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circeplum

Venice Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations

203 posts in this topic

peter - as ever, jumping to conclusions!

Sorry, but if you ate badly in Venezia you went to the wrong restaurants, period.

Regarding my spelling - have you seen my English? I don't now about you but I have a lot of work on and do not have time to proof read everything I send out.

One thing, I have eaten some terrible meals in Venezia, Firenze and Roma but I only have ever had myself to blame.

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edited in imitation of Circeplum below, and because I'm bored. If we all do this we could slowly erase the whole thread backwards.

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My wife and I went to Italy this spring.  We kept a journal in which we described, among other things, the food we ate...

Zeb A - This is fantastic and really helpful. I'm trying to plan well in advance (thanks Mogsob!) for a trip to Venice next year, so doing the research now.

Last time I was in Venice I was a poor but molto impressionable student, and I was picked up (with not much arm-twisting)by an Older Italian Guy (he was probably 25!) named Duccio (sp?) who took me to a place called Paradiso Perduto (or whatever the translation of Paradise Lost is, my Italian è smarito - or scomparso, whatever..) It was the only "real" meal I had in a week of living on pastries and coffee, so I remember the meal being great - I proceeded to cut the evening short after he walked me back to my hostel ...which led to his being hostile...until the night watchman came out and basically told the guy to get lost. Ah, youth....

Anyway do share other journals with us, we promise not to be shocked... not at the prices anyway. :smile:

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A few disconnected thoughts on the interesting Venice/Italian food thread...

I have been to Venice twice, and ate at places suggested to me. Corte Sconta was one, which I thought was spectacularly good: the eel there was one of the best pieces of fish I've ever eaten, and everything else was pretty wonderful. Very simple: just very fresh, very nicely cooked fish. No menu, it's true, but in a good way, I think. There was another place there called Agli Alboretti, which I thought was terrific as well (near the Academia), and their cuttlefish-ink risotto which I had on two separate trips was sublime on both occasions, the kind of dish that haunts you every time you try (and fail) to reproduce it in your own kitchen. (this was recommended to me by an egullet contributor friend who might now want to weigh in with his own thoughts on Agli?) I ate some good pizza in Venice too, again at suggested places. Though I also had a pizza more or less at random. That was OK, but I'd rather go to Pizza Express...

I also found a bakery near the Rialto which made wonderful, memorable olive bread. However this brings me on to some more negative thoughts. Why is bread in Italian restaurants in Italy so awful, when Italian bread-making can be so wonderful? Restaurants serving good, carefully prepared food seem to be happy to let their customers grind away at stale, dry bread that would shame a greasy-spoon cafe.

I also agree that the very poor standard of most Italian restaurant food is a result of assuming customers' ignorance. However, I saw many signs that lots of Italians are prepared to eat crap, contrary to the myth that all Italians demand and get terrific food. One example was seeing lots of Italians in a village in Umbria eating microwaved pasta in a sealed plastic container for lunch. Also the standard of food in tapas-style bars where Italians eat seemed to be way lower than in Spain, where you seem to be able to get a delicious piece of cheese and meat almost anywhere. Although I suppose there are lies, damned lies, and then ancedotes...

There can't be anywhere where the complacency and condescension to customers tastes is worse, though, than in English Italian restaurants, some of which are scandalously bad. But things are changing, I think, and people are starting to realise how bad the bad places are, and how easy it would be to make your own food better than this. Places are closing down as a result of this. The only problem now is that complacent Italian cookery is being replaced to some extent by ultra-complacent Thai/Pan-Asian cookery.

I propose a poll on which is worse, but my vote goes to the latter. Thank God for the ever-wonderful English curry-house....

Cheers,

John M

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I didn't see mention of a place called Alla Furatola, near the Accademia. We've always gone at lunchtime. Two brothers; one waits tables, the other cooks. Impeccable seafood and seafood-related pastas. Many locals.

It takes a certain amount of strategizing to eat well in Venice, and to enjoy the city free from its theme park cloak. It also takes a certain education of the eye, as well as the other senses. Worth the effort for some.


Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

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I absoluteloy loved Osteria del Fiore. Also very good was Ai Covo and Ai Gondolieri.

Fabulous Pizza at Taverna San Trovasso (near Accademia) and Trattoria Pizzeria San Toma. The latter won my individual "Best of Italy summer 99" for their gorgonzola/mozzeralla pizza from heaven (about 30 candidates from Vencie to Sicily).


beachfan

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Yes, we have been to Venice often and for the most part the restaurants are disappointing. Two standouts are places mostly mostly frequented by locals--

Alberto Osteria in Canareggio

Al Mascaron in Castello, but 2 mins from San Marco.

We have had wonderful meals at these 2 places more than once!!

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Sorry, but if you ate badly in Venezia you went to the wrong restaurants, period.

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The last time Iwas in Venice was a long time ago. I don't remember eating in anyplace special. I don't know any of the restaurants mentioned by all here. Can anybody recommend a restaurant that has good food but also an upscale look? Sawdust on the floor or a taverna-look would be fine for me but not appreciated by my upper-east-side matron (mother) :wub:

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The ne plus ultra of Venetian cuisine is Da Fiore (mentioned above at several points). Need to reserve in advance. Need to allow extra time to get there because it's hard to find. But worth it.


I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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Haven't been for awhile, but reports are that it's still good...

Alle Testiere (Calle del Mondo Novo 5801, tel/fax 522 7220)

more info about this and some bacari we like on my site:

venice food

And a friend is putting together some interesting tours with his partner, a Venetian native...they plan on spending a day in each sestiere. Email me for more info

jdixon@realgoodfood.com

Jim


olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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I realize this is quite an old thread, but I am heading to Venice in a month or so... and I've found this conversation incredibly useful in planning the eating part of my trip. Has anybody been back recently? I'd be interested in any updates, if there are any. thanks!

