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Venice - picked restaurants based on rec's from fodorites...which for dinner, which for lunch??

Venice - picked restaurants based on rec's from fodorites...which for dinner, which for lunch??

Old Aug 2nd, 2002, 02:05 PM
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Venice - picked restaurants based on rec's from fodorites...which for dinner, which for lunch??

OK...so I've done the right thing and searched all over this board for Venice restaurants, and of course I've found more than my days there will allow.

We will have 3 lunches and 3 dinners. I want to "mix it up" and go to neighborhood places and maybe do a splurge or two, some with views, some seafood, some pasta, some meats...which of these restaurants should we do for dinner and which for lunch? Are there any I should skip? Also...I'm finding it a little difficult to find price ranges for these places, so if you know that too, that would be great!

Restaurant Da Raffaele
Alla Madonna
Corte Sconta
Ai Gondolieri
Harry's Dolci (heard it was a good lunch spot)
San Trovaso
Fiaschetteria Toscana
Vino Vino
da Gigio

I know I have left out da Fiore, Antica Martitni, Al Cove, but I don't think we have room to pack a coat/dress shoes for my husband so we are staying away from the fanciest of places.
Old Aug 2nd, 2002, 03:56 PM
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The only one I am familiar with on your list is Gondolieri. We did a fixed price menu dinner there. Quite enjoyable. It's very intimate seating in a small dining room. Price was not cheap but not overwhelming, fair for the meal served.
Old Aug 2nd, 2002, 04:15 PM
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Just want to say that there was no need to dress up for dinner. My husband didn't bring a jacket or tie and there was no need to. But then our luggage was lost, so we were limited. We ate at San Trovaso the first night. We stayed at La Calcina and wanted something close by. My husband ordered gnocchi and I had sea bass with delicious side order of spinach. I can't remember if we had a first course. But on average with either .5 liter or liter of house wine all our meals were approximately E45.00-E50.00 Euro. for the two of us at dinner. Alla Madonna was E60.00 with risotto, grilled vegetable platter (large) and a type of fish called Orta. We also had dessert there. Friendlier staff than San Trovaso. We got there late and the wait staff gave us some of their food to try-a platter of grilled cherry tomatoes. San Trovaso was very good also but less attentive. We also ate at Vini Da Gigio and ordered a pasta dish with a pistacchio sauce and ravioli with a cream based sauce. Again, the price was about E50.00 with wine. No dessert. Unless the desserts were really special, I rather stroll through the streets and get a gelato along the way. Al Gondolieri was closed but our hotel said it was one of the best in the area. They also recommended REstaurant Montini. Menu looked good. My only regret was canceling reservations at Al Cove. With the loss of the luggage things were a bit aggravating and we opted to just wander around and find a restaurant that looked appealing. We didn't have full lunches but stopped by local "bars" such as Al Marca -212 Erberia Rialto off the Rialto Bridge for delicious panini sandwiches.

Old Aug 2nd, 2002, 08:03 PM
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Hi Monica,

When I had dinner at Al Covo there was no need for jackets. Although it's very fine dining, the waiters and diners were dressed nice casual. Ladies nice pants outfits/summer dresses & men nice casual pants & knit shirts.

It's a fabulous restaurant & the owners professional & friendly. The husband is the native Venician & the wife is a Texas gal, Debbie, if I remember correctly. He is the head chef & she is the pastry chef. The deserts are to die for! They met while working at one of the major chain hotels in Houston.

Buon Appetito!
Old Aug 3rd, 2002, 08:40 AM
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I would definately do Fiaschetteria Toscana for dinner. It is a major food spot and has one of the great wine lists around. We always go over board there.

You have not left any lunches for stopping in at wine bars like Do Mori and Achiuguette. These places have wonderful food and greaet wines by the glass. You just stand at the bar and point out what you want to eat.

I have not eaten at Vino da Gigio but it comes very highly recommended by Andrei Kodrescu (Sp?) of NPR fame (a good friend of ours works for NPR) and our friends loved it.

We loved Alla Frasca and Ca d'Opr (alla Padova) as well, very nice neighborhood places. Alla Frasca is on the way to Fondamenta Nuova where you can catch the Vaporetti to Murano and (with a transfer) to Torcello. Small, about 6 tables, one pasta offered for lunch from 12:30 to 1:30, great cicchetti, lousy wine but great spritz campari or spritz aperol (a shot of the aperitivo, a little lousy white wine and a splash of minerale, a Veniziana tradition).

