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Seeking name of restaurant in which I ate in or near Campo Stefano in Venice. Please help.

s
Shoshanna88 Sep 10, 2011 05:32 PM

Hoping Jen Kalb or PBSF or another Venice poster might help. I am trying to re-find the restaurant I ate at in May 2009. Is there a search by location on Chowhound? Judging by google maps, I am pretty sure it was near Campo Stefano but I do not remember if it was in Campo Stefano or perhaps in the smaller square to the north of it. We ate outside, under a fairly large awning. I see that both Stefano and the neighboring square have restaurants with awnings. I never went into the restaurant so I cannot give you those details. I ordered the fresh fish special on the two nights we ate there and it was very good. My friends ordered pizza which was excellent. There were some foodies on a neighboring table who seemed very fussy and said it was the best place in Venice. The waiters were very solicitous to them as they carefully examined the selection of fresh whole fish before making their decision. I remember noticing that there were just one of each fish...or perhaps they just brought out one of each fish for them to make their choice. At the end of the meal the waiter brought us limoncello. The waiters were very nice to us although we had been running around Venice all day and were not dressed for fine dining. Based on the Chowhound descriptions, I am wondering if we happened upon Da Fiore but do they serve pizza at Da Fiore? I seem to remember that there was a bit of a gap between the awninged section and the restaurant. Or, could I be thinking of another restaurant in another square? Venice is so confusing so that is possible but I think the square was somewhere in this area because we passed people dressed up at theatre/opera intermission on our way back to our hotel Al Ponte dei Sospiri. We are leaving for Italy on Friday so any help would be appreciated. I would like to go back there in addition to trying out some other chowhounder recommendations. Thank you!

  1. livingvenice Sep 11, 2011 07:17 AM

    The "best" restaurants will never serve pizza, I'm afraid (go delight at the signage at Antiche Carampane ("we don't make pizza, we're not smart enough.")

    These restaurateurs are desperate to offer the very best they have, and then someone walks in every five minutes asking for pizza. They can get a little testy. :)

    Could it have been Beccafico? they're right on S.Stefano...

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

    5 Replies
    1. re: livingvenice
      s
      Shoshanna88 Sep 11, 2011 10:15 PM

      I thank everyone for their input. I am so impressed by the generosity of the posters who help out those of us who only have a limited time to sample a small amount of what Italy has to offer. The information I have found on CH in planning my trip has been invaluable. I am still considering my dining choices. We are not used to eating restaurant food every night. We like quality food but generally cook at home without complicated sauces. We are already booked for three nights out in Rome where we will be before Venice. Then, we will be going on to Florence and then Lucca and back to Rome. I am a bit concerned about our 60 year old digestive systems. Plus, it looks like it is going to be hot. How large are the portions at a place like Alle Testiere? I would appreciate some guidance on proper etiquette. I think I remember reading on CH that it is not acceptable to share a secondi and that it is expected that one orders two courses. Is it okay to share a primi? And desert? Or, better to share one or the other? Someone suggested I order a book by Plotkin and I am waiting for its arrival. Presumably that will provide some clarification. Thank you.

      I am pretty sure that the restaurant I was thinking about was Acqua Pazza. The pizza was on the menu as a regular item. It was good compared to what we can get for a similar price in Toronto. So now I am really curious as to what I will experience after having done all this research. Thank you again everyone.

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      Acqua Pazza
      Corso Garibaldi, 38, Cetara, Campania 84010, IT

      1. re: Shoshanna88
        PBSF Sep 11, 2011 10:52 PM

        Being a similar age, I agree that it is very difficult for us to eat out in restaurants everyday when we travel; also a big dent on one's budget. Luckily we have an apartment in Venice where we spend quite a bit of time and able to cook most of our meals.
        Portion size are not big compare to those in the US. For Alle Testiere, the antipasti are good size but because they my favorites, we don't share unless we order their assortment of 6 tastes (one single price for all antipasti). The primi are a generous half portion size. The secondi are definitely smaller than what we used to in the States. A portion of fish on their daily special might be 4 ounces with no side dishes except for garnishes. The grilled seafood secondi may consist of a small sole or a monkfish tail or 5 good size scampi with heads; those always come with a generous side of grilled vegetables. Desserts are decent size and one of the few places worth ordering. Similar with other places such as Antiche Carampane, Al Covo and Fiachetteria Toscana with the latter two having very good desserts.
        Our general strategy:
        Choose a variety of restaurants and space them in a sensible way.
        One large meal a day; breakfast is always coffee and a pastry. The other meal can be at a bacaro, enoteca, standup snack, a take away, etc. We found that we can't sit through two long meals in a restaurant a day regardless how much leisure time we have.
        In the best places which we allot ourselves a very limited number, we go the whole way with either a tasting menu or order at least the three course.
        For trattorias/osterias: etiquette wise, there is never an obligation to order courses after courses. The two us tend to share an antipasto, order a secondo each, generally skip dessert (or share one) unless I know it is excellent; go for a gelato afterward. Because we cook a lot of pasta and risotto, therefore, we tend to not order from the primi section of the menu. We do make exceptions on certain regions of Italy. In Bologna, we would each order an antipasto and primi and skip the second. I don't know if it is proper etiquette or not to share a secondo but we hardly ever do it and from our twenty or so years staying in Venice, hardly see others do it. And our Venetian friends never.
        Beverage: we rarely order any pre dinner drinks. I love red wines but except for the best restaurants, we kept wine to a minimum, usually a glass.

