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Oct 9, 2011 12:36 AM

Venice - need some help for a wedding lunch for five please :)

Hello fellow chow hounds

Firstly, thanks for all the tips I've picked up so far from reading other peoples' posts. Can you help me with this challenge please?

Lovener2 & I are getting married in Venice and need to find somewhere to celebrate the wedding lunch (on a Saturday in May) with our parents. The total size of the group is 5 adults - 2 mid thirties and 3 mid youthful mid sixties.

We are looking for:

- atmosphere
- a canal / water view
-outdoors (if fine)
- friendly service
- special.

We're prepared to trade away some 'spectacularness' of food in favour of a fabulous view & lively atmosphere but don't anything average. As a guide I have eaten at Cips before and was dreadfully disappointed in the food and wouldn't want this quality of food.

We don't need any table decorations / wedding chairs / special room etc. We'll be wearing our wedding outfits and just want to celebrate somewhere outside with a great view amongst other folks also enjoying a great day out.

We would love to hear your recommendations. Many thanks in advance.


ps - absolute maximum budget is Euro700.

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  1. bump please hoping to hear your suggestions :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: loveners

      view restaurants and outdoor seating arent really all that common among the better restaurants in Venice. Ive not been to any of these, but othes on the Board have been and can perhaps comment - you might want to look into Lineadombra and Ai Gondolieri (the latter especially if you have meat eaters in your group) on Dorsoduro or Venissa on the island of Mazzorbo. I believe Altanella also faces the Giudecca canal. Some of the major hotels along the Riva also have terraces but they may be outside your price range.

      Ai Gondolieri
      Fondamenta de Ospedaleto, Dorsoduro, 366, 30123, Venice, Veneto 30123, IT

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

      Ponte dell'Umilta, Dorsoduro, 19, Venice, Veneto , IT

      Fondamena Santa Caterina 3, Isola di Mazzorbo, Venice, Veneto 30142, IT

    2. What displeased you about the food at Cip's Club? I looked at the online menu, and it's mostly Venetian classics. I doubt that they're incompetently prepared, but they're probably very overpriced, given the location and the ownership.

      2 Replies
      1. re: zerlina

        I don't want to pre-empt loveners answer, but this was Victor Hazen's reaction to Cip's Club:

        "Marcella and I have never attached much importance to how a restaurant looks or what it looks upon, but we must make an exception for the Cipriani's waterside eatery, Cip's Club. The wine list is worthy of the grand Cipriani, and though the cooking is admittedly hotel cooking, it comes out of a kitchen that sets its sights somewhat higher than do other hotel kitchens in Venice. Moreover, its wood-fired oven makes the crustiest pizza in town. Yet for once the food, commendable though it is, is not the point. What astonishes is the location..." and then he went on poetically about the view.

        I would be disappointed in hotel cooking, even somewhat higher-standard Venetian hotel cooking, and probably wouldn't know pizza was the best thing to order there.

        1. re: barberinibee

          Thanks for the replies JenKalb, Zerlina, and Barberinibee. Jen, I'll definitely start investigating those options. It's looks like I might have to do a tradeoff about the view / outdoor seating aspect.

          I went to Cips six years ago. At the time, I had no idea it was so famous at the time. The setting was gorgeous but the food was very bland and lacking in flavours. It could just have been a bad night for the chef but I'm not sure I'll give him/ her another chance for my wedding meal...

          We did wonder if the budget may be a little on the tight side for what we were looking for so that might be another point to look out if non of Jen's suggestions above work out.

          Keen to hear any other suggestions if you think you know something suitable (or close to it).

          Thanks everyone :)

      2. I think increasing your budget will not get you a better place, as your current budget of 700 euro for 5 people is plenty enough for just about any restaurant in Venice. That is if you don’t go wild on cocktails and wines. The difficulty is if such a place exists that will satisfy your criteria as well as the ‘specialness’ of the occasion. For view, you probably want a place on the Grand Canal as most places off the side canals are basically trattori/osteria and not right for the occasion. The terrace dining on the Grand Canal basically falls into two categories. The first: the lower third of the Grand Canal with the best view is monopolized by luxury hotels. The second: those around the Rialto Bridge and Santa Lucia Station that should be left for some other post.
        You might look into Da Pisis in the Hotel Bauer. We have been to terraces most of the hotels (Gritti, Monaco, Europa, Danieli) at least for drinks and none approach that of the Hotel Bauer. Beautifully lay out with a small garden and a killer view of the Salute, Dogana, Santa Maggiore, etc. Unlike the others, it is not lined with rows and rows of tables. We had a very good dinner there this Spring on a gift from friends. We substituted some traditional dishes in the 7 course-tasting menu. The food leans toward creative interpretations but like all the luxury hotel dining rooms, the menu has to cater to a wide audience. If you convey to the staff what you like to eat, good chance you will dine well. You had stated that you didn’t care for the food at the Ciprani because it was bland and lacking in flavor. That maybe the case but also most traditional Venetian cooking, especially those based on seafood, is quite simple and subtle.
        Below is a link to a recent post that has reference to Terrzza Danieli and the above mentioned Lineadombra on the Zattere. I have not eaten at either.

        Ponte dell'Umilta, Dorsoduro, 19, Venice, Veneto , IT

        3 Replies
        1. re: PBSF

          I think there is a world of difference between "very bland and lacking in flavours" and "quite simple and subtle." I doubt many people confuse the tastes, even when sampling a new cuisine.

          1. re: barberinibee

            Thanks Pbsf and Barberinibee. I will definitely check out de pisis as another option. Having done more research and appreciating the posts above, I didn't realise what I tall order I had created (pardon the food pun!).

            We're from New Zealand so are used to simple and subtle isn't wasted on us either. We are used to letting the ingredients speak for themselves. My favorite Venetian meal to date was a seafood risotto on Burano - years later I still salivate over its delicate seafood flavour. The whole dishe's 'understated' quality was delectable.

            1. re: barberinibee

              The De Pisis autumn menu is online. The tasting menu (for the whole table) is 110 Euro, without wine or drinks.

          2. Hi, I'm afraid it's true -- those locales that concentrate on atmosphere may flag in the food area. I can recommend Orti dei Mori and even Anice Stellato if you're not averse to getting away from the center. I've sent lots of travellers to Orto and they've been delighted (whew). It's located on an airy fondamenta, and the inside is cheery and hip. They do weddings infrequently in fact -- and when I asked the last editor I sent how they liked their meal there, they said it was everything you said, and more. Might be worth considering, again -- depending on what you're looking for. The fare at both locales is truly satisfying, perhaps a bit fancier (think fagotti bundles) at the Orto.

            You also may look into the Pensione Widman -- they have a Slow Food connection and the view can be beat.

            Vini da Gigio and Antiche Carampane should be within your budget as well...

            Anice Stellato
            Cannaregio, 3272, Venezia , IT

            Osteria Orto dei Mori
            Campo dei Mori, Cannaregio 3386, Venice, Veneto 30121, IT