Ca D'Oro is round the corner from the museum of the same name which I highly recommend. The restaurant has wonderful fried fish and the house wine is drinkable.

Da Pinto is a neighborhood place in the fish market area on Campo delle Becarie. Go for the grilled fish platter (sardines, baby sole, anchovies, cuttlefish, squid all grilled and splashed with olive oil) after an antipasto of Bacala alla Mantecana or Salumi Nostrano (house cured salamis). Great wines offered on a very short list. Wines from Doro Princic are really special. Try a Tocai Friulano or a Pinot Bianco. Cheap and wonderful.
Old Aug 3rd, 2002, 09:12 AM
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Thanks for the great replies. I guess I hadn't even thought of the little "bars" for lunch! Can anyone give me a better idea of what kind of food we will find there? I am a little nervous about walking in somewhere and seeing platters of unidentifiable food! Are there good procuitto (sp!) and cheese sand wiches and the like? And are the panini heated liek they are here sometimes?

Sorry to be so specfic, but I am a major foodie and hearing about/planning our meals is so much fun!

Also, about not having to dress up in the nicer restaurants - is this the case even for da Fiore? This seems to be the pinnacle of Venetian dining!
Old Aug 3rd, 2002, 10:18 AM
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Corte sconta for dinner also alla madonna at dinner and harry's dolci for lunch..think we had lunch at Raffaele, if that's the place nr or in Hotel Flora
Old Aug 3rd, 2002, 01:16 PM
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At the little bar I told you about there is a counter where you can see sandwiches already prepared. There is also a sign where you can make your own, and you can figure out easily what they are. Know some basics of food in Italian. Most words are close to the English version. For example, you can have eggplant(melazine (sp?) with mozzarella and tomato or spinach with fresh ricotta cheese. The one my husband had was mushroom with something else. They heated it for him and it was delicious, as was the one I had. One thing you must try to remember is that you can hardly ever have a bad meal in Italy. Don't be afraid to try something. The ingredients are so fresh, like nowhere else. The only thing I didn't experiment with was sardines. Just not my thing, but I bet they would be great.

Old Aug 3rd, 2002, 08:59 PM
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There are so many items at the various bacari that you have to just take a shot sometimes. But here are a few of the regular items you will find often-

sandwiches that go under the name panini, francobolli (at Do Mori), bruschette or crostini for open faced sandwiches)

meatballs made from parts called nervetti

canocchi- small mantis prawns served boiled

Bacala alla Mantecana- dried stockfish reconstituted and whipped with olive oil.

various anchovy preparations (especially at Achiugette)

Sieppi- cuttle fish (looks like a squid crossed with an octopus, great grilled)

Alici marinated raw anchovies

Capesante Lunghi- Razor clams

Many wine bars will ahve a specialty sandwich. At Do mori its a slice of Musetto (a sausage made from odd parts of the pig's head) on a french type roll with very strong mustard. At Achiugette its a sandwich with a couple of anchovies in it.

Be sure to try the local wines from the veneto. Tocai from Friuli and whites from trentino are also very nice. Try Fragolino, both red and white. The red is sweet and fizzy. The white is sweet and rich, very low in alcohol. Both are next to impossible to find int he US.
Old Aug 4th, 2002, 07:11 AM
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Here is what I wrote in my diary on the Raffaele.

"We set out at 7.30 to look for a restaurant nearby and choose the Ristorante da Raffaele, near the hotel, at Ponte delle Ostreghe, S Marco 2347. The service is excellent, the waiter is friendly and takes time to explain the menu, chat and laugh with us and with the international family next to us.

The waiter brings out fresh bread and breadsticks, which are particularly nice. I have fegato (liver) in the Venetian way - chopped and served with soft strings of thinly sliced fried onions and polenta - it's delicious. Pete has an excellently tender fillet of beef with a generous and rich gorgonzola sauce (on the daily specials menu). Ordering it medium means it comes wonderfully red, as in France, and he really enjoys it. We both have mixed salads as our side vegetable, which are a nice mix of salad leaves, tomatoes and grated carrots.

