Back when I was a colleges student in the early aughts, food in Rome was cheap. Some of it was great, some of it wasn’t, but a full meal never broke the bank either way, even for a 20-year-old on a budget. After the euro was introduced, dining out became an expensive endeavor. Those cheap meals doubled, then tripled in price. My nostalgia for the days of the Lira knows no bounds.
Eating bad or even mediocre food just because it was served in a pretty piazza or made by people I liked just didn’t make sense anymore. I learned to order the “right” thing and to subvert my own whims in favor of what a restaurant was known for doing well. I still test random dishes and eat in places of dubious quality, all for the sake of research. I end up eating a lot of awful food in Rome so you never have to! It’s part of the gig.
In the process of this decade-long feeding frenzy, I have had some wonderful meals worth your time and money (listings are summarized on my mobile dining app) and I have discovered there are some places that do 1 dish well—and everything else terribly. I shared my finds with Bon Appétit here. My sincerest apologies for your future nightmares inflicted by Trimani’s scorched plastic seafood baggie.