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Help, Please - Venice, including Giudecca. and Lake Como area

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My husband and I will be in Venice for only three short nights in September and have 2 lunches and three dinners to book. We are staying at the Bauer Palladio on Giudecca.

We have booked our two lunches at Restaurant Al Covo and Osteria La Zucca. Does anyone have any thoughts about these choices or a must get item at either restaurant?

I still need to book three relatively inexpensive restaurants for dinner and was thinking about eating all three nights in Giudecca. I am looking at Trattoria ae Botti or Trattoria Attanella. Does anyone have any thoughts on these as to quality, price, and location near our hotel. Any other places on Giudecca in the less expensive catagory? Any other place we should not miss in Venice? Is it wise to eat all three nights in Giudecca?

We will also be in Perledo (Lake Como) for three nights on the same trip. We have reservations at our hotel (Crotto di Gittano) our first night because we will be arriving in the evening and traveling a good bit ), Locanda dell' Isola Comacina for lunch, and are planning at eating at a little restaurant mentioned in Chowhound in Bellagio (adjacent to Suisse Hotel) where they serve good pizzochieri. Any other thoughts on where to eat (dinner in Varenna), lunch in Bellagio or one of towns between Bellagio and Como. Also looking for something inexpensive or at the most moderate.

Thank you in advance for your help.

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La Zucca (aka alla Zucca)
Santa Croce, 1762, Venezia 30135, IT

Al Covo
Campiello della Pescaria,Castello 3968, Venice, Veneto 30122, IT

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  1. Here is a local list for Giudecca you may have seen
    My personal to try list for Giudecca currently has Altanella and Mistra (we looked for the latter once in its prior location, on the back side of Giudecca, but I see it has now moved to the side facing Dorsoduro)
    http://www.ourflatsinvenice.co.uk/ind...

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    Altanella
    Calle delle Erbe, Giudecca, 268, Venice, Veneto 30133, IT

    Mistra
    Calle Michelangelo.Sestiere Giudecca, 53, Venice, Veneto 30133, IT

    2 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      Thanks, Jen. I had not seen this list,which looks very helpful! Mistra looks interesting. Do you have any thoughts on Al Covo? I saw that you enjoy La Zucca.

      -----
      La Zucca (aka alla Zucca)
      Santa Croce, 1762, Venezia 30135, IT

      Al Covo
      Campiello della Pescaria,Castello 3968, Venice, Veneto 30122, IT

      1. re: susimon

        I havent been to Al Covo. My thoughts, probably worthles since I have not actually eaten the food, is that it has been the making of that restaurant touristically for it to have an American woman as co-owner. From the reports and respect it has in this community, it seems like it is in the top rung of high quality but not luxury restaurants but I doubt that it is better than the others since the venetian cuisine they all cook is simple and based primarily on high quality seafood which is messed with very little. .

        It looks like Mistra will be close to you - since your hotel is at Zitelle. There is really no reason however for you to stick on Giudecca for dinner, I think your hotel launch will take you over to the main Bauer Grunwald and the vaporetti run continually connecting you conveniently with Castello and Dorsoduro as well.

        -----
        Mistra
        Calle Michelangelo.Sestiere Giudecca, 53, Venice, Veneto 30133, IT

        Al Covo
        Campiello della Pescaria,Castello 3968, Venice, Veneto 30122, IT

    2. Both Al Covo and La Zucca are good. Keep in mind that La Zucca's menu is very eclectic with a mix of few Venetian choices with those from other countries. And they do not serve seafood. Eat what is in season, especially seafood at Al Covo. The staff at Al Covo should be able to guide you what is good. La Zucca's menu changes frequently and much of it devoted to seasonal vegetables; their lasagna with radicchio and zucca flan are always on the menu.
      Since you are not dining at the Cipriani or the Bauer Palladio, I see no reason to eat all three nights in the Giudecca. Though it has it's quiet charm and a great vista of Venice and of the lagoon from the south side, I don't find it much to offer for first time visitors. The island is an easy hop either by the hotel shuttle or vaporetto to the rest of Venice. Venice is different from day to night: days are for sightseeing, window shopping, sitting in the campo for an afternoon drink and jostling with other visitors. Evenings, when the cruise ships, tour buses and day trippers leave, Venice is for romance with your husband, strolling, listening to the canals and watch them shimmer. No place in the world like it.
      Eating in the Giudecca: Atanella is moderate price and good traditional food with a terrace overlooking the largest canal cutting through the island, probably your best bet. Mistra is more creative and a little more expensive. Other then that and the Cip, have not eaten at any of the other places. Giudecca is small and unlike Venice one rarely get lost. Most eateries are on the side facing Venice or a canal off it. Any eating place will be less then 5 to 10 minute walk from the Bauer. I strongly suggest going into Venice in the evenings. If you feel that stamina is an issue, go back to the Bauer late in the afternoon to recuperate, then take their shuttle that will take you out to their sister Bauer, right smack in the center of Venice. Enjoy the evenings there, then take the hotel shuttle back.
      If you are looking for places in Venice, I would search this board for the many earlier posts.

