Located above the famed café of the same name sits one of the most widely discussed restaurants in Italy: Quadri, a name steeped in history (as a café, it was the first to introduce Turkish Coffee to an already over-caffinated city in the 1700s), and its dark-wood furnishings, lush burgundy damask walls, and sparkling chandeliers create a typical Venetian ambience. The Alajmo family (of the celebrated Le Calandre restaurant near Padua) has taken over the restaurant and put their accomplished sous-chef from Padua in charge of the kitchen. The menu, bearing the creative mark of the Alajmos, has developed in the direction of increasing complexity, which runs contrary to the inherent simplicity and directness of classic Italian cuisine. For tasting menus that range from €170 to €235 (exclusive of wine), you can savor such delights of creative cuisine as pumpkin lasagnetta noodles with lobster, squid, ginger and almonds, but you can also be more conservative and enjoy burrata
ravioli with a seafood-tomato sauce spiked with oregano. Downstairs, the simpler abcQuadri (located next to the café)—with impeccably restored neo-Rococo wall paintings—serves more traditional Venetian fare and some of the best Martinis in town; however, a three-course dinner will still set you back €100, without wine. As for Quadri itself: the prices, cuisine, and decor are all alta, so beware: some food critics find fare not up to these high prices. Be sure, also, to book one of the few tables with a Piazza San Marco view; otherwise, the ambience offered is lavish, but not really extraordinary, considering the price.