        1. re: PBSF
          s
          Shoshanna88 Sep 12, 2011 10:41 PM

          PBSF, I appreciate the time you took to provide details and thank you for the very good and very sensible advice.

          1. re: PBSF
            l
            LiberalFoodie Sep 27, 2011 04:11 AM

            Can you recommend a stand up/take away lunch spot for 2 lunches in Venice? We want authentic venetian, none of that international or Italian regional fare. Right now, I am looking at Alle Testiere and Antiche Carampane for 2 dinners.

            Also, what are your thoughts on Bancogiro, Ostaria ai Storti, Do Spade for cicchetti on both nights before dinner?

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

            Bancogiro
            Campo San Giacomo di Rialto, San Polo 122,, Venice, Veneto 30125, IT

            Do Spade
            Sestiere San Polo, 860, 30125 Venezia, Italy, Venice, Veneto , IT

            Alle Testiere
            Calle del Mondo Novo,Sestiere Castello,5801, Venice, Veneto 30122, IT

            1. re: LiberalFoodie
              PBSF Sep 27, 2011 11:53 AM

              I would search for cicchetti on the Italy board for the past 5 years and you will find loads of good recommendations. Rarely these bacari are "creative" or "interenational"; (skip Naranzaria in this case). There good ones all over the city. There are no best; besides the food, might consider the wines; it is the ambience that is very important for their enjoyment. Have a short list where you'll be sightseeing around lunch. I wouldn't waste energy tripping across town for one.
              Bacari are not take away places. Only take away places are those selling pannini, pizza slices, 'hot dogs' and other 'fast food" which one will find in just about every busy area of Venice. Only other take aways are what we one might call deli selling prepared food, cured meat, cheeses to take back home.

      2. s
        Shoshanna88 Sep 10, 2011 09:28 PM

        Zerlina, thank you. I think you are correct and it is Acqua Pazza. I checked it out and it has very mixed reviews so I am reluctant to give it another chance although I did enjoy it last time. In preparation for this trip, I have spent many hours looking through the various posts and recommendations. We are only in Venice for 3 days and two nights. Based on our hotel location (not far from San Marco), and our knack for getting hopelessly lost, but still wanting excellent food, I think we will go to Al Covo and Bancogiro. I was worried that Al Covo might be too expensive but the tasting menu advertised at 56 Euros is doable. I read somewhere that Al Covo is closed on Wednesdays...is that correct? How much is an average meal at Bancogiro?

        Is there any other restaurant in the area with a greater focus on fish that would be preferable to these two choices? Or is it worth venturing farther afield? Fiachetteria Toscana and Al Fontego dei Pescatore are appealing. Are they much more expensive? Tasting menus? How difficult are they to find?
        Thank you for any input.

        -----
        Bancogiro
        Campo San Giacomo di Rialto, San Polo 122,, Venice, Veneto 30125, IT

