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Venice Restaurant final list

clarkgranny Sep 26, 2011 11:45 AM

After much review of these boards and many much help from others I have more or less settled on an agenda for our 3 nights in Venice in October. Before I start making reservations I would like an opinion as to whether this is too ambitious. To begin, a few comments: First my husband and I live on an Island and we are used to very fresh fish and seafood. So quality counts for us in a restaurant more than atmosphere. Second, we have done the huge 7 course tasting route many a time at places like Le Bernardin in NYC etc. We are not after this kind of food. We want a simpler but still excellent food typical of the region.Third , price is not a problem. Forth, we like the sites but come to Italy each year for the food and people. I know a bit of Italian and so can make my way through a restaurant that has no English menu. Last year we drove around the boot of Italy and ate at places I had found here on chowhound and reserved ahead. We had 2 hour lunches, drove some more and then had a 2 hour dinner.Fantastic food experiences. I run and we are very fit so we know how to pace ourselves.

So we plan the same in Venice. Tour around , take a long lunch break, walk around and have another long dinner.

After we arrive we will go for the Grand Canal cruise to get a feel of Venice. The first night we might be jet lagged so we will keep things open and eat either on Guidecca, where our hotel is or go to Ai 4 Feri, which seems simple enough but not too hard to get to for a first night. We will walk the zettere and if still awake go to the Hilton bar for a night cap since we are staying there.

Next day ( Thrusday, OCt 20) tour San Marco; lunch at Alle Testiere because it is close to the area. Tour some more and dinner at Fiaschettere Toscana ( not sure if it is better to reverse these two)

Friday: tour Murano in the morning; lunch at Vini da Gigio; free afternoon( last one) to see whatever and then dinner at Antiche Carampane

What say you?

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

Ai 4 Feri
Calle Lunga de San Barnaba, Dorsoduro 2754, Venice, Veneto 30123, IT

Vini da Gigio
Fondamenta di San Felice, Cannaregio, 3628, Venice, Veneto 30121, IT

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

  1. a
    Abitgrumpy Nov 15, 2012 08:50 AM

    I go to Venice often and the food at Ai 4 Feri is good enough for me to think, oh I remember this place, and then to go again. But what I forget is that they hate tourists and do just about anything they can to make you feel unwanted. The most peculiar thing is that in a largely empty restaurant they will seat other diners at your table--these are small tables and its an awkward squeeze. At the same time locals, even single diners, get a full table (they even spread out with newspapers). Then, if you remonstrate, even politely, and point to all the other empty tables, they look at you blankly and say, sorry this is just the way we do it, would you like to leave? Answer: yes.

    1. e
      ElizabethS Sep 28, 2011 07:10 AM

      We stayed in Dorsoduro for 2 weeks this past February and had a delightful lunch at Ai 4Feri - grilled razor clams to start (superb) and a delicious spaghetti with shrimp and puntarella. The latter dish was billed for 2 people - we tried to order another dish but the (delightful) owner refused saying it was enough. Boy was she right! It's simple and you often share a table (which we enjoyed).

      Another place between the Zattere and 4 Feri is Avogaria...Puglian cuisine so it features quite a bit of fish and a nice wine bar. Also it's open all day so good for off hour snacks or early/late dining


      2 Replies
      1. re: ElizabethS
        livingvenice Sep 28, 2011 07:30 AM

        I heart 4 Feri...

        1. re: livingvenice
          clarkgranny Sep 28, 2011 07:48 AM

          Thanks ElizabethS and livingvenice. 4 Feri is going to be our first dinner after a long plane ride and I look forward to it. And thanks about the food you ate. I am copying this all down, sending to my iPad so I can bring with me.

      2. PBSF Sep 27, 2011 11:41 AM

        If your plan in Venice is "Tour around, take a long lunch break, walk around and have another long dinne" your plan sounds perfect. Everything from your post: do it. Couldn't do much better with your restaurant picks.
        Couple things to consider: Venice is cramped (including restaurants), crowded, narrow calles without much sun; very different from your trip of driving around the boot of Italy. In your case, it might not be the metabolism of digesting two large meals but the issue of repeating two very similar experience each day. What is missing? rubbing elbows with at least a few Venetians at lunch time; eating cicchetti; the spritz ritual of an outside table at mid-afternoon with a few bites; the various pastry shops with Venetian specialities; the gelati.
        Don't miss the Rialto market (pescherias closes by 12:30pm and no Sundays and Mondays) unless one has absolutely no interest in food. Just watching the Venetians shop and interact is a show in itself. Besides that, it has history.

