Venice Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations
Posted 15 October 2007 - 12:08 PM
(address etc upthread)
I loved this place. We easily made a reservation the day before for a Friday night dinner, but found ourselves in the neighborhood at lunchtime on thursday, so in we went. Only half the tables were full, but it was early.
This restaurant was definitely a great value. My mother had the grilled veggies, and with the exception of the peas, it was totally satisfying. The potatoes were divine--like the frites of my dreams. I wanted more Sarde en Saor, but could only get them as part of the mixed seafood antipasto, so my husband and I shared that. Very very good. The sarde was great, a bit different from the one at Sempione, but equally good. My mother and I both had the special, pasta with red sauce and mussels which was terrific. The sauce was clean and delicate, consisting of fresh halved cherry tomatoes, mussel broth and a little olive oil. The mussels were beautiful, tender, tasty. My mother spent half the trip trying to get "small" pasta instead of spaghetti, like capellini or linguini, and since this was served with a finer pasta resembling spaghettini, she was thrilled. And it was cooked perfectly. My husband, continuing his inkfest, tried the cuttlefish pasta, and it too was great. He spent a certain percentage of the trip with a black tongue. Luckily the goth lip thing fades quickly, since he isn't really the type. The house red at Da Alberto was the best house wine of the trip. I think we had tiramisu for dessert, in our attempt to duplicate the experience at Testiere, but I'm sure no other Tiramisu came close to that. Really lovely restaurant.
Posted 15 October 2007 - 12:21 PM
Calle Lunga S. Barnaba 2754a
I would not recommend this restaurant. It was a short walk from our hotel, and by the end of our trip my mother, who is 89, was really tired, so we didn't want to stray far in the evenings.
I had the verdura mista, and it was pretty good. The three of us shared a large branzino. They brought us the fish to approve and it did look very nice and fresh. Then they brought it out for us right after it was grilled, and it still looked good. Then, before I could say anything, they whisked it away. Ten minutes later it came back, looking like a big mess and no longer hot. For us stupid Americans they deboned and beheaded the fish. They weren't very artful about it and, to add insult to injury, they overcooked it as well. I saw an Italian table served a fish with its head still on, which is how I would have preferred it. This restaurant does not take credit cards and our fish cost 75 euros, which seemed steep to me for what we got. Dessert was also a mixed bag. It was sweet wine and cookies. The wine was rather nice, but the cookies were lousy.
Posted 15 October 2007 - 12:42 PM
Zattere Ponte Lungo
Campiello del Piovan 1459
Let me start my saying that my standards for pizza are disgustingly high because we've been making our own pizza about every other week for years, and thanks to some great suggestions on a pizza thread here we are closing in on that ideal crispy thin crust. Lacking that wood-fire taste we're doing as best we can.
So. I would say that at least 75% of all pizzas I had growing up in New York were better than Ae Oche. It's popular, I'll say that, mostly with the students in the Dorsoduro. The pizza was just plain bad. Soggy.
Il Refolo was better, and the little square by the canal was a pleasant place for lunch. The salad was run-of-the-mill. We chose a pizza with radicchio and buffalo mozz. Their technique was interesting--the shredded radicchio and the buff. went on after the pizza was done, so they were uncooked. Strange, but interesting. The crust was mostly crisp, and it was cooked well and was pretty tasty. Not great, but far better than Ae Oche. Maybe Venice just isn't a pizza town. I would have thought to see more seafood on pizza--like vongole or cozze pizza, but didn't see any.
Posted 16 October 2007 - 02:13 PM
I will be in Venice next week.
Thank You for all the advise.
Posted 16 October 2007 - 03:36 PM
I need to correct an error in my review. My nephew was with us for dinner, so that makes four people. 230 Euros sounds a little less scary divided by four. And he's young and eats a huge amount. He ordered oysters in addition to an antipasto, but I can't remember what he ate.