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

        Acqua Pazza
        Corso Garibaldi, 38, Cetara, Campania 84010, IT

        4 Replies
        1. re: Shoshanna88
          PBSF Sep 10, 2011 10:42 PM

          Correct that Al Covo is closed on Wednesdays.
          Bancogiro: antipasti/primi around 12-15 euros; secondi around 20 euros; lots of wines by the glass anywhere from 2.5 to 7euros, a real bargain for wines. The outside seating on the loggia on a warm evening is terrific. Inside second floor dining alcove is cozy.
          Better strictly seafood places than above: definitely Alle Testiere and Antiche Carampane. Cost for three courses would be comparable to Al Covo. The quality of the seafood is impeccable. If there are seasonal seafood such as canoce, moleche, schie, spider crab, thumbnail size squids, baby octopus, they will feature them, mostly as antipasti. Alle Testiere has some of the best antipasti I have eaten; only three daily changing secondi plus a few simple grilled choices; great desserts esepcially their tiramisu (a common dessert in Venice but it is only worth the calories here) and chocolate chestnut torta. Antiche Carampane has warmer ambience; just as good but smaller selection of antipasti and more secondi to choose from. Desserts are simpler but good, especially the sgroppino, chocolate amaretti torta, mascarpone with berries.
          I also like Boccadoro for seafood, about the same cost as Bancogiro with better food. Small menu of about 5 antipasti, three or four primi and 5 secondi; similar style as the other two, traditional Venetian with some creativity. Decor is simple modern with lovely service. A couple of outside tables on a small campo.
          Fiaschetteria Toscana is more traditional Venetian; larger menu with just about all the traditional Venetian dishes; sole in saor, bacala, baked scallops, crab salad, carpaccio, lots of choices for primi and secondi. Very good desserts. There is a tasting menu of 48euro as of this Spring but unlike Al Covo, no choices. Only reserve for the ground floor; upstair is no fun.
          Sometime ago, I heard from another poster that Al Fontego dei Pescatore was closed for awhile and should reopen sometime in September. Heard nothing more since.
          The above are probably some of the best choices, regardless of the budget.
          When friends ask me for recommendations of good places: Al Covo for all around, Alle Testiere and Antiche Carampane for all seafood, also Boccadoro to be different; Fiaschetteria Toscana for traditional Venetian and great wines. La Bitta for non-seafood; for who doesn't care about budget or someone else is paying: Da Ivo, Osteria da Fiore.
          Never worry about getting lost; that is part of the fun of Venice; just allow extra time. Alle Testiere, F. Toscana are easy to find; Alle Testiere off the main tourist route of San Lio and F Toscana right on the tourist street couple of blocks past the Rialto bridget. And you will have a fun time finding Antiche Carampane.

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

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

          Bancogiro
          Campo San Giacomo di Rialto, San Polo 122,, Venice, Veneto 30125, IT

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

          Osteria da Fiore
          Calle del Scaleter, San Polo 2202A, Venice, Veneto 30125, IT

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

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

          1. re: PBSF
            livingvenice Sep 11, 2011 06:56 AM

            Fontego has indeed re-opened, but I haven't been by just yet. Georgia runs the cichetti bar at noon, wait for the risotto...

          2. re: Shoshanna88
            g
            gowest Sep 11, 2011 06:08 AM

            I ate at Acqua Pazza years ago and like you loved it.

            Went back last spring for lunch and thought it was just "ok" at best.
            Fine for location and we were starving but noting even remotely special.
            I wouldn't bother.

            We had a phenomenal meal at Gatto Nero on Burano on the Saturday before Easter with no reservation. I begged in my best Italian, told them I was an idiot for not reserving and they told me to come back in 45 minutes after which they seated my daughter and I outside. (It was not really an "outside" eating day but beggars cant be choosy!)

            Service started out lukewarm until they realized I was going to order like an Italian and not like a tourist. Fabulous meal. Expensive, but not terrible considering what we ate. I think it was 90 Euros but the portions were tremendous and our server decided to love us. We had the baby shrimp from the lagoon over polenta, mussels and vongole, the crab in the shell (grancio? maybe, -need to brush up on my seafood italian), I had grilled sardines for a main (why can they not do this in ny?!) and my daughter had the largest plate of grilled langoustine I have ever seen. Maybe there were 12/14 on her plate.

            Had a half a carafe of house white too.

            Whole thing was superb and the place was packed with more Italians than not.

            1. re: gowest
              livingvenice Sep 11, 2011 07:08 AM

              Gatto Nero is good for everyday tourists, too. (They're the ones who'll need a gentle reminder that the lemon's there only for looks...)

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

          3. PBSF Sep 10, 2011 09:13 PM

            I think Zerlina is right that it is Acqua Pazzo in Campo Sant'Angelo. Campo Santa Stefano through a short ally leads right into Campo Sant'Angelo. From their large terrace, one can see into Stefano. There are three large terrace restaurants on Campo Santa Stefano/Campo F. Morosini and except for Beccafico which does not serve pizza, the other two are not much in terms of food. The caffe Paolin and a couple of snack bars flank the other side. Trattoria da Fiore is right off the campo in the very narrow calle Crosera de Botteghe, therefore, only has about 4 small tables outside and no pizza. It also has a separate bacaro.

            -----
            Trattoria da Fiore
            Sestiere San Marco,3461, Venice, Veneto 30100, IT

            1. z
              zerlina Sep 10, 2011 06:49 PM

              The fish/pizza combination makes me think it's Acqua Pazza on Campo Sant'Angelo. Have a look at the restaurant's Web site; there's a photo of the outdoor tables.

              1. jen kalb Sep 10, 2011 06:38 PM

                Trattoria da Fiore (different from the very upscale Osteria da Fiore in San Polo) is right near the Campo and is a fish specialist - A Beccafico is also nearby but it is Sicilian so I doubt it was where you ate. Please note that neither of these restaurants map in the correct location on chowhound.

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                Trattoria da Fiore
                Sestiere San Marco,3461, Venice, Veneto 30100, IT

                A Beccafico
                Sestiere San Marco 2801, Venice, Veneto 30124, IT

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