 2 kinds of storebought shrinkwrapped breadsticks served in the breadbasket. The rest of bread tasted like mass produced supermarket bread. There was a $3 mandatory bread charge per person. Our antipasto was not done well. Only tourists were dining here tonight. Pasta was edible, but not memorable.”

Helena added, “I get that it’s aiming for a high end of the market but the food was just not up to this price, mainly due to all the hidden extras and the facetious service. I’d have complained except that it was a work lunch and I didn’t want to make a brutta figura.”

My last two meals were mediocre at best. So I am officially revoking my endorsement of Il Comparone, effective immediately. And just because I am unbelievably petty, I sent an email to Il Comparone letting them know they are dead to me and informing them that due to my excellent search engine optimization (thanks, Rob) ParlaFood.com with its bad review and negative comments is the first hit in a google search of their establishment. It’s moments like this that make me hope I never grow up and become a nice person.

2016-01-07T14:37:52+00:00 October 10th, 2009|Categories: Restaurants, Rome & Lazio|11 Comments


  1. nyc/caribbean ragazza October 10, 2009 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    When will people understand? Do not mess with folks from Jersey.

    Letting them know was a nice touch.

  2. Miss Expatria October 10, 2009 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    DEAD TO ME! Good for you. In such a great foodie city, there is no excuse for that kind of crap.

  3. Rob October 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    Interesting – sp has the food got worse lately, do you think, or were we all just overexcited at first?

    Good point about the facetious service. I always felt they were slightly smug, but I thought it was just me. I’m glad that other people are saying that.

  4. Rob October 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    Oh, and having only ever been here with largish groups and splitting the bill, I wasn’t aware of the coperta + service charge. That does take the piss.

    Can’t do a new review on Food in Rome without a revisit, but I’ll add a link from there to here.

  5. Comparone October 10, 2009 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    […] We haven’t been back since writing the above review in spring ‘09, but in October Katie at Parlafood.com wrote an interesting piece reporting that several people have had disappointing meals at Il Comparone, and highlighting Ryanair-style stealth charging on the bills (service charge, coperta). Read her comments here. […]

  6. Jessica October 10, 2009 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    Yea….don’t mess with Katie Parla! I’ve got to say I thought it was good when we went, but a bit overpriced for what it was. Oh well, that means we just need to hunt for new restaurants 🙂

  7. Il Comparone, Trastevere October 11, 2009 at 12:42 am - Reply

    […] UPDATE: I no longer endorse Il Comparone. To find out why, read this post. […]

  8. Katie October 11, 2009 at 12:33 am - Reply

    @MissExpatria @nyc/caribbean ragazza @Jess damn straight. i grew up on the mean streets of princeton so dont mess

    @Rob thanks for the link. i think the food hasnt gone downhill to the same extent that the whole experience of eating there has. when we went that time together in april, the server made a point of telling us he did not charge us for service (there were Italians at the table and the rest of us ordered in Italian). they try to stick tourists with the ridiculous service charge and to me that it totally unacceptable and ruins my image of the place, even if it isnt happening to me.

    the food is still ok, though not excellent. as jessica and others have said, the food isnt good enough to warrant the high prices. that ruins the experience for me, too. that said, im willing to try it again for Food In Rome research purposes…

    a single word in Il Comparone’s defense: they do stick to the seasons (vignarola, fichi con prosciutto, and other seasonal dishes arent on the menu when their ingredients go out of season). that cannot be said for so many other tourist traps in the city. so at least they have that going for them. its someplace to start if they wise up and change their ways.

  9. Martha October 23, 2009 at 10:37 am - Reply

    !… never grow up and become a nice person.”

    Definitely a wise move – you and your life will be better and more interesting if you don’t.

    I totally agree. Restaurants which take advantage of visitors and offer undistinguished food and unconscionable prices should be named and shamed.

  10. Florence Wrap Up October 28, 2009 at 1:52 am - Reply

    […] weekend in Florence. I know the last two posts have been on the negative side. Though my reviews of Il Comparone and Bir & Fud were completely justified, I think it is time to start offering praise where […]

  11. Tiziano November 1, 2009 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    People, don t go there! unfriendly, overpriced, tiny portions…there are many more restaurants in Rome that deserve a visit

Leave A Comment

You are currently not connected to the internet