Posted 09 April 2008 - 12:28 AM
Now, for my other two nights, I'm trying to decide between the following:
Osteria La Zucca
(maybe the Met?)
I was thinking da fiore, but think i have ruled that out after hearing some not so great reviews on the price/quality ratio.
has anyone eaten at more than one of the above restaurants and have an opinion on which one to choose?
Also, I will be with several colleagues. One of these nights I will probably go somewhere (the nicer/more upscale of the choices) alone or with one or two others. But, the other night it would be good if it were a restaurant that could hold a larger group of people (8-10). So, if you have any input on that much appreciated.
as always...thanks for the input!
And, finally, I am assuming I will need to reserve now (if it's not too late) for any of those that I want to get a large group in, correct?
Posted 24 October 2008 - 10:20 AM
Osteria Bancogiro (Campo San Giacometto 122, San Polo (00 39 041 523 2061) 10am-3pm & 6pm-1am, closed Sunday evening and all day Monday).
Alot of waterside outside dining space , on the Grand Canal, 1/2 block from the Rialto Bridge. Good bar snacks, great fresh fish. My monkfish stuffed with ricotta on a bed of sesame spinach was perfect. My son had a great steak. Reasonable for Venice
Taverna del Campiello Remer
* Address: Campiello del Remer | Cannaregio, Venice, Italy
* Phone: 349 3365168
This one is a bit hard to find, as it is off an unmarked street, down an alley way, but worth the trip. Mostly locals, no menus. Fabulous fresh seafood. Great crudo, and antipasto. Piano player. You need a reservation. The gnocci was very light. Accomodating staff.
Campo SanBarnaba Dorsoduro
We stumbled here by accident, after trying to get to La Bitta( which we realized with their limited menu was not going to work for the kids). Good seafood pasta, and great home made gnocchi. Next to Grom, for convenience
Best Gelato Riva Reno Sastriere Castello. Best artisinal Gelato we had(including Grom) in Venice
Posted 27 February 2009 - 01:30 PM
I'd skip Do Mori...it's been written up so often that it's gotten a bit toursity and expensive, at least compared to the other bacari.
Do Mori is OK although perhaps a bit "pricier" than other chiceti places. Still it is nice for a bite or two. Certainly not expensive by any interpretation I can think of.
I'll agree on Da Alberto mentioned several times upthread.
We found it quite by accident well into a chicheti crawl one evening (theirs are excellent BTW) and made a res for last Saturday night when a friend from Geneva would be joining us for dinner.
Excellent food so good that my wife and I went back for lunch a couple of days later.
Dinner for three was right around 100 Euro.
Posted 07 November 2009 - 04:46 PM
Since the lasted post was writeen in 2008, i will ask again...!
Where we can eat well in Venice ?
I will stay in Hotel Canaletto Venice
Sallizade San Lio 5487 - 30122
I will be arriving in december 27 !
Edited by Ronaldoebt, 07 November 2009 - 04:48 PM.
Posted 23 April 2011 - 07:09 PM
Posted 04 February 2012 - 12:01 PM
As already said, while this so unique city is one the most beautiful on earth, most of the restaurants are pretty bad since most of the tourists spend just one day so they don't really do any efforts to fidelize them.
At the moment my favorite one is El Fontego dei Pescatori in Canareggio, not this close to Piazza San Marco, but very good, the fish is always very fresh and the price is absolutely reasonable.
An "evergreen" is La Corte Sconta.
But if you're planning a trip to Venice (or Milano) please feel free to msg me.
Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:36 AM
And welcome to eGullet!
Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:36 AM
We’d booked this place for our first night, as it was only a couple of minutes walk from our hotel and, arriving in the evening, wanted somewhere nearby and easy to find. Good choice. And not just for the location. Food was spot on for what we might have wanted for a perfect first night dinner.
