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Venice Restaurant help for Anniversary dinner!

Venice Restaurant help for Anniversary dinner!

Old Apr 19th, 2007, 08:04 PM
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Venice Restaurant help for Anniversary dinner!

I had a restaurant picked out from a post on this board, but don't know what I did with it. I am looking for a nice romantic restaurant to celebrate our 15 yr anniversary (the whole reason for the trip to Italy). My husband does not eat seafood and is not very adventurous with his food. And recommendations for our special night? Thanks.
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Old Apr 19th, 2007, 10:53 PM
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Texgirl-first, what area are you staying in, and how much were you thinking of spending, excluding wine? The truth is that the better restaurants in Venice are not the most romantic, but there are two that I can think of which are very nice, the first, TAVERNA LA FENICE, is moderately expensive, a lovely restaurant well-loved by Venetians, so you will see more locals than tourists here-the interior is elegant and gilded, like the interior of a palazzo, and the outdoor dining area overlooks the small campo behind La Fenice opera house. All sorts of opera stars come here to dine, as well as the President of Italy and his wife. There are both seafood and meat dishes, excellent food, elegant and quite romantic. If you click on these individual pictures, they will become large color photographs showing the interior of the restaurant:

www.ristorantelafenice.it/it/inside.htm

The other restaurant is considerably more expensive, as it is the dining room at the Bauer Hotel, DE PISIS-however, this restaurant has a FABULOUS outdoor terrace overlooking the Grand Canal. Although I've not dined there, I know friends who have and liked their meal very much, but the view while dining is the thing-it would be hard to beat. You can look at the dining room, and their menu, which looks very good to me (although quite expensive), here:

www.bauervenezia.com/dining.html
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Old Apr 20th, 2007, 10:03 AM
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Tex-for some reason I neglected to add one of my favorite restaurants, (too tired to post, I think) fairly expensive, but far less than the hotel restaurant De Pisis, and it is located in San Marco-RISTORANTE SEMPIONE.

This is considered by a number of Venetians to be one of the most romantic locations, and if you make reservations in advance, requesting a table by the window or outdoor terrace, you'll see the gondolas gliding by while you are dining! So lovely! There are few good dining spots in Venice where that can be said-and the food here is excellent-I was here last September 2006 and had their fresh grilled branzino (a type of sea bass) -their emphasis is of course on fresh seafood, however, they have meat courses as well, so no worries here for the hubby. Excellent service as well. This restaurant is well-known by locals, but not a lot of tourists-I recommended this restaurant to another Fodor's poster who is going to Venice, who is looking for some special restaurants.

Here is a lovely picture of the outside of the restaurant:

pkarle.tripod.com/images/sempione.jpg

And here is their address and a map:

www.alsempione.com/mapuk.htm
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Old Apr 20th, 2007, 11:05 AM
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to girlspytravel
could you give me an idea of the price for your dinner at La Fenice or Sempione. Thank you so much.
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Old Apr 20th, 2007, 11:52 AM
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also wondering if reservations are needed, and if so, how far in advance for both La Fenice and Sempione. WE are headed there, too.
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Old Apr 20th, 2007, 02:18 PM
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Okay, I think if you are going to be at Taverna La Fenice on an evening other than Friday, Saturday night, or, if there is no opera performance on at La Fenice (btw, it looks like the world premiere of Verdi's La Traviata, scheduled to open at La Fenice next week, is going to be felled by a "sciopero" -strike-very bad-as this is where the opera was first performed in the 1850's)

But I digress. If there is a performance going on the night you want to dine there, I would make reservations-but you wouldn't have to do it weeks in advance, by any means, once you get to Venice, just have your hotel make the reservation for you, and make sure to specify if you want outdoor (al fresco) dining or indoor. Other than the weekends, and the fact that there may be a performance going on, I don't think you'd have to worry about reservations, you'd have no trouble getting a table.

As to prices, I hate to give estimations, because it depends, obviously, on how many courses you want to take-but generally speaking, both at Taverna La Fenice (which is definitely more of what you might consider a prestigious restaurant in Venetian society) and Trattoria Sempione, we're looking somewhere in the order of between 30-60 Euros for a meal, without wine, on the higher side for Taverna La Fenice, and a bit lower for Trattoria Sempione. I'm thinking primi, secondi, and dessert with that, not wine and water.

As to reservations at Trattoria Sempione, I WOULD have the hotel make reservations for that table that sits right in front of the canal, so you could have the best view of the gondolas as they glide by your table. I think anyone who chooses this trattoria will be very happy with the food, service and ambience-extremely good value for money spent.

