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Jul 9, 2009 12:47 PM

The Ideal First-Night Restaurant in Venice

In a couple of months, my husband and I will be taking our 10yo daughter on her first visit to Italy; we've been there a number of times.

I'm having the usual foodie indecision about where to go to dinner on our first night. Our flight will arrive into Marco Polo airport at about 5 pm, so it'll be later when we get into Venice. It will be our daughter's first flight to Europe, so we don't know how she'll react to the time change. We're staying near Campo Santa Maria Formosa. Our other two nights in Venice, we'll probably go to Alle Testiere and Anice Stellato (both of which we adults have been to). Our daughter is an adventurous eater, and we have no problem taking her anywhere.

So, where to go? First, I wanted to go to alla Botte, which I've enjoyed, but husband not so much. And it would be close by, which is good. But for ambience and scenery, not as great. Then I came up with Vini da Gigio, which we haven't eaten at, but wanted to the last time we were in Venice. It has a great location on a canal, but if we're too jet-lagged it may be too far of a walk. And the cuisine and price range may too similar to our restaurants. Then, maybe, Bancogiro. I've never been here, either, but it looks great, has a local crowd, closer than Vini da Gigio. Or da Remigio, which is typical, I think the prices would be lower, close by, but no canal view.

Votes for any of those, or other places that are good food, good scenery/ambiance and close-ish to our hotel?

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  1. I've been to Vini da Gigio twice and found it nice but not spectacular. You'll be happy with the meal but if you start snoozing waiting for your primi you won't feel like you wasted it. It might be the perfect first night restaurant. It's consistent and the service is good. As for it's location, it is on a canal but you can't see it from the restaurant. Anice Stellato is much better in this regard. Enjoy your trip.

    1. My one experience at Da Remigio did not encourage me to return. Nor were the prices signifcantly lower than at Vini da Gigio.

      1. It is always tempting to cram another meal into one's itinerary. After a long flight, I can't imagine being holed up two hours and eating a full dinner at a place like Vini da Gigio ( which I happen to like for good traditional cooking and one of the best/well priced wine list). My advice is to pick an informal place near your hotel such as La Mascareta, Cavatappi or Vini da Arturo and relax a bit. Then if there is still energy left, stroll, eat gelato, listen to the canals and just let Venice sink in; it's magical.This is always how we spend our first night in Venice after a trans-Atlantic flight. Bancogiro being a good standby because it is informal, lively with wonderful outside tables and a short stroll from our apartment.

        1. I believe da Alberto is pretty close to you - I think you want a pretty simple meal on your first night. Ive note been there, but it should be unpretentious and good.
          There is also a restaurant Ive wanted to try on the fondamenta nuove,called Algiubagio that looks out on the lagoon, which would be wonderful at night and is not far from you. Osteria alla frasca, where we have lunched a couple times is also not far, on a tiny plaza which will challenge your map skills to find.

          1. Thank you for all the great suggestions. The best, perhaps, being the reminder that sitting somewhere for 2 hours on arrival night is not the best idea.

            Funny how, even though we enjoy art, history, people-watching, etc., our trips seems to come down to talking about and planning where and what we'll eat!