For dessert I enjoy a truly excellent home made Panna Cotta (on the daily specials menu) which is served with a strawberry coulis and fresh chopped strawberries. Pete has the Tartufo with liqueur (available with or without). It's an ice-cream dessert, a white ice cream centre surrounded by chocolate ice-cream and a thin coat of chocolate. It's served in a dish with the sweet liqueur around it. The taste of the liqueur is so intensely familiar to both of us, yet it's a memory from youngest childhood. Eventually we ask the waiter for the bottle, and learn that it's called Elisir Borso. After much debate, and having the family next to us taste it, we guess that perhaps it's the flavour of some very common medicine taken in our childhood. The waiter has asked around and comes back to say that a colleague believes the liqueur might be based on radicchio and herbs. We are none the wiser but appreciate his assistance and friendliness.

We also have a litre of water and half a litre pitcher of house red wine. The bill including cover and 12% service comes to 88 Euros, we leave an additional tip on top."

Hope that gives an idea...

We did find that adding starters would add significantly to the bill as the prices were often not much less than the prices for main meals.

The best two meals we had in our 6 day stay, hands down, were at La Rivista. Very easy to find, near the Accademia bridge, on the Dorsoduro side.

If you'd like details let me know.

I wrote a similar summary of all our meals into my trip diary, (along with everything else we visited) and would be happy to share it if you email me.

Have a great trip!

Old Aug 5th, 2002, 06:47 AM
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I too, love Panna Cotta, and its usually my dessert of choice. On my most recent trip to Venice we ate at San Travaso one night, it was very good, and another Alla Madonna, which was also very good.
Old Aug 5th, 2002, 06:53 AM
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For sure, Harry's Dolci for lunch. And I'd do Corte Sconda for lunch too. Their outdoor patio is fun and has overhead vines so you get a dappled effect that intensifies as you sip the new wine from the barrel. We did Ai Gondeleri for lunch but I'd say it would be better for dinner. And I'd choose it over Da Fiore. We had a wonderful crab pasta thing there.
Old Aug 5th, 2002, 07:15 AM
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Why oh why did you omit Da Fiore - and please don't tell me about what you're not packing! This is simply the best in Venice, as some have been telling you. Just one more plea, and then I'm done: include Da Fiore, and you'll not be sorry. The ones you listed are fine, but don't come up to Da Fiore. If this is your first trip, why not take our advice, from those who've been there many times, and know most if not all the restaurants. But I do not mean to be a bore. Whatever you decide I am certain will be terrific, so have a great trip.
Old Aug 5th, 2002, 08:10 AM
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I am VERY tempted to go to Da Fiore as it sounds incredible. Is the clothing thing really not a valid concern?

We are going to do everything in our power to only bring a carry-on for 2 weeks, so that means my husband would go there is a button down, nice slacks, and semi-casul black shoes. Are you sure there is no jacket/tie requirements?
Old Aug 5th, 2002, 08:23 AM
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Why not throw in or let him wear a casual jacket, at least for the nighttime possibilities. Not a major issue, and takes a small action to be prepared just in case. Check out Da Fiore, and see how it compares. Then you decide. Keep in mind that you're having seafood there - let them select a nice white from the Veneto area. Best to stay with the locals - they complement the food better than the big reds, etc. Da Firoe is great for either lunch or dinner, but do get directions - a bit hard to locate.
Old Aug 6th, 2002, 07:52 AM
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We searched for several of these restaurants while in Venice based on recs here as well. Some were quite difficult to find -- I'd recommend getting the street address and good map (which was invaluable in so many ways). Vino Vino (for lunch) wasn't nearly as good as we'd hoped. It was quite average although reasonably priced -- lunch was a served buffet. None of the locations we could find opened before noon for lunch, and we couldn't find a place open after 2:30 for a late bite to eat. Also, wanting to eat before our 8PM gondola ride was impossible at these recommended places too -- nothing was open around 7 PM for dinner.
Old Aug 6th, 2002, 07:55 AM
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I would compromise...go to some of them for brunch, and others for lunner (or dinch). That way, you do not have to choose between lunch and dinner.
Old Aug 6th, 2002, 07:57 AM
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Monica - Have you ever thought of the possibility that you might just stumble across an interesting restaurant, and that not every step of your trip has to be preplanned!
Old Aug 6th, 2002, 08:06 AM
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Good advice. However, I am the kind of traveler that likes to leave with as much info as possible then make my decisions when I get there.

And there is no way to know without asking people if certain places are better suited for lunch or dinner, so all in all, I am just gathering info to "be prepared".

Also, some restaurants require reservations so I would like to be prepared in that instance as well.

I will heed the advice of poeple on this board, but be VERY willing to stumble in somewhere if it suits us!
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