Ristoranti Buono – Four in Venezia
Ultra touristy San Marco makes finding a good meal in Venice a serious challenge. Here are four restaurants worth your time & money, reviews by Lonely Planet:
A: Fondamenta Garzotti, 888; Tel#: +390 41 520 17 89; W:www.osteriatrefanti.it
Opening hours: noon-2.30pm & 7-10.30pm Tue-Sat, noon-2.45pm Sun
Lonely Planet review: “ La Serenissima’s spice trade lives on at simple, elegant Trefanti, where a vibrant dish of marinated prawns, hazelnuts, berries and caramel might get an intriguing kick from garam masala. Furnished with old pews and recycled copper lamps, it’s the domain of the young and competent Sam Metcalfe and Umberto Slongo, whose passion for quality extends to a small, beautifully curated selection of local and organic wines.
The space is small and deservedly popular, so book ahead, especially later in the week.
> Trattoria Corte Sconta
A: Calle del Pestrin, 3886; Tel#: +390 41 522 70 24
Opening hours; 12.30-2.30pm & 7-9.30pm Tue-Sat, closed Jan & Aug
Lonely Planet review: “Well-informed visitors and celebrating locals seek out this vine-covered corte sconta (hidden courtyard) for its trademark seafood antipasti and imaginative house-made pasta. Inventive flavour pairings transform the classics: clams zing with the hot, citrus-like taste of ginger; prawn and courgette linguine is recast with an earthy dash of saffron; and the roast eel loops like the Brenta River in a drizzle of balsamic reduction. The evolving wine list now features a notable selection of organic and biodynamic wines.
> Trattoria e Bacaro Da Fiore
A: Calle delle Botteghe, 3461; Tel#: +390 41 523 53 10; W: www.dafiore.it
Opening hours: 12.30-2.30pm & 7.30-10.30pm Tue-Sat
Lonely Planet review: “Possibly the best bang for your buck in San Marco, this elegant trattoria with its rustic-chic decor serves superlative Venetian dishes composed of carefully selected seasonal ingredients from small Veneto producers. The restaurant is justly famous for its seafood dishes such as seabass with balsamic vinegar, although during the Feast of the Redeemer you shouldn’t pass up the castradino (a sort of Irish stew). Next door, the cicheti (bar snacks) counter serves excellent cicheti at more democratic prices. Hurrah! Here, you can fill a plate with baccala mantecato (creamed cod), octopus-fennel salad, arancini (risotto balls), and Venetian trippa (tripe) to enjoy on a stool at the bar or in the calle.
> Dalla Marisa
A: Fondamenta di San Giobbe 652b, Cannaregio; Tel#: +390 41 72 02 11
Opening hours: noon-3pm daily & 7-11pm Tue & Thu-Sat. No credit cards.
Lonely Planet review: “At this Cannaregio institution, you’ll be seated where there’s room and get no menu – you’ll have whatever Marisa’s cooking. And you’ll like it. Lunches are a bargain at €15 for a first, main, side, wine, water and coffee – pace yourself through prawn risotto to finish steak and grilled zucchini, or Marisa will jokingly scold you over coffee. For dinner, you will be informed whether the absurdly abundant menu is meat- or fish-based when you book (ample house wine is included in the fixed price). Fish night (usually Tuesday) brings hauls of lagoon seafood grilled, fried and perched atop pasta and arugula, while meaty menus often feature Marisa’s fegato alla veneziana (Venetian calf’s liver) to send Venetian regulars into raptures. Advance reservations and pre-meal fasting advised.