        23 Replies
        1. re: PBSF
          clarkgranny Sep 27, 2011 12:13 PM

          Once again you are right. I have heard much about the bacari and cicchetti. We will definitely do the Rialto market. We always visit markets when we can. So I am thinking I will not go to lunch on Friday at Vini da Gigo( after Murano) but will go for cicchetti instead that afternoon and just wander around. And we will go to the market before we go to Murano.

          Also we arrive at noon on Wed; I figured already we would eat some cicchetti probably before we take the canal cruise as we will be hungry after the long plane ride. Any good ones you recommend around where we will be picking up the vap for the ride( again we will be jet lagged so we might have trouble finding some places on back streets etc until we get used to the place)?

          As for the bacari, do I need to do research on them too ( sigh) or are they all good and we should just wander?

          We are not huge gelati people and remember we are the tiramisu people. We will be also going to a pastry shop recommended here for breakfast since some of the pastries seem to die for. Forget name; will have to research again.

          I feel relief knowing I finally have the Venice piece of our trip organized. Again many thanks

          1. re: clarkgranny
            PBSF Sep 27, 2011 12:47 PM

            Wednesday: there are few of good bacari in Dorsoduro (a sestiere that is very easy to negotiate since it is narrow and there is some sense of a grid): try Cantione del Vino Gia Schiavi, open throughout the afternoon.
            Cichettti after Murano is god because the vaporetto will get you to Fondamenta Nove in Cannaregio where some of the best are located. Many are off the Strada Nove: La Cantina, alle vadova, al Bomba, ai Promissi Sposi, Bar Miracoli and if you are still hungry for more, take the traghetto at Ca D'Oro over to the Rialto for all'Arco, do Spade, do Mori, etc, etc. This traghetto operates until late afternoon.
            Have a great trip.

            La Cantina
            Campo San Felice, Cannaregio 3689, Venice, Veneto , IT

            1. re: PBSF
              clarkgranny Sep 27, 2011 12:52 PM

              Ok .done. I will start to make reservations now. And I will report back when I return. Can't thank you enough

              1. re: clarkgranny
                livingvenice Sep 28, 2011 02:58 AM

                Just a small addendum: La Cantina does not have cichetti sotto banco as do most bàcari, but wonderful crostini to order, meat or fish (I always just let Francesco do what he feels like). Great for dinner too: excellent fish and marvelous meat, although this is the "updated" Venice some people seem to want to avoid. ;) )

                I would also add to the bàcaro list Sbarlefò, just up from campo Santi Apostoli, a fine selection of cichetti and wine, and 2nd PBSF on Vedova, which vies with Aciugheta for the best polpette in town, and Promessi Sposi, which slips a little Sicily into both its cichetti and sit-down fare (one of my favorites is also one of the simplest the sliced voilet Sicilian eggplant rounds, sprinkled with origano siciliano and drizzled with olive oil). It'll be jammed with locals when it opens at 18:30, daily.

                I think you have your work cut out for you!

                La Cantina
                Campo San Felice, Cannaregio 3689, Venice, Veneto , IT

            2. re: clarkgranny
              hmast Sep 27, 2011 12:54 PM

              If you find the name of the pasty shop you have in mind, please share and I'll add it to my list of must eats...

              1. re: hmast
                clarkgranny Sep 27, 2011 01:09 PM

                hmast, sorry, I was mistaken. The place I read about was Zanarini in Bologna. I will go there after this great review I read: http://greedydiva.blogspot.com/2010/0...

                1. re: hmast
                  livingvenice Sep 28, 2011 02:47 AM

                  For pasticcerie, there's the fabulous Tonolo in Dorsoduro, Marchini (bar in campo San Luca and store/laborartorio in the Spaderia), Martini in Strada Nova and near the Guglie, it vies for the best focaccia with Tonolo I think; there's the famlly-run Didovich in campo Santa Marina, but do give Bar Zenzero net door a try for a lunch bite, and ask to see the photo album of all their client's dogs)...