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I, too, ate bad food in Venice, until I got hip to the Slow Travelers web site, and particularly, to Shannon's Venice restaurant list. She lived there, recently, for a year, so the out-of-dateness that afflicts most guide books is not an issue. (Also, she's at work on a book.)

Nothing like a community of Italiaphiles to point you to the good stuff.

R.G.

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... I am heading to Venice in a month or so...

Oh ferd, please do report back in huge detail :smile: I'm going to Venice/Garda/Verona in June, and I'll need some help too :rolleyes:

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... I am heading to Venice in a month or so...

Oh ferd, please do report back in huge detail :smile: I'm going to Venice/Garda/Verona in June, and I'll need some help too :rolleyes:

me too!

i'm there friday 20th, saturday 21st june, and although i've not yet spent a great deal of time researching them, this looks like the most challenging place to find restaurants.

cheers

gary


you don't win friends with salad

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We Too!! We'll be going the end of May and continuing on to the hills of Parma, Modena and Bologna. If there are any suggestions for places to eat (and stay), it would be really helpful to our planning.

Chris

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We've booked both hotels and an apartment in Venice through Guest in Italy. I'd recommend an apartment. It gives you more room, a kitchen, and many are located in the sestiere away from San Marcos, so you get a less tourist-centric taste of the city.

My post above somewhere has a link to my site with a few places we liked. But wander the back streets and look for crowds of students or old men. We'd spot these and inevitably they'd be gathered in front of a bacaro (wine bar) serving traditional cechetti, the tapas-like small plates of fish, polenta, vegetables, etc.

My friend Robert Reynolds (former chef-owner of Le Trou in SF) is leading a one-week tour of Venice in May. His partner is Venetian and they plan to spend one day in each of the sestiere exploring the little hidden spots, local hangouts, and other food-related stuff. I'm not sure of the dates, but I do know he has some openings. If you're interested send me an email or PM and I'll put you in touch with him.

Jim


olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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Eating in Venice can either be a frustrating or rewarding experience. Such an exotic place that draws hoards of tourists means that most restaurants are terrible – or worse. Beware of restaurants with pictures of the food out front. As eGullet members we are lucky to have access to a unique group of food critics – ourselves. This thread is meant to take advantage of that broad experience and to create an eGullet guide to help everyone

Please post your personal reviews of restaurants in Venice here. This is not meant to be a debate about individual restaurants but a compendium of dining experiences. The more detailed these descriptions are the better. If you wish to debate a particular restaurant or dish please start a new thread for that discussion.

Make the first line of the post only the name of the restaurant. Phone and fax numbers are always appreciated and be sure to include the date of your experience. Please make each restaurant an individual post and you are encouraged to update your comments on your post (with date) as you visit these restaurants again.

Venice can be a wonderful culinary visit – honest!

From Martin Rosen:

This thread would be much more useful if people would give an indication of the style/level of the restaurant. An entry that just says "I ate there. It was great" is honestly not very helpful.

From Beachfan:

I suggest we limit advice based on personal experience, not what we've heard.


Edited by Craig Camp (log)

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Trattoria Due Torre (Dorsoduro, 3408, tel 523 8126)

It was our last day in Venice, and we wanted to eat a big lunch to hold us for the train ride to Tuscany. We headed back to Dorsoduro and poked into a few places around the big Campo Santa Margherita, looking at menus and checking out the cicheti. When we opened the door to this unassuming trattoria, we knew we'd found the spot.

The room was packed with working men, dressed in bright orange dirty coveralls and rubber boots, all eating big bowls of pasta and slurping wine. Judith was the only women in the place and everybody stopped eating for a second to check her out (we later learned that 12-1 is traditionally the workers' lunch break and everyone else eats after 1).

There were a couple of stools at the bar, so we drank prosecco and ate the sweetest crab I've ever tasted, big boiled legs called cheli di granchio, while we waited for a table. We had plenty of time to check out the cicheti, and we ate a platter of boiled tiny shrimp and picked crab meat.

It was so good that when we got a table we ordered another, followed by penne bolognese and sardines in saor. We finished with a chunk of grana padano.

Jim


olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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Osteria del Fiore

Address   calle del Scaleter 2202/A, San Polo - 30125 Venezia

Telephone   041 721308

Fax   041 721343

Well, it's been several years so my memory has faded. But I will be greatful to Michelin for having pointed me to this place. An upscale restaurant which has held one Michelin star for several years.

I don't remember the specifics, but I love seafood, my wife is a vegetarian, we were both thrilled. And I had a Pieropan Soave La Rocca which was fabulous with the food.


Edited by Beachfan (log)

beachfan

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Trattoria Pizzeria San Toma. Campo San Toma 2864A

52 38 819

Not sure if pizza is within scope but it won my individual "Best of Italy summer 99" for their gorgonzola/mozzeralla pizza from heaven (about 30 candidates from Vencie to Sicily).


Edited by Beachfan (log)

beachfan

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Also excellent pizza at Taverna San Trovaso

fondamenta Pruili 1016

52 03 703

Their seafood pizza had so much sea life on it I thought Jacques Costeau was going to rise from it.

This is a very popupular local place; taverna says it all.


Edited by Beachfan (log)

beachfan

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Ai Gondolieri

rio Terra San Vio 366

52 86 396

This is what we call a "white linen" restaurant (although the guide book says the linen is blue). Somewhat formal and elegant. I thought it was Venetian cuisine.

Great meal, had something good for my vegetarian wife. I'll go back and get more specifics. I had an Allegrini 93 Amarone at a very fair price (what retail was in Ca.) I had that wine 3 times in Venice and each place varied by $20 from the prior.


Edited by Beachfan (log)

beachfan

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