VENICE -- Food or Drink Specialties?

Mar 25th, 2005, 02:24 PM
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VENICE -- Food or Drink Specialties?

I'm making up a little list for my trip. In New Orleans they have their gumbo and Hurricanes; San Francisco it's sourdough bread and Dungeness crab; and New England have their lobsters, etc.

So, in that vein, if you were visiting VENICE,

(1) What city or regional food or drink* specialty is something you MUST experience because it's just not the same anywhere else; and

(2) At what place or establishment in particular prepares or provides it the best?
mbresso is offline  
Mar 25th, 2005, 02:29 PM
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Veneto wines like Soave classico. Seafood risotto.
Calves liver (sorry) which was actually pretty good.
Sgroppino - a dessert/digestif composed of lemon ice, vodka, and something else which i can't remember, whizzed in a blender, and drunk from a glass. Delish.
Try Da Ignazio for everything, on the island of Burano there is a great seafood place called Il Gatto Nero.
veronica53 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2005, 02:29 PM
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Venice is noteworthy for many seafood dishes, and for liver and onions.
Many places also offer as a first course, sardines in saor, fresh sardines cooked in a slightly sweet and sour sauce.

Harry's Bar is said to have invented the Bellini cocktail, white peach puree with prosecco wine, but I can't necessarily recommend going to Harry's to have it. I don't care for it as a restaurant or as a bar. Many places in Venice offer Bellinis.

For restaurant recommendations, did you have any particular budget in mind?

Nothing I eat or drink in Venice is the same as anywhere else, because eating and drinking well, combined with just being in Venice, is the MUST experience.
elaine is offline  
Mar 25th, 2005, 02:38 PM
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I know these don't sound particularly special, but I love:

- the sidewalk standup bars all over town where you can stop in any time of day for a quick glass of cold white wine.

- the pre made sandwiches that small cafes have in glass cases (sliced hard boiled egg with tomato, roasted vegetables, etc.)
suze is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 06:08 AM
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Hi m,

Venice is known for its seafood, much of which can't be found anywhere else.

In addition to Soave, there is Pinot Grigio.

We had a Mercato Vendemenia - an assertive and slightly resinous white with a bit of fizz, that I have not seen elsewhere.

ira is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 08:05 AM
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I've got to tell you...and I know many will go "yuk" but the calves liver is just fabulous. I found a recipe after I got home, on, and actually cooked it..I loved it so much I wanted to see if I could duplicate it. They use olive oil and season with sage and lemon and capers I think...but it is wonderful. It was served with fried dinner I had in Venice. I can't recommend it enough. I don't have liver much at home...calves liver is almost impossible to find and that's the only liver I'll eat except for chicken livers.
crefloors is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 11:32 AM
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Venice and Veneto is known for the calf liver dish and I love it too!! I understand from a family member (who is a biologist) it is not healthy to eat liver all the time but I sure eat it when I am in Veneto.

The risotto with peas in another wonderful dish. And normally I don't even like peas!

And do try the wine Prosecco! It is so refreshing.

LoveItaly is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 07:45 PM
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I would echo most of the above (don't know about meat): Prosecco-THE drink of Venice (and the natives DON'T cater to the Bellini, either-they drink it straight!)

However, the drink that will really mark you as a local in Venice is the SPRITZ. I had it at the funky and interesting Metropole bar on the Riva degli Schiavone-a mixture of prosecco, Campari or bitters, a slice of blood orange and an olive -it's NOT bad-really! (Metropole bar will serve all kinds of cicheti to you on large spoons-nobody but locals in there when I was there, as well).

For an excellent bacaro -I can highly recommend "da Aciugheta" in Castello-right off the ancient Calle de le Rasse-- this Calle is a turn to the left off the Riva degli Schiavone (from San Marco) and San Zaccaria-really, you should try to find it, and walk it-full of shops, local bars and restaurants, good mix of tourists and locals in this area.

The restaurant da Aciugheta has 2 sections-one for the tourists, and the second- ha! for the locals-with its own separate entrance! I was taken immediately to the local section-(I did speak some Italian). GREAT cicheti-sardines in saor, mini pizzetti with sardines, shrimp and lobster pieces, also octopus (any long-time Japanophile will eat this any which way!) and a bit of salad-I was done. The wine selection they have there is great. One of the best Chiantis I've ever had in my life was when the barista asked me what I wanted, and I told him Chianti, but, surprise me! He brought me a glass of Chianti (then another) to die for. I should have written down the label-really, it was superb with the seafood. (drinking white wine with seafood is old school, btw).

The great thing about this bacaro is that local Venetians would come in with their dogs and friends and have a quick vino rosso at the bar and a cicheti or two, chat with the barista, and leave. Seated at a table would be ATVO vaporetto operators who would order a lovely pizza and Coke before their shift-loved this place. Now on the other side-tourists! paying more expensive prices for really good pasta dishes and the cicheti that wasn't quite as extensive as on the local side-very interesting! I'll come back here, for sure.
Spygirl is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 08:35 PM
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Do you think if my 21 year old daughter speaks a few words of Italian (she's studying in Siena) they'd put us all in the local section? Sounds like the place to be?
artlover is offline  
Mar 26th, 2005, 08:38 PM
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oh sure. just walk in the other entrance!
Spygirl is offline  
Mar 27th, 2005, 07:17 PM
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Thanks, spygirl. Will let you know how it goes.
artlover is offline  
Mar 27th, 2005, 08:12 PM
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Can't believe no one has yet mentioned limoncello, the after dinner liqueur. It's everywhere. But prosecco is the best. And while I love the atmosphere of Harry's Bar, I have to agree with Elaine on their bellinis. Despite having supposedly invented them, I found it too sweet and preferred just plain prosecco.

And for sandwiches, there is locally grown radicchio which makes tuna salad taste divine. My local sandwich place was in Dorsudoro on Calle Toletto (near the Pensione Accademia).

There is a pasta dish with squid in black ink. Didn't have it but I know it's a local specialty.
mclaurie is offline  
Mar 27th, 2005, 09:39 PM
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calimari!squid ink pasta (dare you to smile while you're eating it!) Bellinis!
massagediva is offline  
Mar 28th, 2005, 06:43 AM
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I agree about the spritz being a local specialty. When we were in Venice my husband always went next door to this grouchy, old Italian man's bar near the Rialto and ordered one while I was busy at the net cafe.

My DH always came back with all sorts of stories about the various things the old man would gripe to him about, yet admitted that the man made the best spritz he's ever had.
Statia is offline  
Mar 28th, 2005, 09:46 AM
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I prefer the spritz be made with Aperol instead of campari. Aperol is sweeter, less bitter than Campari. Aperol is the only alcohol I bring back from Italy becuase there is no distributor for it here.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
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