JoAnn Locktov, a frequent traveler to Venice, talks about eating in Venice.
Venice has often received a bad rap for food. Totally undeserved, you just have to eat as the Venetians do. Andare a cicchetti - they can be found in enoteche (wine bars), osterie and trattorie however my favorite places to eat the small plates of delicious morsels are the bacari where many Venetians go. Older, smaller and darker the bacari are dotted throughout Venice, with one of my favorite, Antico Dolo located close to the Rialto Bridge (778 San Polo. Ruga Vecchia S. Giovanni). This bacaro, established 1454 (on the exact same spot) is owned by Matteo and his lovely wife Stefania. Cicchetti are the Venetian version of Spanish tapas, the small tastes of Venetian specialties - polenta topped with tiny shrimp, polpetta (small meatballs), bacala mantecato (cod), sardelle in saor (sardines).....The vegetables all glisten and the fish are local. Wash down the antipasti with un'ombra (a shadow) - the house wine or better yet a glass of Prosecco, the charming sparkling wine made in the Veneto.
Here are more of JoAnn's recommendations for good, reasonably priced Venetian restaurants.
- La Cantina, Campo San Felice near the Ca D'oro vaperetto stop. There's no written menu but all the food is freshly selected from the market that day. Francesco works his magic on a single burner and Andrea chooses only the most delicious regional wines for your tasting pleasure.
- Al Leon D'Oro, Rio Terra della Maddalena, serves more traditional dinners. The nonna who cooks your supper makes you feel like you are a part of her extended family.
- Acqua Pazza, Campo S. Angelo, has an outside patio and JoAnn loves their gelato for dessert. Actually, it is blasphemous, however she is not a typical gelato eater. Only this gelato she loves-served in a faberge fruit egg with a demitasse spoon to scoop out the frozen delicacy.
- Bea Vita, Fondamente delle Cappuccine 3082, is a very small, newer restaurant. JoAnn recommends the duck antipasto, fish carpaccio, and the flaming tiramisu for dessert.
- Osteria al Ponte del Diavolo on Torcello Island, a green island where you can see incredible mosaics in the 7th century Cathedral of Santa Maria Dell'Assunta. Bring a sketchpad and be prepared to listen to silence.
- Trattoria al Gatto Nero is on Venice's colorful Burano Island. Bring your water colors with the most vibrant palette of colors.
In the evening when it's dark, JoAnn Recommends taking the number 1 vaporetto along the Grand Canal for beautiful views of the palaces and lights along the canal.