Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Italy >
Jan 14, 2009 09:06 PM

Da Romano in Burano: Has Anyone Been?

Bourdain featured this restaurant on his show Monday night. The restaurant is known for a fish risotto which seemed absolutely spectacular in the way it was prepared. This is the Italian website for the restaurant: There are several photos on it showing the arborio being tossed literally 18 inches in the air out of the pan, almost like tossing pizza dough in the air. There is also a video which includes a few seconds of the rice being tossed. There is virtually no mention of it on here or elsewhere other than several internet references as a tourist restaurant-which is not encouraging. Still, the risotto is intriguing as is their having the only wood fired grill in Venice. I should note here than I am personally obsessed with risotto having once made this now infamous post: With an upcoming trip to Italy this is a stop that I cannot ignore.

Has anyone been to Da Romano? Did you have the fish risotto?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Yes, we had lunch there a couple of years ago. The food was excellent, though I can't recall exactly what we ate. We did not have the risotto. We chose the restaurant because it was the one place listed in Michelin of the many restaurants along the main drag. It actually seemed to be the least touristy. Definitely worth a visit.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rrems

      I agree that Da Romano is probably the least touristy of the restaurants on the main drag in Burano.

      I'm not sure what the "fish risotto" is (I haven't seen the Bourdain show), but I had their risotto alla crema di scampi twice, two years apart. The first time it was heavenly; the second time it seemed a little stodgy - maybe it wasn't tossed high enough...

    2. I have had wonderful fish risotto elsewhere in venice made with the little goby fish of the lagoon - cant remember where, however. Do you remember that RW Apple article a few years back that discussed another place even farther up in the Lagoon than Burano?
      Da Romano is definitely favored in Burano but Ive never before heard its a culinary star.and the fact that it was publicized by Bourdain seems like a bad thing rather than a good thing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jen kalb

        Spent about 15 minutes or so of the one hour program talking about it focusing on the risotto and the wood grill. Said "there is great risotto and then there is truly great risotto...this is truly great risotto."

        Trattoria Laguna has been an obsession of mine for several years. RW Apple is one of those whose "opinion I trust." We are either going to go to it (it's not easy to get to but we may rent a car one day out of Venice which would be easier) or we'll take the train to Verona. There is a restaurant there that I absolutely love (Osteria La Fontanina ) which may be the most romantic restaurant in all of Italy. It has a Michelin star and I went about a year ago as part of a business trip. My wife will be with me this time and I really want her to see it.

        Also two stops at Alle Testiere, Fiechetteria Toscana (sp?) and a couple of others.

        Thanks, Jen.

      2. Thank you for naming the restaurant! My husband and I are going to Venice in a month and I didn't want to miss this Risotto! Watching them toos the arborio was amazing.

        1. Just come back from a long weekend in Venice. I had an APPALLING meal at da Romano - disgusting dry prawns, watery clams and mussels and the fish risotto that had clearly been waiting for 5 minutes as it had formed a skin on top. although obviously i was really disappointed with the food (and it was not cheap), it was the terrible service that made us so angry. The waiter was so rude and ignored us most of the time. There were definitely 2 types of treatment in the restaurant - one for Italians and one for foreigners. They just did not care about anything -even when we complained to the manager. The waiter literally pushed past me when I got up to leave. I have been to thousands of restaurants in my lifetime and own one myself in London and I can honestly say that was the worst experience I have ever had. NEVER EVER GO THERE.

          5 Replies
          1. re: smwc

            smwc, thank you for the report. We ended up skipping it to return to Il Refolo in Venice for a second lunch. Based on your experience and several people we talked to in Venice, we made the right decision. I should note here that we asked Luca who owns Alle Testiere about it and the risotto. His comment was that he thought it was "unremarkable." We didn't go. I must also add that we asked him about Il Ridotto before we went and he told us that Gianni was "a close friend" of his. He added that he loved the restaurant and Gianni was "truly passionate" about what he did, the "restaurant was his toy." An excellent description for what was a wonderful, memorable experience for us.

            1. re: Joe H

              There is not a lot of risotto on the menus these days in venice because it is hard to mass produce. Not a hard dish to make but needing a lot of last minute attention- Im sure any of the restaranteurs can produce a competent version, but they dont want to try. So Joe was lucky managing to get some at AT.

              The Da Romano experience sounds like a classic reaction to tourist overload which the restauranteurs never wanted in the first place. Weve all seen how some tiny places can stand up under this and continue to produce good food and others are crushed. Im sure it was oversold in the article - but give it a few years and the corrupting tide will probably have receded.

              1. re: jen kalb

                Offshoot to original post...we wandered past a fritturia/pizzetta joint in one of the larger alleys in Venice & made a note to come back and mangia after we'd showered & napped. Of course, as anyone who has been to Venice knows, one will never find their way back without having a local in their jacket pocket! There were baskets of everything from the sea, fried & beckoning, in the window & the owner was rolling beautiful little doughy nuggets into rounds, topping them & tossing them into a wood-burning oven. I got us so close but then the alleyways split & well...I'm sure that our directional error has created an imagined crunchy, chewy, briny, blistered utopia but I dream of it nonetheless.
                We ended up dashing out of one restaurant, just throwing down enough $ for our beer, not even managing a 2nd bite of out inferior pasta(?) and then choking down a meal at a place that AT LEAST had a nice view.

                Does anyone have a guess as to the possible identity of the elusive fritturia?

                1. re: Afrodesia

                  Interesting observation about the fritturia/pizzetta in Venice. If you can be a litlte more specific as to what sestiere it is in, near some sort of landmark/campo, etc, maybe a poster can help with the identity. One thing is that dued fire codes, wood-burning ovens are prohibited in Venice proper.

            2. re: smwc

              Worst experience of your life? I hardly doubt it.

            3. I just returned from Venice and made it a point to make the trip to Burano just for Da Romano. had our concierge make a reservation for us ahead of time and when we arrived, our table was waiting.

              The service was fantastic. Our waiter invited us to go to the kitchen to watch them toss our order of risotto. The risotto Da Romano was possibly the most perfect risotto I've every had. Texturally, perfect and the flavors were not too strong and not too mild. I was a little worried of it being over-hyped but it wasn't.

              In addition to the risotto, my wife ordered the mixed grill and I had the grilled prawns. Bother dishes were done perfectly on the wood-burning grill. Apparently, the only one left in Venice.

              Was it worth the hour long ride on the vaporetti? IMO, yes. In fact, I'd do it again

              2 Replies
              1. re: RRNYC

                great to have another report on Da Romano - what type of fish were they using in the risotto?. Also wondering where else you ate in Venice on this trip.

                1. re: jen kalb

                  I believe they use Go (sp?). We were only there for 3 nights and I wanted my fill of as much seafood as possible---coming from Florence where we only ate meat. We went to Trattoria Alla Madonna twice- Great place for seafood that came highly recommended by just about everyone we asked. And for our anniversary, the Terrazza Danieli at the Danieli Hotel, where we stayed.