      -----
      La Zucca (aka alla Zucca)
      Santa Croce, 1762, Venezia 30135, IT

      Mistra
      Calle Michelangelo.Sestiere Giudecca, 53, Venice, Veneto 30133, IT

      Al Covo
      Campiello della Pescaria,Castello 3968, Venice, Veneto 30122, IT

      24 Replies
      1. re: PBSF

        PBSF, thanks for your reply. It is both thoughtful and helpful.

        1. re: susimon

          Jen, PBSF or other chowhounds,

          Where would you recommend in Venice for liver and onions?

          1. re: susimon

            Fegato alla Veneziana is in just about every trattori/osteria's menu. Good places will use calves liver, while others beef. I seldom order it as it is easy to cook at home. Fiaschetteria Toscana or Vini di Gigio are two good places. Also the non-seafood La Bitta. I've seen it served in the very simple but good Osteria Garanghelo in San Polo. Unless you are a lover of liver, my mantra is to eat seafood in Venice.

            -----
            La Bitta
            Dorsoduro 2753A, Calle Lunga San Barnaba, Venezia 30123, IT

            Fiaschetteria Toscana
            Cannaregio, 5719, Venice, Veneto 30131, IT

            1. re: PBSF

              Thanks for the info. I am a lover of liver -- all things liver. So we will eat seafood, but I want to try Fegato alla Veneziana as well. We do have dinner reservations at La Bitta for one night, and I might make reservations another night at Osteria Garanghelo as well. As an aside, very nice man on phone at La Bitta who helped me with my very poor Italian.

              -----
              La Bitta
              Dorsoduro 2753A, Calle Lunga San Barnaba, Venezia 30123, IT

              1. re: PBSF

                Oh, I see. Osteria al Garanghelo is open only until noon. What do you think La Zucca or Osteria Garanghelo?

                -----
                La Zucca (aka alla Zucca)
                Santa Croce, 1762, Venezia 30135, IT

                1. re: susimon

                  I see Osteria Garanghelo open from 6 to 10:30 every evening except Tuesday. Never mind my question.

                  1. re: susimon

                    Great; if you are going to both places especially for the fegato, I would make sure when you make the reservation that it is on the menu. The owners of La Bitta are really sweet. Just want stress that it does not serve any seafood. There are two Osteria Garanghelo; the one in San Polo is the one I am referring to. And if you are still considering Al Covo, dinner is much more lively than lunch. I like La Zucca for lunch because one can order antipasti/primi and the vegetable side dishes. Many are rich enough to satisfy and generally more successful than the secondi. It is located next to a wonderful campo with the bacaro, Al Prosecco, a great place for a light outdoor lunch. They do not have a full menu. Next door's Majer has pretty good gelato and Alaska is just five minutes walk for great fruit flavors and their pistachio. If you have only couple of days, try to coordinate this area with a morning visit to the Rialto market (closed Sundays and only a few produce vendors on Mondays)..

                    -----
                    La Zucca (aka alla Zucca)
                    Santa Croce, 1762, Venezia 30135, IT

                    Al Covo
                    Campiello della Pescaria,Castello 3968, Venice, Veneto 30122, IT

                    Al Prosecco
                    Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio, Santa Croce 1503, 30135, Venice, Veneto 30135, IT

                    1. re: PBSF

                      Thanks again for your help. We will move Al Covo to dinner instead of lunch and coordinate with Rialto market. We do love markets! Al Prosecco sounds great too! Regarding Al Covo would you recommend Antiche Carampane over Al Cove. I have been going back and forth between the two and went with Al Covo due to more casual ambiance and lower cost.

                      -----
                      Antiche Carampane
                      Calle de la Carampane, 1911,San Polo, Venice, Veneto 30125, IT

                      Al Covo
                      Campiello della Pescaria,Castello 3968, Venice, Veneto 30122, IT

                      Al Prosecco
                      Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio, Santa Croce 1503, 30135, Venice, Veneto 30135, IT

                      1. re: susimon

                        Antiche Carampane (which is fairly hard to find in the San Polo maze of streets behind the Rialto) is hardly formal, probably less so than Al Covo . I mean, how formal can a place be with a sign in front which says "no pizza, no lasagna, no menu turistico?" Im looking at my Michela Scibilia guide and it shows al Covo with marginally higher price level, pictures with some men in jackets and refers to the restaurant as small and elegant and "a magnet for gourmets from Venice and beyond". Its also near the luxe hotel strip on the Rive degli Schiavoni; whereas the pics of Antico Carampane shows a family, a guy in a hoodie and lots of turtlenecks.