There was gnocchi to start, accompanied by a ragu of wild duck. This was long-cooked and much reduced and so was packed with flavour. The other starter was simplicity itself. Clams and white beans served in the cooking pan. Delicious sweet clams, mealy cannellini beans and a winey, garlicky, salty broth.
And there was excellent bread to accompany it – grissini, ciabatta, the excellent thin stuff that I think is called “music paper”. And the basket was replaced with a fresh supply even before we’d finished off the first.
As for mains, neither of us could see past frito misto. And what a good choice it proved to be. Each serving a really good selection of battered and fried seafood (squid, octopus, tiny fish that may or may not have been whitebait), a fillet of baby sole, another small fish of indeterminate origin and three tiny scallops served on the half shell. A little dish of sea salt was a thoughtful provision. As was a paper cone of matchstick potatoes.
For desserts, we both opted for ice cream. In one serving, house made hazelnut , the flavour heightened by a sprinkling of nuts on top. In the other, very good vanilla, topped with liquorice powder. Now liquorice seems to be the “in thing” to add to desserts. It’s appeared on a number of menus in recent months. And, here, as in the other places, it is used so sparingly that, frankly, you can’t taste it. But this was the only slip in the cooking over the evening.
We finished with reasonably good espresso.
Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:37 AM
In spite of its hard surfaces and modernist decoration, Il Ridotto managed an attempt at retaining something of an air of intimacy. It’s to do with the tables being split between the two small rooms. Unfortunately, the attempt fails as the hard surfaces mean that, unless you are good at filtering out background noise, you are going to feel part of the conversations of neighbouring tables.
The menu also fits the modernist style. Things kicked off with an interesting amuse – a disc of bread, topped with a spicy paprika jelly and pecorino, a little red pepper sauce to moisten the mouthful.
For a starter, we opted for the “risotto for two” – good creamy rice, flecked with peas, mint and basil. Scallop roe flavoured the cooking stock and, perhaps, could have taken a more prominent role.
A main of beef cheeks, braised in pinot noir, was excellent. A really deep flavour that only comes from good meat, cooked for a long time. There was some just wilted raddichio providing some crunch. The menu had also advertised raspberries and I’d thought “No! That’s so wrong that they must be going to do something creative”. But, no, it was just a few berries scattered in with the meat. And, yes, it was soooo wrong.
Across the table, cod was being enjoyed. A small fried fillet sat on black lentils. In itself, this would have been good. But also on the plate was a “cod sandwich” – served cold, this was a salt cod mousse presented between two very thin “slices” of black rice. Really clever. Really good.
For desserts, I’d hoped that “Our take on tiramisu” might finally be the chance for something really creative. A deconstructed version, perhaps? But, no, this was a bog standard tiramisu. A good one, though. Lots of booze, strong coffee and good chocolate. Thoroughly enjoyable in itself.
There was certainly some creativity going on with the other plate. Small cubes of chocolate brownie, topped with hazelnut ice cream and surrounded by blobs of pumpkin puree. It sort of sounded like it might work and it did.
There were good petit fours to accompany the expresso. These days, it seems like they are often an excuse for the pastry chef to dash off a few mini-desserts but, in keeping with the name, these were indeed little baked items – a langue de chat, biscotti, a lovely light jam sandwich sponge.
It really had been a thoroughly interesting and enjoyable meal.
Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:39 AM
They pack about 20 covers into this tiny room, offering two sittings. One at the just too early time of 7pm and the other at the just too late time of 9. We went with the early one. Food is excellent with the chef fully appreciating that, when you’ve got good ingredients, the best thing is to do as little as possible to them before they get to the plate.
So, a plate of pilgrim scallops, or queenies as I’d usually know them, were served on the half-shell with no more than a scattering of chopped softened lemon and a few strands of mint. Absolutely bang-on for freshness. The other starter was also light and refreshing – salad leaves, some thinly sliced raw asparagus and a little pile of spider crab meat. Of course, with both plates being light, we scoffed the excellent bread like it was going out of fashion.
