Venice Recs near Hotel Danieli
By way of preface:
1. I have always lodged at the Hotel Metropole, down the street from the Danieli, and have generally sought restaurants in the area; so I might be in a position to help you. My remarks below deal only with this area.
Be advised that my experience is limited. I have been in Venice only off-season, for I was forewarned that on-season the place is wall-to-wall: I have toured Venice in Jan 2004, Nov 2004, March 2006, and Jan 2007. In Jan, between Epiphany and the start of Carnival, many restaurants are closed, leaving slimmer pickings.
2. Your area is a very expensive one in an otherwise quite expensive city. You will notice that on my list below I have named no inexpensive restaurants; to date I haven’t found any. All of this is a shame, for Venice does have a unique cuisine, the emphasis (as you would expect) on seafood, but also the best calve’s liver I’ve ever eaten
3. You may wish to see my other comments on Venetian dining posted elsewhere on Chowhound, including my disparaging remarks: I’ve rarely eaten well in Venice. My efforts in consulting various sources, Chowhound among them, have been nugatory. Because it’s beauty if almost unrivaled (I myself have found only Salzburg equal to it) and unique, Venice is a virtual tourist magnet, and correspondingly with either mediocre restaurants, or places where the food is good but not for the price asked. Only in Assisi and around the Vatican have I eaten so poorly in Italy. Of all the restaurants below, save for The Met, NONE are as good (in quality or price) as I have found in Ravenna, Florence, Pisa, Siena, Orvieto, Rome, Naples, Capri, Sorrento, Ravello, and Paestum. So, after I had experienced a string of unacceptable places to eat in Venice, I discovered the Trattoria Tosi, and have eaten there almost every night for the rest of my stay. Alas, Trattoria Tosi isn’t in your area.
Now, My recommendations:
1. Moderately expensive:
i. Trattoria Alla Rivetta, Ponte San Provolo 4625 Castello, TEL. 041 52 87 302, open 10am-10pm (or so they say), closed MO, reservations not accepted over 5 persons. In fact, I wonder if they take reservations at all.
I ate here March 2006. This place had the best quality/price ratio, yet it has one disadvantage: itself almost right behind San Marco,and everyone one else knowing that it has the best prices for the area, expect a crowd. I was lucky enough to get there before the usual lunch hour, and didn’t have to wait for a table. A gentleman was later seated with me at the same table. This is the only place in Venice that I’ve found where the chef was willing to prepare a risotto for one person (usually two is the minimum), at least after my obliging waiter negotiated with the kitchen. In all, portions were large; I saw one patron with a considerably sized bowl of mussels. I liked the liver and onions.
ii. Antica Sacrestia, Filippo e Giacomo 4442, at the corner of Calle de la Sacresta, Tel 041 52 30 749, www.anticasacrestia.com , open 12noon-23op, 7-1030p. A bit hard to find, so call and ask directions to there from Campo Filippo e Giacomo.
Also Homericly in the middle of things. I ate here FR 12 Jan 07 a 1pm. I arrived tired and hungry after my train from Rome. The place was packed with tourists, the seating tight, and it being winter, the heat on high. I was shoe-horned into a table, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with those beside me. Yet the service was good. The food was quite acceptable. And at 20,12 Euro, the price not bad. Still I thought the food even better at the nearby Trattoria Alla Rivetta (above) for roughly the same price.
iii. Trattoria/Pizzeria da Paolo, Campo Arsenale 2389 Castello, 041 52 10 660, open 12-3p, 7-10p, Closed MO.
I ate here once in March 2007. In nice weather, I suppose one can eat al fresco and enjoy the moldings around the gate to the Arsenale by the canal. I tried the spaghetti della casa. Not bad. The house wine is Tokai. If you don’t mind the TV with a soccer game, the ambiance is nice.
iv. . Ristorante Pensione Wildner: Riva degli Schiavoni 4161 Castello. TEL. 041 522 7463, open1130a-630p, 7-11p and thus almost continuous service. CL TU.
For a moderately expensive place, when everything else is closed, and if you want a view, this place will do, though inferior to the above listed. You can probably find better. I did have good squid here. It was closed Jan 2007 for repairs.
i. Al Covo , Campiello dell Pescaria 3968 Castello, Tel 041 52 23 813, open 1245-2p, 730-10p, closed WE & TH. www.ristorantealcovo.com
To judge by the quality of food alone, this is the 2nd best place where I’ve dined in Venice. The service and atmosphere are fine. The food is good – and it better be given the high price! The wine list is very good. The owner’s wife is from Houston.
ii. Corta Sconta, Calle del Pestrin 3886 Castello, Tel 041 52 27 024 , closed SU and MO.)