                        You might want to consider location for a dinner restaurant - Al Covo would be more convenient to your hotel., as would nearby Corte Sconta a little cheaper. But none of the places with top-flight seafood are going to be inexpensive choices. YOu can limit your cost by ordering fewer than 3-4 courses, and skipping dessert and eschewing whole fish. We rarely order more than two courses per person and a contorno. often handling it by splitting one or more courses.

                        -----
                        Corte Sconta
                        Calle del Pestrin, Castello 3886, Venezia 30122, IT

                        Antiche Carampane
                        Calle de la Carampane, 1911,San Polo, Venice, Veneto 30125, IT

                        Al Covo
                        Campiello della Pescaria,Castello 3968, Venice, Veneto 30122, IT

                        1. re: jen kalb

                          I think jen kalb pretty much sums up the ambience of both. Al Covot is larger with more space between tables. There is more of a put together look to the decor. For me, it has a feel of a club for English speaking visitors. This is not meant as a criticism as the Benelli are gracious hosts. Antiche Carampane is a typical Venetian trattoria; small and somewhat cramped, simple furnishing, a cluttered bar. There is that sign near the restaurant entrance "no pizza, etc". Don't let that deter anyone as Signora Librai and her informal staff are very professional and friendly. Like most Venetians, they do have their moments. Like just about every good restaurant in Venice, it has it's share of visitors but there are always some locals mixed in, giving it a joyful lively feel.. As for the food, I think Antiche Carampane is one of the two or three best seafood place in Venice. The cooking is a little more traditional then Al Covo. The quality of the seafood is top notch and I think a little better than Al Covo. Al Covo has some of the best desserts in Venice while Antiche desserts are simpler. I might not be the most objective as Antiche is probably our favorite restaurant in Venice. As it is near our apartment and have been going there for about 15 years, we have gotten to know the staff. And jen kalb is accurate on the locations. Al Covo is on a small campielle just east of San Marco behind the Riva degli Schiavoni. Antiche is in a difficult to find small quiet calle just off the main thoroughfare but because Venice is frequently a maze, very difficult to find. There is a small outside terrace on the calle that is completely private because there no foot traffic at night. A little slice of obscure Venice. As for cost, they are both comparable though Al Covo offers a prix fixe of four courses. If one order four courses at Antiche, it will be more expensive. There is never a problem if one share antipasti and/or primi. I never order both as it is just too much food. I don't think you can go wrong with either.

                          -----
                          Antiche Carampane
                          Calle de la Carampane, 1911,San Polo, Venice, Veneto 30125, IT

                          Al Covo
                          Campiello della Pescaria,Castello 3968, Venice, Veneto 30122, IT

                          1. re: PBSF

                            Jen and PBSF, thank you both for all of your help. I can't wait to come to Venice!

                            1. re: susimon

                              I'll second (third?) the above comments. :)

                              I am also a big fan of the charming Carampane (nothing at all against al Covo, mind you); if you're speaking of lunch the location will be handier to the Rialto Market -- with good directions it's not toooo hard to find, and offers quite a respite as it's off the main drag.

                              The fegato should be made with calves liver, but maybe don't waste an excellent seafood locale on the fegato...

                              One more idea: though it's not always on the menu, but almost always an option if there's an appropriate fish on hand, a branzino (sea bass) sotto sale, baked under salt, is a super option for two or more. You might even stop by earlier to see if it's possible -- well worth it if it is.

                              p.s. Ostaria al Garanghelo is the one near the Rialto on calle dei Botteri, you can distinguish it as it uses the Venetian spelling of a instead of e in "ostaria." (Tried to add the link but the app doesn't seem to be working at the moment.)

                              Enjoy...

                              1. re: livingvenice

                                adding link for Ostaria al Garanghelo in San Polo

                                -----
                                Ostaria al Garanghelo
                                1571, San Polo, Venice, Veneto , IT

                                1. re: livingvenice

                                  Thank you for pointing out the 'correct' spelling of ostaria for Garanghelo; after all these years visiting Venice, walking past the place and eating there a number of times, never registered.

