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Oct 8, 2007 01:05 PM

Venice - best restaurants to splurge

I am going to Venice for five days in early November. I want to have one or two "splurge" dinners there - for these price is not really an issue. I also want to have some less formal, more casual places - perhaps higher on atmosphere. Good wine a must. Eat most things but not TOO shellfish-heavy (also not partial to sardines...!). Can anyone help??. Thanks.

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  1. Ai Gondelieri near the Guggenheim has an 80 euro tasting menu that is not to be missed. They also had many nice bottles to choose from.

    2 Replies
    1. re: seal

      Thank you, I have not heard of it and will give it a shot. I know that this topic has been covered ad nauseum but I find myself faced with a list of names that really mean nothing to me. In an expensive, tourist-saturated city it is easy to be ripped off by spending a fortune on a name - a triumph of style over substance.

      1. re: kofka

        The one Michelin starred Met is considered to be the "hottest" restaurant in Venice right now. The much more casual Alle Testiere has been a tradition for us for almost 15 years now. If you really want to splurge the best restaurant in Italy is Le Calandre in Rubano a suburb of Padua which is only 40 km from Venice and easy to find. Le Calandre has three Michelin stars and is well worth the detour.

    2. Fiaschetteria Toscana, San Giovanni Grisostomo 5719, Cannaregio, closed Mon lunch & Tues. Near Rialto Bridge,risottos,soups,pastas,fish.
      Anice Stellato, Fondamenta de la Sensa 3272, Cannaregio, closed Mon/Tues. reservation a must.pastas,seafood.
      Alle Testeire, Calle del Mondo Novo 5801, Castello, closed Sun/Mon. 041-5227220.Reservation Essential; mussels in ginger, soasi (baby turbot). Tiny hole-in-the-wall with a gourmet following.

      1. I was just there last week and found a great little restaurant along the Giudecca canal - turned out to be one of the best Italian meals I've ever had. The restaurant is nice, cute and medium-high (20 Euros for pasta; more for meat/fish). The place is called Ristorante Riviera and the place is run by a female chef and I believe her husband, who runs the front of the house. We shared the incredible octopus carpaccio and the baccala with polenta for an appetizer, and I had the anchovy and onion spaghetti (I like that sort of thing, and it was fabulous!) and my friend had the ricotta insalata pasta with roasted cauliflower - hers was great as well.

        The service is laid back (read: a bit slow, but we were not in a hurry) but it's definitely worth a visit. It's away from the hustle and bustle of the main area in Venice, so it's perfect for a nice, relaxing dinner out.

        (though they have an "English" option, clearly they haven't translated the site!).

        Clare K.

        1. Hello, I just got from Venice. I found this post to be quite helpful. Keep in mind that food in Venice ain't cheap and the exchange rate is poor.

          I went to these places and would recommend them all. I would also suggest making reservations (even if for 2) and definitely eat the shellfish...

          -- Trattoria da Remigio, Salizada dei Greci 3416 -- From the Food to the Service, this place was the best of my trip
          -- Corte Sconta, Calle del Pestrin 3886-Castello- 041-522-7024
          -- Osteria al Mascaron, Castello 5225, Calle Lunga Santa Maria Formosa
          -- Hosteria Al Vecio Bragosso, Strada Nuova 4386 S.S.
          -- Avogaria, 1629 Dorsoduro, Campo San Sebastian
          -- Trattoria/Dai Tosi, Secco Marina 73, Castello

          2 Replies
          1. re: Danralph

            I STRONGLY disagree with Avogaria. I've noticed several very positive posts on this board over the past few years about this place along with a a very positive magazine article. My wife and I went three or so years ago and had a truly miserable experience. Not with the ambience of the restaurant-this was fine-but rather with the food which was, at absolute best, middling. Somewhere on here there is a post of mine about that experience. It remains one of the worst dining experiences we've had in 17 years of annually travelling to Venice. I realize that the several positive experiences challenge my credibility but what we were served was really bad. I would be very interested to hear from others who have been to Avogaria and the experiences they have had. Particularly, someone who has been to both Avogaria and either Alle Testiere or Corte Sconta (both of which are legitimately excellent) and their comparison of the two.

            1. re: Joe H

              I went to both about 3 days apart. My wife and I were just debating it. I prefered Corte Sconta and my wife Avogaria. We found both to be really fresh and ID'ed small kinks in both meals that really come down to personal preference. Actually my only problem with Avogaria was that I felt I was tossed in the "English speaking" room which isn't really a big deal considering how many tourist there are in Venice.

              Maybe you should give it another try. They might have improved over the past three years.

          2. For splurges, in the order from best to less best:
            Il Covo
            Corte Sconta
            Trattoria da Remigio

            less formal, more casual, and for Venice inexpensive (and thus not a splurge):
            Trattoria/Dai Tosi

            From my limited experience, of course.