At Trimani Il Wine Bar, seafood is served in burnt plastic straight out of the microwave.

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.

Explore related categories:
Food & Wine · Restaurants · Rome & Lazio


  • Ok, that plastic bag food is beyond. Gross.

    I am so sad about da Felice, that I don’t think I could go there even for the baccalà :(

    Complementi overall on the piece– People who come to visit get confused when I ask them “What do you want to eat?”. I need a specific dish out of them before I can suggest a place.

  • Like you, though much older, I remember “con affetto” the days when you could eat almost anywhere in Rome for a song and the food was always decent.

  • Hmm… I didn’t actually taste the seafood plastic bag, so I can’t relate, but in and of itself the concept is not too disturbing. Many sicilian grandmothers do wonderful things with plastic bags and seafood. If they’re using a sicilian recipe I doubt it was microwaved but rather cooked in lightly boiling water. There’s a great stew done this way.

  • Katie

    @mary it was absolutely microwaved (melted plastic brought on by intense heat) and completely revolting:)

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