Good, though not as good as Al Covo. My bill in Nov 2004 cam to 98 Euro, 45 of which was the Amarone wine. (My taste for this wine borders on the fanatic; if I end up in the poorhouse, blame Amarone.
iii. Trattoria Da Remigio, Salizzada dei Greci 3416 Castello, TEL 041 52 30 089, open 1230-230p, 7:30- 10:30pm, closed MO supper and TU.
Good, but I’ve eaten better for less money. Good wine list. I had a very fine Amarone here. My bill came in Nov 2004 came to 102 Euro, of which about 40-60 was the Amarone. I can’t find my March 2006 bill, doubtless because the Amarone was shamefully expensive.
iii. Do Leoni, Hotel Londra palace, Riva degli Schiavoni 4171, Tel. 041 52 00 533. www.hotelondra.it Borderline very expensive.
I ate well here in Nov 2004, but I’ve eaten better for less money. My bill came to 134 Euro, of which 60 was for the Amarone.
3. Very Expensive:
i. The Met, Hotel Metropole, riva degli Schiavoni 4149 Castello, TEL. 041 42 05 044, closed MO. Reservations utterly essential; make them immediately upon arriving in Venice. The front desk of the hotel told me that the chef will seat only 40 souls. Supper only. Opens 7.30p.
I’ve eaten here Jan 2004, March 2006, and SU 14 Jan 2007 for supper after Solemn Vespers at San Marco. This place was certainly convenient for location, for I’ve stayed in the Metropole every time I’ve been to Venice. And as a result of both my frequency in residence and my having so favorable reviewed this hotel, I’m something of a special guest, and the hotel’s front desk might even remember my name. Without exaggeration, only in Rome (Il Convivio and Agata e Romeo) and above Sorrento at Sant’Agata sui due golfi (Don Alfonso 1890) have I eaten better in Italy – at least for a “fine dining/gourmet” place. I’ve always had impeccable service, and last Jan. my waitress was a young woman from China who spoke fine English. The captain is a balding white haired portly gentleman. The rooms are poshly upholstered, and in one is where Vivaldi gave lessons. Often there’s live music; here I first heard live the pipes of pan – but this may indicate only my bucolic background. Last Jan there was a grand piano in the lobby between to rooms -- fine if you like dining to the tune of of a Chopin etude, Schumann’s Arabesques, and understated cool jazz. The wine list is outstanding, and the chef will also suggest what goes best with the meal. Typical for such places, the food is an art work to behold. That it’s very expensive no one can doubt. In March 06, my food was 72 Euro, my water 4, my wine 51; Jan 2007, my food 79, and wine’s price too shameful to mention. Study the menu at the door to judge prices. You may not trust a One Michelin star. Here it was merited.
Two additional suggestions:
1. Close to the Danieli: the three cafes in Piazza San Marco – Florian, Lavena, Quadri (the cafe, not the restaurant). All have three traits: (1) absurdly expensive, (2) sumptuously delicious ice cream concoctions, and (3) the best pastry that I’ve had in Italy, doubtless the result of a lingering Austrian influence. Indeed, the tiramasú in almost every restaurant is worthwhile.
2. Another suggestion: the Hotel Metropole between 3 and 6p offers good old fashion English tea in its lounge, costing me 6,50 Euro last Jan. Venice is cold in winter, damp, and as the darkness gathers, the tea hits the spot. Go into the hotel, ask for the bar, tell the bartender you want tea, decide what kind, take a seat in the lounge, and after a while your tea comes in a silver pot (to hot to touch, so use your napkin or handkerchief). Pastry is also offered.
3. A word of warning: I was strongly advised to avoid two places in your area: the Restaurant Quadri and Harry’s Bar – vastly overpriced for the food, so they said, and you can get the Bellini cocktail almost anywhere, when in season. The Venetian Harry’s Bar is the original Harry’s Bar of Heming Way fame, one of the places where he indulged in his dipsomania. Frankly, other than The Indian Camp – a string of simple sentences terminating with absolute clauses in a haunting periodic order – I’ve never cared for his stuff. But I digress.
4. After a good meal comes the good cigar, though only smoked by me al fresco on benches in front of the Metropole. The bartender at the Metropole told me where to get good smokes in Venice: Tabaccheria Massimiliano Luciano, Campo S Bartolmeo 5369, Ramo del Fontego dei Tedeschi, San Marco, TEL. 041 24 11 437. BUT alas the selection there is meager. If you’re passing though Rome, then vastly superior is Fincato, via Colonna Antonina 34, Tel 06 67 85 508, near the parliament. His upstairs room is full of Cuban smokes, and he’ll advise you as to your taste. Practically minutes after arriving in Rome, I stop here and load up.
I pray this helps.
Sid Cundiff, North Carolina
Next door, the Londra Palace's Do Leoni is very good - especially if you can sit out on the patio & watch the world go by. BTW, I much prefer this hotel to the Danieli... 460E for a Jr. Suite with a 30 foot long private balcony overlooking the Lido & Gondolier station - doesn't get much better...