Dining in Venice on a Sunday
My husband and I have just one evening to dine in Venice on our first visit to Italy (we have longer to visit in Venice, but after the first night are dinners will be aboard a cruise ship). It is hard enough to pick just one place, but to make matters worse our night is a Sunday. Preliminary perusing reveals that many restaurants are closed on Sundays.
I would love fresh seafood, great ambiance (local or romantic or views), great wine, not touristy... Price range is not terribly important to us, though I'd prefer it was not ultra expensive.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Al Covo is actually quite close to Locanda Vivaldi, which is on the lagoon (past where the Grand Canal starts). I think it's only two bridges away down the fondamenta. Also, Al Covo is one of the few restaurants in Venice that does not depend on the fish market. All of their fish is line caught by fishermen who supply them and sometimes Alle Testiere. So a shortage of fish is not a problem. But, beware, fish is very expensive in Venice, especially the great line caught fish, because it's expensive to fish in this manner. I have been going to Al Covo since it opened and have never had a bad meal there. Cesare and Diane (and the Maitre'd Fulvio, are some of the most delightful people in Venice. So there and it's just a short walk back to your hotel.
Just a quick mention........the Rialto market fish stands are closed on Sundays and Mondays so getting fresh seafood at a restaurant on any of those days is not going to happen. My best advice to anyone reading this thread is to try and focus on the handful of restaurants that specialize in non-seafood menu offerings (i.e. La Bitta, etc.) or vegetarian offerings (i.e. La Zucca). Hope this helps.
Veccio Fritolin in San Polo, ten minutes up from the Rialto, is open on Sunday and is quite good, quite friendly, and not all that expensive. Very good bread, which is not that easy to find in Venice, I'm afraid. I've had a number of meals there in the past couple of months, including their 8E take-away fried fish special and left happy each time. I'd make reservations in advance there or wherever you decide: you don't want to get stuck having to find just anything that's open if you only have one meal.
I can think of two appealing possibilities: Trattoria da Fiore ("Da Fiore") and Al Covo. I've eaten at Al Covo and have reservations at de Fiore in a couple of weeks. Both are open Sundays. Da Fiore is much closer to San Marco than Al Covo but we actually enjoyed the stroll along the quays from our San Marco-area hotel to Al Covo. (Incidentally, there is a much more expensive restaurant called Osteria de Fiore. I'm talking about the Trattoria on Calle della Botteghe.)
Al Covo will be patronized primarily by American tourists. A charming American is the wife of the owner. Her presence makes the process of ordering very easy so the restaurant makes all the guidebooks. Happily, the food is still excellent in spite of the abundance of tourists.
One last detail: Are you going to be in Italy in August? If so, that completely complicates the problem of finding open restaurants!
On peaceful Lido is Trattoria Favorita, Via F. Duodo 33, and they have a very nice outdoor dining area. They are a Buon Ricordo member, so if you choose the house specialty, filetto di San Pietro con verdure di stagione, you will have a delightful dinner and they will give you a souvenir plate.
I agree, torta basilica, but unfortunately we depart all ports but one by 6:00 p.m. So we have planned one night in Venice on our own prior to the cruise, and 3 nights in Rome on our own after the cruise.
The only port we stay in late enough to dine off the ship is Florence, but I don't know if we will be able to swing dinner in Florence since the city is so far from the port and we would be stuck finding our own (expensive) transportation to and from Florence rather than the more reasonable cruise coach fares.
Thank you for the reccomendation, RWD, I'll check that out right away!
Oh! And maybe it's worth mentioning that we arrive in Venice the morning of the dining-evening after long travels from the states. Maybe nothing toooo far from where we are staying since we'll be a bit tired? We are staying at the Locanda Vivaldi near St. Mark's Square.
Even if you are on a ship, with dinners included, I still have land dinners whenever docked in port - there's no cruise food that will compare with what you'll get & the experiences you'll have on land. We usually cruise Silversea, so the food is pretty great, but still worth it to get off to dine! Unfortunately, night #2 is a Monday, so you're limited, but hopefully will still be in port on Tuesday!