Sep 07 2011

Venice Restaurants, Update 2011

Published by at 12:08 pm under Venice Restaurants

Before launching into the restaurant update, I must comment on being in Venice during the Biennale. Picture a whole city just filled with art venues. Wherever you go, there is an exhibition. Besides enjoying the art, which is almost exclusively contemporary, one gets to see the inside of gorgeous palazzi not normally open to the public as well as the beautiful gardens usually entirely closed from view behind high walls and gates.

We have happily added some restaurants to our list and modified our thinking on some others:

Antiche Carampane in San Polo is still our favorite. The fish carpaccio appetizer is fabulous; each fish has its own distinct baby lettuce with a few possible additions including wasabi. All of the pastas are very tasty and we have never been disappointed with the main courses. I am a big fan of the moeche, local soft-shelled crabs. About 120 euros for two with wine and water.

Beccafico, in Campo San Stefano, has a terrific dish of mussel soup with a spectacular cover of pizza crust to use for dunking. Writing it doesn’t sound like much, but the presentation and the taste are a treat. The restaurant has a Sicilian orientation and the eggplant appetizer, prepared differently on two occasions, was delicious. The service was also surprisingly excellent for a spot that is a tourist mecca. About 100 euro for 2 people for dinner with a liter of house wine.

Agiubagio, on the Fondamenta Nove, is an interesting modern restaurant serving both meat and fish, which is a bit unusual. There is a terrific prosciutto carved very nicely at the moment as well as tasty pastas. About 70 euro for 2 people.

Ai Artisti, on the Rio Tolleta in Dorsodouro, is a very small restaurant with very tasty dishes. While they serve both meat and fish, they happily do not serve fish on Monday. There is a wonderful vegetable cichetti appetizer and we liked several different pastas as well as main courses. About 80 euro for 2.

Da’a Marisa, on the Cannaregio Canal, was really excellent this year. We like to go there for lunch to watch the finish of the Vogalonga and sit right next to the canal. The menu is fixed, extensive, and the food is very good. There is a series of appetizers: polenta, octopus in a tomato sauce, bacala (which version I don’t particularly care for), mussels, clams; then a fish based lasagna; then an excellent frito misto and finally cookies and coffee. Wine and water are set on the table and replenished as needed. It has cost euro 35 per person every time we have been there over the years. The cooks, servers and helpers are all women. They now have a couple of people who speak English on staff. At the end of the meal, you go into the small interior restaurant and pay for your meal. In cash.

Avogaria in Dorsodouro is another modern restaurant. The offerings are often a bit unusual but always delicious. When the weather is nice, there is a pleasant garden in which to sit for dinner. About 100 euro.

La Favorita on the Lido is great for lunch. The fish is all excellent if a bit pricey. 120 euro for lunch for 2.

Gato Nero on Burano also has delicious food and is very accommodating to people with food allergies. About 100 euro for 2.

Gam Gam, a kosher restaurant in Cannaregio, has a very tasty Israeli appetizer for lunch with hummus, baba ganoush, egg salad and a selection of vegetables.

Cassein Nobili in Dorsodouro has very good pizza. Other dishes, not so much.

RistoArte in Murano had interesting place settings but the food was not great.

Oniga on Campa San Barnaba in Dorsodouro has several tasty lunch dishes: a vegetable plate of interesting preparations and the mussels were very good. About 20 euro for lunch with a glass of wine and water.

While Fiaschetteria Toscana gets high praise from a lot of guide books, we were not impressed. The dessert was very good, though. About 100 euro.

Modestly priced and a big favorite with some people, the food at Taverna San Trovasso in Dorsodouro was virtually inedible this year.

Da Montin, which used to be our go to restaurant in Dorsodouro, seems totally uninteresting to us now. The menu, which we believe is printed daily or close to it, listed several dishes which were not available. We hope it comes back, but right now it seems to be going in a downhill direction.

Dona Onesta was very ordinary and added insult to injury by tacking on a 10% service charge.

Agli Alboretti, where we loved the risotto, is unfortunately gone.

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