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Jul 15, 2010 07:56 PM

1 night in Venice

My family of 5 adults will be in Venice for one night (July 28) before a cruise. We are looking for a restaurant where we can enjoy great food and and soak in the atmosphere of Venice - a great place to end the night after a gondola ride. Not looking for life-changing food, but a great evening in Venice. We don't have too much time, so not too far off the beaten path.

Thanks in advance for recommendations (and thanks to all who made excellent recommendations for Rome).

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  1. We enjoyed Ristorante Al Covo. The owners are a couple Caesar is a Venetian while his wife, Dianne, is from Lubbock, Texas. The food was delightful. They have a web site

    1. Al Covo is a good choice. Less expensive are Anice Stellato, Vini di Gigio, Osteria de Alberto (the one in Castello). I think the best seafood are at Alle Testiere, Aniche Carampane and Al Fontego de Pescatori. Also good and more moderately price is La Furatola. La Bitta is very good but no seafood. All these places are small, informal with friendly service, very Venetian.

      8 Replies
      1. re: PBSF

        Thanks for the recommendations. I left out one important criterion - 1 member of our party is allergic to seafood (the rest of us love it), so we need a place that has non-seafood menu options. Do the recommended places do so? Also, do any of these options offer outdoor seating/great views?
        thanks again.

        1. re: VinceinDC

          Al Covo, Anice Stellato, Vini di Gigio and da Alberto (one in Castello) will have non-seafood choices but none has outdoor sitting or view. For that, my choice would be Bancogiro with outside seating at on the loggia near the Rialto market. Da Rioba has nice food and outside canal seating on the Fond Misericordia. Restaurant La Rivetta in Castello has outside seating on Campo San Provolo. Da Raffaela near San Marco is very popular with visitors because it has a postcard location with a beautiful terrace on a canal full of gondolas. The food is decent (nothing great) and moderately priced. Though I am not a big fan, the often mentioned Il Refolo has outside seating on a small campo next to a canal. Besides the pizzas, the rest of the menu is quite good if a bit overpriced. I can't think of any restaurants that has great food combined with view/outside seating. The three seafood places mentioned on earlier my post do not have any non-seafood options.

          1. re: PBSF

            Ristorante Riviera on the Zattere has a gorgeous outside area, right on the Giudecca canal, delicious, fresh, top notch food and fabulous service. They have several meat options on the menu, too, but it is not inexpensive. Their house wine is about the best I had in Venice.

            1. re: jangita

              Ristorante Riviera on the Zattere does have a nice view of the Giudecca and good food. Primary known for seafood, I wasn't sure it has any poultry/meat options.

              1. re: PBSF

                PBSF: You were recently a most successful guide to our dining in Barcelona. Thanks! I remember many of your Venice recommendations with relish from some years back. Have you any thoughts on Quatro Feri (near La Furatola and La Bitta)? Also, is La Zucca still a useful respite from seafood?

                1. re: sernoff

                  I have not eaten at Ai Quattro Feri for many years; probably spring of 2005 and thought then it was good and very moderately price. Although it is on a busy thoroughfare between the Accademia and San Barnaba and I must have walked by it hundred of times, it sort of got under the radar. It is probablly still good, moderately priced and popular, worth a visit.
                  La Zucca is a good change from Venetian traditional seafood. The antipasti and primi are excellent, especially the sinfully rich lasagna with seasonal vegetable. So are some of the large selection of vegetable sides: great fennel gratin, stuffed radicchio and braised artichokes. The secondi are less successful, especially those with international influence. I've had a good braised rabbit and an agrodolce pork dish. Don't miss the desserts. The simple modern decor is also welcoming.
                  In every way, Venice is so different from Barcelona. Unlike Barcelona, the city is steep in traditional when it comes to food. Best chance of getting a good meal is to order what Venetians cook best and stay away from generic Italian dishes that populate menus to please visitors.

                  1. re: PBSF

                    Thanks PBSF for your comments on the two restaurants we asked about. They are more up-to-date than our last Venice visit. Readers note: You cannot go wrong following PBSF's advice, particularly as regards Barcelona and Venice.

                    A side note to foodies traveling to Venice. The famous Venetian spice store, Drogheria Mascari, is located near the Rialto bridge. It is very much worth your while to stop by, if only to buy a smidge of their mixed spices for fish (erbe miste per pesce). Totally Venetian, absolutely wonderful (particularly in a seafood risotto), and still retains its faloring power after years in the spice rack.

                    1. re: sernoff

                      Indeed, Drogheria Mascari is a wonderful store for spices, dried fruit, nuts, candy, jams, honey, etc. Great staff and the prices can't be beat. And the best of all is their "celler" in the back of the store that stock a large and beautiful selection of wines. The door to the celler is very discrete, therefore, most people miss it. Definitely worth a visit if one is interested in wines. Can't recommend it highly enough.

      2. Thanks all for the great recommendations. We made a reservation at Bancogiro. Wish we had time to enjoy all of them!