16th birthday in Venice dinner
I'm looking for a good birthday restaurant for a turning 16 year old and three family members. My other daughter is 19. We want to go somewhere unique to venice, not too touristy, but with a nice atmosphere. Restaurants with a river view are preferred, but I'm also considering price, so we would be willing to go to a place without a view if it has good food and prices.
My 16 year old has allergies to all sorts of seafood (clam, fish, etc), so the restaurant must have some good meat options. Also, i would like to be able to visit possible restaurants and choose on the day of my daughter's birthday, so will we need reservations if we go on a Saturday night, during spring break? And how should I make these reservations?
It is difficult to make recommendations without knowing what your birthday daughter like to eat. Good food to an adult is different from a 16 year old teenager. Is she an adventurous eater or more toward basic (beef, pork or chicken which seldom appears in Venice restaurants). Many good places have a few none-seafood options as a main plate. Take a look the menu on Al Covo's website. Does the meat dishes appeal to your daughter? That might give indication of your daughter's preference in food. Is a lively casual atmosphere more important than great food? When our teenage nieces and nephews visited last year, they had the best time at casual places that had lots of antipasti choices, pizza and pasta.
As for canal view: Venice is too cold/rainy to eat outside during March Spring break. And those that are heated belong to the luxury hotel dining rooms and tourist oriented places fronting the Grand Canal.
Reservation for Saturday night: pretty much so for most good place, especially if Italians that have second homes in Venice decide to congregate there for the weekend. There is always a chance that will be an empty table. But showing up at a place, being a turned away and having to look for an alternative is no fun. Other than the phone, there is no general way to make reservation and many places will have someone that will speak a little English. Or if you are staying in a hotel, ask them to make it for you. Some can be made through email. And if you in Venice for a number of days, in person when you first arrive is an option.
I wouldnt usually say this but there are a whole lot of posts on restaurants in Venice for celebrations and also for restaurants with non-Seafood dishes. You should really use search (in upper right hand corner - use search terms "Venice "with "meat" or "allergy" and read some of these. - some threads which might give info are linked to the right of this column.
Here's one potentially helpful thread - I see what a broken record I am.
Venice has a unique ambiance so almost anything in Venice will be "unique to venice" - there are not a lot of good restaurants that also have views except some in expensive hotels, but you will have plenty of views other than when you are eating - its also hard to avoid tourists in Venice - its so heavily touristed.. .A lot of the culinary uniqueness of Venice relates to its seafood, so I hope those with out the allergy problem give it a try.
As to specific recommendations, we like Alice Stellato, but they may only have one or two non-seafood dishes on the menu so if your daughter is also picky, that may not be the best choice. Im thinking that Al Covo, might be good for your special meal.