                  1. re: livingvenice
                    PBSF Sep 28, 2011 06:59 AM

                    Don't let me get started on pasticcerie but as suggested by 'livingvenice', do try Tonolo and Marchini Time (the bar on Cp San Luca as their calle Spaderiais is for high-end chocolates, fancy pastries and packaged goods and does not serve coffee), both Veneitan institutions and located in busy cross thoroughfares for a piece of early morning Venetian scene. The morning woman barista in Tonolo is amazing. If you have a chance, do try a Focaccia di Venezia. It is not the flat focaccia that we are used to but a tall dome like rich sweet yeast bread with a crunchy topping. It is all over Venice but buy it from a good pasticceria. Tonolo sells it wrapped in their beautiful paper Thursday through Sunday. It is a very popular Sunday item for Venetians and hundreds are reserved for that day.

                    1. re: PBSF
                      clarkgranny Sep 28, 2011 07:09 AM

                      Thank you livingvenice and PBSF. We will be heading to these pasticceries for sure!Usaully we just eat plain yogurt and fruit for breakfast at our hotel, but I think since we will be in Venice such a short time it will be better to venture out early and rub shoulders with Venetians from dawn until night to experience as much as we can for our short stay.

                      PBSF: I was so excited to get my reservation at alle Testiere confirmed by email( in Italian) yesterday. I really felt like we are going now.I am waiting to hear from Fiaschettere Toscana and Antiche Carampane still. Crossing fingers

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

                      1. re: PBSF
                        jen kalb Sep 28, 2011 07:10 AM

                        the Marchini outlet on Spaderia if one of the few places - actually the only place we saw - offering the traditional venetian "cakes" pane del doge, and I think fregolata (its been a long time). these are packaged in cellophane and you can take them home with you and enjoy. Everything in there is tiny and expensive (many of the bakeries in Venice make their traditional cookies in a gross, huge size) and it all looks like it is set up to appeal to the japanese (but a lot of the really fancy Italian pastry shops have that feel to me.

                        Tonolo is down to earth and wonderful, do try it - esp the fritters in the afternoon.

                        Pasticceria Marchini
                        San Marco, Spadaria, 676, Venice, Veneto , IT

                        1. re: jen kalb
                          livingvenice Sep 28, 2011 07:32 AM

                          They drawn you in right off the calle if you pass anywhere near the door because the bakery is in the back and they work non-stop. I profumi...the smell is rapturous...

                          1. re: jen kalb
                            clarkgranny Sep 28, 2011 07:51 AM

                            Thanks. I have a question about the fregolata which you say" you can take home with you" do you mean back to USA? Or just to hotel? Anyway I might take with me when we drive to Austria from Venice on Saturday OCt 22 ( God help us finding our way from rental place to the main highways...LOL)

                            1. re: clarkgranny
                              jen kalb Sep 28, 2011 07:58 AM

                              these are small , sealed items and we took them home to the US as edible souvenirs - they kept quite well.

                              You shouldnt have problem with the driving - Venice is pretty small and you are taking your GPS along, right -

                              1. re: jen kalb
                                clarkgranny Sep 28, 2011 08:40 AM

                                ok good to know. I love to bring back food. Once though I was in JFK waiting for my bags. A guard with a dog came up.I was so embarrassed. Like I was a drug dealer or something. I had canned pate and even something so cooked and proceeds was not allowed. I could keep the cheese though. I had no idea about canned meats although of course I knew about fresh meat etc. So now I am extra careful what I try to bring back.

                                As for GSP I think we will have them. We have driven through europe a lot and always do all right. It's just an adventure sometimes getting out of some of these old cities. I am the navigator and always get blamed. HA. When we drive back from Austria to Bologna for our last 2 nights before heading home we will ditch the car as soon as we get there.