For mains, sea bass fillets were served “Mediterranean style” – topped with delicious salty olives and capers and drizzled with a little olive oil. Alongside, a grilled tomato and some boiled potatoes. This really was seafood cookery at its simple best.
Tuna was served properly cooked to medium rare instead of the fashionable “almost raw” and was all the better for it. There was a sauce, mainly reduced balsamic vinegar but, interestingly, spiked with juniper berries. On first bite, I wasn’t too sure about the berries – the resin-y taste didn’t seem quite right – but it was!
A accompanying order of mixed vegetables was excellent – carrot, courgette, wilted chard, aubergine, grilled radicchio
Desserts were also pretty good. A raspberry pannacotta was perfectly set and incorporated some small chunks of the fruit, which also appeared in the surrounding sauce. A slice of chocolate cake was excellent – both bitter and sweet, suggesting the use of a chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids. The only disappointment was the cream which looked and tasted as though it had been sprayed out of a can.
Excellent espresso to finish.
Service had been spot on throughout – but that’s almost a given in Italy.
Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:40 AM
Comparisions are odious, so the old saying goes. But this was our fourth and final Venice dinner. And the first three had been really good. And I mean, really good. And this one just wasn’t. Perhaps if it had been our first meal, we might have thought different. But it wasn’t. And we didn’t. Comparisions, eh?
White polenta features heavily on the fairly extensive menu. It cropped up on both starters. First in an underseasoned wet form on which were scattered a generous portion of very fresh, very sweet prawns. It also appeared in the “set and fried” version accompanying a small fillet of sole, with the classic Venetian “saor” sauce. This is mainly onions in a sweet, yet vinegary, sauce, spiked with capers. It usually appears with sardines where the assertive flavour of the fish will stand up to the dressing. But the more delicate sole was overwhelmed by it.
I’m a big fan of “fegato alla Veneziana” and will often order it at home if it’s on a menu. As might be expected on its home turf, this was a good version. Small squares of very lightly cooked calves liver; the long cooked onions almost meting away to form the sauce. More fried polenta as a carb.
Beef fillet wasn’t the best piece of meat ever encountered. Now I know you don’t expect fillet to have as much taste as other cuts but this was very underwhelming and, indeed, a bit scaggy in parts. The red wine sauce was almost non-existant but the topping of finely diced caponata vegetables was a cracking idea.
Contorni were €7 each which doesn’t sound a great bargain and, when you see you’re only getting two artichoke hearts, you know it’s not a bargain.
Also not a bargain was the €20 glass of Merlot. Perhaps that’s why the waiter came back to point out the price to my wife. Or perhaps, she didn’t look the sort who would order a €20 glass. In any event, she was somewhat affronted by his attitude whatever the reasoning. My advice to the restaurant is that, if you don’t think customers know what they have ordered then don’t put these items on your freaking menu.
We decided not to have dessert but did have espresso. It was OK but no more than that.
One final point of interest to us was to see on the menu Welsh lamb and that Halen Mon was the kitchen’s salt of choice. It seemed odd to see produce from an hour’s drive from home on a menu on the other side of Europe.
Posted 20 April 2012 - 10:21 AM
We are heading to Venice next week. We are booked into Osteria alle Testiere I am assuming this is the same place. I need a rec for one more restaurant for 6 people four of whom are not adventurous and one of those is quite picky (aka no meat or dairy). Any thoughts? Much appreciated.
Posted 29 April 2012 - 02:18 PM
I'm afraid I've nothing more to offer other than the above. There's non-adventurous choices at all (at least, I would regard the choices as non-adventurous). When you say you have a "no meat" person, are they OK with seafood (in which case, they're going to be fine in Venice. Can't recall the state of play on vegetarian offerings, I'm afraid. That said, I think most of the above have menus on their website.
Posted 13 September 2012 - 04:16 PM
Thanks in advance.