NYCReview

photo credit: Kate Previte

Bad Roman image
7.6

Bad Roman

Italian

Columbus Circle

$$$$Perfect For:Impressing Out of TownersBig GroupsBirthdaysSpecial Occasions
RESERVE A TABLE

POWERED BY

OpenTable logo
Earn 3x points with your sapphire card

Included In

Steven Sondheim once wrote, “you gotta get a gimmick/if you wanna get ahead.” If you didn’t know that he was talking about burlesque dancers of the post-Vaudeville era, the lyric could easily be about restaurants in New York City.

Bad Roman is the latest entry into Manhattan’s oversaturated red sauce scene from Quality Branded (Don Angie, Zou Zou's, Quality Italian). They seem to have taken Sondheim’s advice to heart. Bad Roman, located in the Deutsche Bank Center (formerly the Time Warner Center) is an over-the-top, gimmicky restaurant where the food is hit or miss, but entertainment is guaranteed. 

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Bad Roman image
Bad Roman image
Bad Roman image
Bad Roman image
Bad Roman image

The space feels like the love child of a Rainforest Cafe and an old-school Italian spot, a cacophony of garish colors, bright lights, and statues of animals wearing neon collars. The restroom has a full-on fountain, though sometimes it gushes and other times there’s barely a trickle. This is a good metaphor for the food, which ranges from delightfully chaotic to mediocre catering fare. 

In a rare plot twist, the best dishes at Bad Roman are the ones that lean into the “phones eat first” ethos. A platter of crisp, oversized roni cups served with a sidecar of ranch dressing that tastes like it was squeezed out of a plastic bottle is both photogenic and enjoyable. The filet mignon topped with a giant raviolo filled with liquid cacio e pepe was definitely intended to be split open on camera, but also tastes pretty good. 

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Bad Roman image
Bad Roman image
Bad Roman image
Bad Roman image
Bad Roman image

Dessert is the most exciting section of the menu, and we genuinely love everything we’ve tried, from the tiramisu ice cream cake (what’s not to love?) to their cheeky take on cheesecake served inside of hollow chocolate lemons. Their spicy Caesar and antipasto-topped wedge salad are also great. Things start to go wrong when you get into the pastas, seafood dishes, and larger cuts of meat. The kitchen is wildly inconsistent with the cook on these items, and they’re just not especially exciting. 

Our perfect meal here would consist entirely of cocktails, roni cups, salad, and as many desserts as we can handle. Is that an unhinged way to order dinner? Maybe, but so is this restaurant. So, when in Rome…

@infatuation_nyc no one asked for another bad roman review but at least this one's honest #badromannyc #badroman #nycrestaurants #honestrestaurantreview ♬ original sound - Infatuation NYC

Food Rundown

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Roni Cups & Ranch

We’re pretty sure this dish is the reason it instantly became impossible to get a reservation at Bad Roman. It’s silly in the best way, and tastes like pizza in the Midwest, minus the pizza.

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Whipped Ricotta

A metric ton of truffle honey is drizzled tableside over this otherwise unspecial appetizer. Honestly, the truffle honey doesn’t really add much. Skip it.

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Spicy Gem Caesar

We’re always on the lookout for a great Caesar salad, and this one probably makes our top ten. It has just the right balance of cheese and heat.

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Bad Roman Wedge Salad

This is a fun take on a wedge salad, since it’s topped with chopped antipasto. It tastes like someone poured pepperoncini brine over the whole thing, and we’re very into it.

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Lobster with Calabrian Pasta

A whole lobster is split in half and stuffed with what would otherwise be some unremarkable creamy tomato pasta with a touch of spice from calabrian chili. In theory, this is solid though unnecessarily elaborate drunk food. Mainly, it’s very difficult to get the meat out of the lobster shell and the pasta is pretty overcooked.

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Chicken Scarpariello Rigatoni

This is not a spicy rigatoni to write home about. It’s fine. If you need to bulk out an order here, you could do worse.

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Filetto with Cacio e Pepe Raviolo

The thing about the filetto at Bad Roman is that the meat itself is pretty much unseasoned, though nicely cooked. This is why you should order it with the cacio e pepe raviolo on top. It’s basically a giant cheesy gusher, and the sauce inside is very salty, which is probably why they don’t salt the steak.

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake

We would brave the crowds for a bar seat just to have the tiramisu ice cream cake. This is a perfect dessert, with layers of light sponge cake, coffee and vanilla ice creams, crunchy chocolate bits, and a heady dusting of cocoa on top.

Bad Roman image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Lemon Cheesecake

Deconstructed versions of classic desserts can really swing in either direction, and this one is a home run. Two hollow white chocolate lemons are filled with very airy cheesecake mousse, with some lemon curd in the middle, all on a bed of graham cracker crumbs. It’s fun to look at, and fun to eat.

Included In

FOOD RUNDOWN

Infatuation Logo

Company

2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.

FIND PLACES ON OUR APP

Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store