                            2. re: jen kalb
                              PBSF Sep 28, 2011 10:58 AM

                              If your reference of Venetian "cakes" pane del doge is the same as Torte del Doge, a 2-inch high round confection of caramelized marzipan and decorated with candied fruit, I've seen it in quite a few pasticerries, including Tonolo. Same for fregolata. Marchini use to have a big beautiful old style store near the Cp Santa Stefano with a full range of pastries, cookies, candies; and older friendly staff. I was really disappointed when I visited their re-location on Spaderiaa few years back. I believe opened Marchini Time not too many years ago, a real plus. Maybe someone might help; did Marchini Time replace the short-lived fancy cake shop, Zanin?
                              It took me a long while to appreciate the Italian style of pastries as it is more rustic and simpler than the French or the Austrians. Now, the cornetti, etc seem totally appropriate. As good as Tonolo is, some of their things such as Sacher, apple streudel are not good. I can't agree with you more with the big gross out oversize Venetian cookies. Besides the look, the texture is completely wrong. Our apartment is a block from Rizzardini who pumps them out by the hundreds for the passing visitors.

                              1. re: PBSF
                                livingvenice Sep 28, 2011 11:54 AM

                                Marchini Time did replace Zanin...

                                1. re: livingvenice
                                  PBSF Sep 28, 2011 01:18 PM

                                  Thanks!!! Should of tried some when I had a chance.

                                  1. re: PBSF
                                    livingvenice Sep 28, 2011 01:35 PM

                                    Carpe pasticceriem. ;)

                                2. re: PBSF
                                  clarkgranny Sep 28, 2011 01:52 PM

                                  Since we will be going to Austria for a week after Venice I won't be so anxious to try Italian pastries. I will save those calories for Vienna and stick to all the other fabulous calorific meals in Venice like pasta and wine. So like you say a simple cornetti ill do just fine in the morning.

                                  1. re: clarkgranny
                                    PBSF Sep 28, 2011 03:39 PM

                                    That would be missing a lot of culture. Every food rich country has its own style. It is not always eating the very best or the most famous. Food is related to a particular time and place. One can't eat a Burannelli cookie without thinking of the Grand Canal. Venice and Italy are good for simple things. Nobody makes better amaretti than the Italians and Majer has some good ones. Almonds and hazelnuts always taste richer and fresher. Vienna for rococo concoctions and overly rich tortes; everything is whipped cream which is to die for. Sometimes one can't taste the ground walnuts from the buttercream or the chocolate from the caramel. Not to be sneezed at though.

                                  2. re: PBSF
                                    jen kalb Sep 28, 2011 04:47 PM

                                    As I recall it "Pan del doge" is a different animal from the torte del doge you describe.Its a flat disk or oblong of pastry with nuts, some alcohol and other ingredients Here is one version http://www.dolcerieveneziane.it/vedi_prodotto.php?cat=1&scat=20&prod=69&img=155&lang=en

                                    Its rather like fregolata/sbrisolana, which I also like and which travels very well..

                                    The Marchini website does not seem to show all their products any more, and who know, maybe they do not even make the sweet I remember these days, Or I may be remembering a different sweet altogether..
                                    But here is a collection of pix (including a picture of pan dei dogi) which give you an idea about what their stuff looks like.

                                    1. re: jen kalb
                                      PBSF Sep 28, 2011 11:45 PM

                                      Thank you so much for the links. The photos of pan del doge definitely is not the same as the torte. The pictures on the first link reminds me of a stollen or a first bake of a biscotti log before slicing. It seems that I've seen something very similar sold wrapped in the supermarkets or it could be my wild imagination. This is so different from the version by Marchini. I'll have to do more investigation when I get to Venice. Thanks again.

                                      1. re: PBSF
                                        jen kalb Sep 29, 2011 06:13 AM

                                        I will look forward to hearing what you find. The Marchini pix had in the foreground their pan del doge, which looks like the pictures I have seen in some online recipes- the log shaped item in the first pic looked more sbrisolana like in its composition - you will see huge "cookies" with labeled pan del doge in the inexpensive bakeries on say Strada Nova - I have always kept away from those places. Yet another image of Pan dei doge is in the Veronelli food of Venice cookbook I have - it shows a smallish disc that looks like it has cocoa, and whole hazelnuts on top.

                                        The traditional venetian desserts like these and pinza (got a cut from a backstreet place over behind Piazzale Roma once, didnt much care for it) seem to be fading out a bit.

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