Torcello/Venice lagoon restaurants

Old Jan 17th, 2009, 11:55 PM
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Torcello/Venice lagoon restaurants

The two of us want to spend a day in March revisiting Torcello.

It's yonks (at least quarter of a century) since we were there last, but my memory of Cipriani is that it was little more than OK, and way overpriced for what it was. We were earning local currency back then - and there's no sign of Cipriani currently offering the deals that, say, the Danieli is.

I'll be classed as a cheapskate for the rest of our lives if I choose somewhere other than Cipriani to eat and it turns out to be miserable. The Trono d'Attila, for example, looks quite horrible on its website, unless you're planning a huge family wedding.

Anyone any recent experience of eating in Torcello or that part of the lagoon? We're both allergic to Murano, but might eat there (some boats used to stop on the way) if there's a decent eatery near the ferry stop. Or Burano?

Decent = proper Venetian food in as un-rip off an environment as you can get in the area without the owner being stripped of his Venetian citizenship. Anywhere with even a glimpse of that awful glass is disqualified.
flanneruk is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2009, 01:50 AM
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Goodness gracious, sounds to me like you shouldn't leave the house.

I've never had just an "OK" Cipriani experience in Italy. They've all been precious. Cipriani is an expensive country-club-like experience (much less fussy on Torcello) for people who pay less attention to money spent than they do money earned. For the life of me, I can't understand why people go to a Cipriani establishment and analyze, complain, or whine about cost-to-value ratios. Those people clearly don't belong there.

My favorite "lagoon" restaurants are on Burano and I never hesitate to visit them over and over again. But, if I had to eat on Torcello, I wouldn't hesitate to reserve a garden table at Locanda Cipriani.
NYCTS is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2009, 02:46 AM
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I beg to differ with NYCTS. The garden at the Locanda Cipriani is lovely - and unlikely to be open in March - but the food is barely OK.

Incidentally, there is no connection between the Locanda on Torcello and Cipriani on Giudecca; the Locanda is owned by the Ciprianis who own Harry's Bar in Venice and Cipriani in NYC, where they were charged with $10 million tax evasion.

Torcello is not blessed with many restaurants. I had a very good meal at Al Ponte del Diavolo some years ago, but the last time I went by, it looked deserted.

I would also suggest Burano; it's only a ten-minute ferry ride from Torcello.

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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 04:02 AM
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I believe "no connection" requires a bit of clarification. Locanda Cipriani in Torcello maintains trademark rights to the name "Cipriani." Legally, this is a substantial "connection" but it doesn't guarantee great tasting food in Torcello's Locanda Cipriani restaurant.

Giuseppe Cipriani is the founder of all three Venice locations bearing the Cipriani name. Giuseppe's daughter, Carla, took over the Torcello business in 1982. Carla's son, Bonifacio Brass, is the current owner.

A bit of trademark history from Hotel Interactive:

<i>&quot;Hotel Cipriani in Venice was built in 1958 by Lord Iveagh of the Guinness family in collaboration with Giuseppe Cipriani senior, a restaurateur and owner of the famous Harry’s Bar in Venice. In 1967, Giuseppe Cipriani senior sold his entire interest in the company which owned Hotel Cipriani (Hotel Cipriani SRL) and agreed that company and the Hotel Villa Cipriani (also at that time owned by the Guinness family) would have the exclusive right to use the name ‘Cipriani’. An exception was made for the business which became Locanda Cipriani on Torcello Island.

In 1976, the company Hotel Cipriani SRL was purchased by one of the companies of the Sea Containers Group, later becoming part of Orient-Express Hotels. Hotel Cipriani had been in decline for many years prior to 1976 but after that date, benefited from massive investment from its new owners. It expanded hugely, creating two new restaurants, conference and banqueting facilities and restoring the gardens.

Long before 1996, when Hotel Cipriani SRL filed for the trademark, Hotel Cipriani was generally recognised as one of the world’s leading hotels, winning awards and welcoming celebrities, crowned heads of Europe and political leaders among its many loyal guests. The hotel’s restaurants have always been a fundamental part of the hotel offering and contributed to its reputation, winning their own accolades for food quality, service and ambience.&quot;</i>

I haven't been to Torcello since 2004. The island doesn't do much for me. I can't speak to recent experience with the Locanda restaurant. If I find myself on Torcello soon, I will eat there and take notes.
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 04:50 AM
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We also had a good meal at
Al Ponte del Diavolo
but that was two years ago.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 08:44 PM
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Try the trattoria on Mazzorbo - it's not patronised by tourists, and I can't comment on the food at all.
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Old Mar 4th, 2009, 03:21 PM
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Peter, the problem is the trattorie on Mazzorbo - there used to be two of them - are living EXCLUSIVELY on tourists, to my, well, surprise would be pure understatement: to my astonishment. I, too, thought, hey, it must be fine to dine on Mazzorbo with those tourist throngs on nearby Burano... but lucky me, I made the acquaintance of one of the few inhabitants of Mazzorbo just in time, and he talked me out of giving either of the trattorie there a try, swearing they made their money on tourist GROUPS only (of course, hardly any individual tourist finds his/her way to Mazzorbo). He said the only decent food anywhere in that part of the lagoon was available at Gatto Nero on Burano, but he also said it was heavily overpriced (which I can confirm after reading the menu, and which has always prevented me from trying ever since). That guy from Mazzorbo should know about fine sea (or better: lagoon) food, since he was a fisherman for decades when he was younger, and still had his own boat and would eat only vongole that he had pulled out of the lagoon ooze with his own hand...
I confirm, Locanda Cipriani has never served any more-than-OK food. A nice upscale restaurant experience, but not a place for foodies.
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Old Mar 4th, 2009, 03:46 PM
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Friends of mine also enjoyed their meal at Al Ponte del Diavolo, but that was some years ago.

I couldn't get into Gatto Nero on Burano, and a reservation is advised. It's a hike from the boat dock. I ended up eating in a very tiny place near the Lace Museum (which I didn't go into) which was filled with pinball machines. I had pasta with mussels -- and it wasn't the worst meal I've had in that area by a long shot, and it was very, very cheap.

Any thought to waiting to see how the weather is and toting out a panini picnic with wine? Surely eating on the grass isn't banned there too?
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Old Mar 4th, 2009, 06:21 PM
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I went to the Gatto Nero about 5 years ago and still dream about it. And it wasn't overrun or overpriced. But things change.
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Old Nov 26th, 2012, 10:15 PM
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Torcello is such a piece of Venetian history and relatively untouched
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Old Nov 27th, 2012, 01:54 AM
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Sydney - this tread is over 3 years old - how did you come to revive it?

and flanner - where did you eat on Torcello? we ate at the apparently despised Tronno Attila and actually enjoyed it very much - and it was far less of a rip off than the venitian restaurant we'd eaten at the day before. We ate in the normal restaurant room right next to a roaring fire [very welcome in the fog] and had excellent service and food.

there was a dining room at the back but it was full of italians who came out looking happy enough.
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