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Venice: A question...

We have been to Venice nine or ten times over the past 15 years and have posted extensively on our experiences. (I am the first person to ever post on da Fiore and Alle Testiere). On the upcoming trip I am looking for somewhere new to compliment a return visit to Alle Testiere which we have fallen in love with over the years and have been back to on every trip. Over time we have also eaten at, probably thirty or more other restaurants ranging from da Fiore to Corte Sconta to Fiescheterria Toscana, all of these dating back to the early '90's. This is very specific since many restaurants are closed on Monday evening which is the night I am "researching."

Has anyone been to:

1. Osteria di Santa Maria
2. Canaletto

Our preference is for Osteria di Santa Maria since it sounds very similar to Testiere. Any thoughts?

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  1. I keep recommending MET - http://www.hotelmetropole.com/eng/buf...
    where I had a memorable dining experience a year ago, shortly after it opened. Nobody so far seems to have tried it, at least there was no backreport on this board.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Marc

      Update: after rechecking I found out that MET earened 1 MichelinStar in the 2006 guide. No longer a secret ...

    2. My experience of Osteria di Santa MARINA and Alle Testiere is limited to walkbys and reading, but Id say Santa Marina is aiming for something stylistically a bit more formal and elegant than AT (more like da Fiore). Ive read good things too.

      What Canaletto do you mean? Seems like there is more than one restaurant of that name in Venice.

      Joe, you may want to pick up a copy of the Eateries of Venice (Osterie Venezia e Dintorni) book when you get there - its locally published, maroon and white and updated annually, and very reliable and interesting.
      We had tasty meals at alla Zucca and Anice Stellato last spring, among others.

      3 Replies
      1. re: jen kalb

        Jen, I think you are right about Osteria di Santa Marina which is where we made our reservation for. Their website is interesting: www.osteriadisantamarina.it from several perspectives including the amibience. The other restaurant was "Ristorante Cantina Canaletto" which has 13 1/2 and a note for wine from L'espresso but what turned me off to it was a note I found on the internet that a tour group was including this restaurant as part of a trip. My reasoning was that any restaurant "that good" would not be allocating a significant portion of a small dining room to a tour group.
        Marc, thanks for your recommendation for the Met. The ONLY reason I am favoring Santa Marina is that evening I'd prefer not to eat in a hotel dining room. Perhaps a terrible reason and, with only the second restaurant in Venice to have a Michelin star, I make be making the wrong decision. But I really am intrigued by Santa Marina.

        1. re: Joe H

          Actually, it would depend on the trip. A small, special interest group tour, arranged specifically many months in advance, would be a very different situation from a typical tourist package tour.

          1. re: Joe H

            As I absolutely share your aversion against hotel restaurants I never would have gone to Met. But we run into it from the rear side and I did not realize it was part of a hotel until we left.

        2. I just can't imagine da Fiore or Alle Testiere hosting a tour group. Perhaps I'm wrong but that is my reasoning. Still, we'll walk by, perhaps even have lunch there if they are open.

          1. Joe, I have been to Santa Marina a couple of times. The results were mixed, certainly not as consistent as Testiere. It's a good choice for a bit of diversity. But I think the restaurant tries a bit too hard to be hip and cool and the dishes don't always meet those standards. But the guys try really hard and are a likable bunch.

            3 Replies
            1. re: bachinskin

              We did go-returned a week or so ago-and liked it. But not nearly as much as several others including da Fiore.

              Marc-you were right! about Met. Thank you. It IS the hottest restaurant in Venice right now and, I think, on par with da Fiore at its best. Alle Testiere was every bit as excellent as we have come to expect. Found two great wines from Tenuta Sant 'Antonio each which has won "tre bicchieri" from Gambero Rosso: La Bandina 2001 Valpolicella (E18) and Campo dei Gigli 1999 amarone (E45). The La Bandina was 90% as good as Dal Forno's 2001 Valpolicella at one four the price.

              1. re: Joe H

                Hi Joe!

                You beat me back to Venice! We're going again next June. Any updates on the Do Leoni in the Londra Palace Hotel? We have a long day of travelling & would be easiest just to plop there. Although, only 2 nights starting on a Sat, so we'd better do Alle Testiere that night, come to think of it!

                1. re: torta basilica

                  Hi! If I only had two dinners in Venice I would return to both Alle Testiere and the Met. Vini da Gigio (went about two years ago) is indeed, excellent. I just prefer Alle Testiere.
                  By the way, I'm not certain if visitors to Venice are aware of this but about one out of every ten Vaporettos have seats in the FRONT of the water bus OUTSIDE where you can sit. We actually wait for these and, on each trip weather permitting, take a one hour or so cruise around the Lagoon. It's an awesome experience that I just thought I'd pass along.

            2. Hi, I live in Venice, and every time I recommend Vini da Gigio, I am consistently told afterward that it's the favorite meal experience anyone has during their time here. It's no secret, but I'm also amazed at how many people don't know about it. Exquisite food, extraordinary wine list (have owner Paolo make a recommendation for you), top notch service. Also open for lunch, closed Mon-Tues, reservations highly recommended...and you can tell them I sent you if you like (Nan). www.vinidagigio.com

              The Met is certainly the buzz, however; and I think Al Covo is holding its own as well...might be a good "plopping" alternative to Do Leoni.

              1. See the following recommendations by Michael Winner,in today's Sunday Times, England.
                http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/...
                Any new ones there?