                                  1. re: PBSF

                                    its especially confusing now that there is the other restaurant of the same name over in Castello we discussed the other day

                                    -----
                                    Osteria al Garanghelo
                                    Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, Venice, Veneto 30122, IT

                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                      Confusing it is.

                                      Now that you're aware of it, keep an eye out the next time you walk past Rioba, or Boccadoro, or ae Botte, or Vecio Pozzo. There's even a la Pergola in le Marches that uses that spelling, not very Veneto but there you are...

                                      -----
                                      Boccadoro
                                      Campiello Widmann,Cannaregio 5405a, Venice, Veneto , IT

                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                        It will be great if you can post another link for Ostaria al Garanghelo in San Polo. Thanks.

                                        -----
                                        Ostaria al Garanghelo
                                        1571, San Polo, Venice, Veneto , IT

                                        1. re: PBSF

                                          I am sold! Antiche Carampane it is - for dinner. LIving Venice, I am sitting here now wishing for branzino sotto sale, and we will stop by to see if that is an option. Also planned are Ostaria al Garanghelo, La Zucca, and La Bitta, and perhaps Al Prosecco. Thanks again to you all!

                                          -----
                                          La Zucca (aka alla Zucca)
                                          Santa Croce, 1762, Venezia 30135, IT

                                          La Bitta
                                          Dorsoduro 2753A, Calle Lunga San Barnaba, Venezia 30123, IT

                                          Antiche Carampane
                                          Calle de la Carampane, 1911,San Polo, Venice, Veneto 30125, IT

                                          Al Prosecco
                                          Campo San Giacomo dell'Orio, Santa Croce 1503, 30135, Venice, Veneto 30135, IT

                                          Ostaria al Garanghelo
                                          1571, San Polo, Venice, Veneto , IT

                                          1. re: susimon

                                            Now you just have to make sure you have a good map - both of Venice and of the Vaporetto lines to navigate your way in and out of these neighborhoods- you need a map that shows all the tiny calle!I remember what a pain it was winding my may through the streets late at night back to our hotel from Da Fiore (very close to Antiiche Carampane)

                                            I recommend the rough guide map but it does not seem to be currently available
                                            maybe one of our locals can advise which map is good and also where to pick up a current map for the vaporetti lines.

                                            I do hope you are trying the places on Giudecca too - it would be a great view.

                                            regarding the branzino, we had this very item at an upscale restaurant in Bergamo a couple of years ago. It was pristine perfect fish - but SO expensive and basically pretty bland. If they charge you a market/per kilo price, watch out and ask them what it will cost before committing!!!! I think you might be able to get away without a secondo - have all the appetizers and some pasta - and I think antico carampane is one of the places that will serve sgroppino as a dolci.
                                            Whole fish is great in Venice and all of italy (especially wild, some is farmed) but it is the item most likely to break the bank.

                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                              On the topic of branzino, I would only consider ordering it at a very good reputable place. There is so much inexpensive farmed branzini around that many places are serving it. In most case, asking does no good as they all swear it is wild. That is lot of bull as the farmed ones taste totally bland and mushy. No way they can charge 15 euro as a secondi and be wild unless the restaurant is right by a small fishing village. And if it is not at least 1kg, chances that it is farmed. And small wild branzino is too bland. One can find farmed branzino at the Railto for less than 7 euro per kilo and is available everyday whereas it is at least twice that for the wild and only available maybe couple days a week. Same with dorado.
                                              Thanks jen for linking Ostaria Garanghelo.

                                              1. re: PBSF

                                                Wouldn't touch a farmed fish, but a good branzino from a reputable eatery known for fish (like Carampane or Gatto Nero), shared as a second is a wonderful splurge -- and done right, anything but bland. You can ask to see the fish first as well.

                                                -----
                                                Gatto
                                                Via Castel Morrone, 10, Milan, Lombardia 20129, IT

                                                1. re: livingvenice

                                                  I guess I simply like other cooking treatments better than the salt crust - I cant remember what our fish cost - im thinking 70E but it was probably less -even though it was beautiful and perfectly, delicately cooked it just wasnt worth it, with the simple touch of oil and lemon,as the only main for two of us. I watched the beautiful plateaus of seafood go to the other tables and was intensely envious.
                                                  Finally, because this was an elegant restaurant, the waiter boned it out for us. I hadnt realized til then how much I enjoyed picking at and sucking flesh from fish bones and head - and of course, a lot of the meat left the table with the skeleton.

                                          2. re: PBSF

                                            PBSF, Ostaria is there now, maybe it was already?

                                            1. re: PBSF

                                              its on there - your post links to it - see K on the right. - I fixed the spelling on the existing link and added a new one for the Castello spot.