2 Nights in Venice - Need Restaurant Advice!!!
I am trying to decide where to eat in Venice. My husband and I will be there for only 2 nights so we want to make them count! My list so far includes: Alla Testiere, A Beccafico, Fiascheterria Toscana, and Da Ivo, but we can't seem to narrow it down! We would love to have good seafood one night, and possibly meat the second night. (We were in Tuscany last year and would love to find a good Bistecca Fiorentina if at all possible!) Any recommendations on where to go for lunch or dinner? Thanks!!!
Your four choices are different enough that it really depends what you are looking for. All have been discuss on this board numerous times. Alle Testiere, the most creative of the group, is a small lively osteria that serves excellent seafood. No written menu, just what is freshest that day. Since the antipasti are some of my favorite, I rarely eat their primi. There is usually 3 or 4 creative secondi plus a selection of fish and shellfish simply grilled served with a side of grilled vegetables. Like most osteria, the service can be a bit rush.
Despite the name Toscana, Fiaschetteria Toscana does not serve Tuscan food. It is an excellent traditional Venetian restaurant with a large menu of seafood and non-seafood dishes all well prepared with excellent ingredients. Great wine list and cheeses. Good professional service without been formal. Reserve for the street level dining room and not upstair where it is bland and remote.
Da Ivo is cozy, romantic, nicely appointed with warm service. The ingredients and cooking are top notch. It has seafood and meat, including a bistecca Fiorentina for two. If budget is not an issue, this would be my restaurant for a night out in Venice. Prices two years ago: antipasti/primi are 30 to 35E, secondi are around 40E and the bistecca for 2 is a whopping 82E. Our jaws dropped when we saw how prices have skyrocketed since we were there last in 2004. Fortunately we were guests of friends. Uncommon in Venice, these three places have very good desserts. One can't go wrong with any of the above.
I have not been to Beccafico though I must have walked past it hundreds of times. I never paid much attention to it. Because the numerous tables outside the Campo Stefano is always full with people having drinks, it never occur to me that this is a serious eating place. Just a side note, across the Campo is Paolin with excellent gelato, especially the lemon. With only two days, I would concentrate on eating seafood that are uniquely Venice: right now both moleche and canocia should be in season, hopefully so are schile, tiniest squids, scampi, wild seabass, monkfish, San Pietro, eel. These are what makes eating in Venice wonderful and one of the reason why dining in Venice is so expensive.
For other suggestions, I would search this board as there are tons of posts on eating in Venice, including many bacari that serve wonderful cicchetti.