And as for Taverna La Fenice, I love it because it is a very elegant, upscale Venetian restaurant, one feels a part of Venetian society when one dines here, rather than going to some foodie restaurant in Venice where all you see are foodie/tourists.

Trattoria Sempione is casual dress, but for Taverna La Fenice, a little bit more dressy-simply because it's attached to La Fenice, and the artists, actors who are in Venice or are performing at La Fenice all come here. Try the panna cotta (one of my absolute favorite desserts) with the "frutti di bosco" (blackberry) sauce -excellent.

I don't think that other link on my post above shows the Sempione restaurant, but here is another link-someone recommended the restaurant, and there is a really good photograph of the outside (this restaurant gets photographed frequently, it seems, because of its picturesque location). Click on the picture to enlarge--it's in a very romantic location. It's funny, thoug, I'd passed by this restaurant via the adjacent bridge many times on my way to Rialto, but until friends suggested we go there last summer, I had never really noticed it. It was a lovely dining experience.

members.tripod.com/pkarle/sempione.htm
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Old Apr 21st, 2007, 04:28 AM
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It depends where you are staying in Venice . I have recently returned and enjoyed some superb meals at three restaurants , two in Cannaregio and one by the Rialto bridge . The two in Cannaregio were , Vini da Gigio , along Fondamenta San Felice - absolutely excellent - you have to book but they have their own web site . The second , also fabulous food , is Anice Stellato , just over the bridge from the Ghetto , along Fondamenta della Sensa . You have to book here as it's so popular with the locals - both are also close to a super little enoteca , Al Timon , along fondamenta degli Ormesini , where you can have a pre dinner glass of wine . The third , and equally good restaurant , is Alla Madonna , Calle Madonna , very close to the ancient bacaro , Do Mori , great for an aperitivo prior to your meal . Enjoy !
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Old Apr 21st, 2007, 06:21 AM
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Hi texgirl,

It's been a few years, but I had a fabulous dinner at Al Covo. Food was excellent, service and atmosphere excellent too! It's in the San Marco area, but a ways away from the Piazza toward the Arsenale. Expensive, worth it, and you will need res. Ask your hotel for directions, not hard to find.

Buon apetito
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Old Apr 21st, 2007, 07:33 AM
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Parajoe, while I agree that "Alla Madonna" is an excellent osteria for dinner, very good seafood, it is not the least bit intimate or romantic-there are several dining rooms, -this is where all the locals come for lunch, and many for dinner, it is a great mix of both tourists and locals-a real Venetian institution, and highly recommended, but not for a romantic dinner. Very fast, efficient service here-and one of the few places where you will actually see locals having dinner in a restaurant! (Venetians always are out having cichetti and spritz, then usually go home to eat dinner). Alla Madonna is a great place to go if you are over in Rialto, taking pictures and/or shopping during lunchtime.

And Cantina Do Mori, a great atmospheric bacaro (wine bar) from the 14th century, with its copper pots-I recomend checking this place out, having cichetti (tasty little appetizers-that are primarily fish and/or veggie based, and which I miss every day when I'm not in Venice) and a glass of "ombra" (wine-to the locals), however these days, you'll see mostly tourists there, because it changed hands a couple of years ago and the new owners hiked the prices, plus it is mentioned in every guidebook around the world, but justifiably so, for its ancientness and atmosphere.

Most of the Venetian crowd hangs out at BANCOGIRO, (prices are better) DO SPADE, and the ever popular AL MERCA (all of these great little bacaros, and Do Mori, are located in and around Campo San Giacometto, with its ancient church (the oldest in Venice-7th century) anchoring one end of the campo with its huge 24hour clock face, a real gathering spot in the evening for Venetians in the 20-40 (and beyond) age group. Very easy to find, as it is right behind the Rialto fruit and vegetable market, (vaporetto stop-Rialto, or Rialto Mercato). Everyone who goes to Venice ought to spend at least one evening in the campo at the bacaros during the "aperitivo" hour having either a "spritz"- (made with aperol-to give it the orange color) or glass of wine, to take part in this, most Venetian institution. I love Campo San Giacometto-particularly in the summer, because there's always something going on here at night, live bands, frequently, sometimes people come here to give lectures or even political speeches-great place to people watch.


And Dayle, word is mixed on "Al Covo" -this is one of those foodie restaurants, where you see almost all tourists who have read about the restaurant in guidebooks. It is owned and operated by a Venetian chef and his Texas-born wife Diane-I ate here a few years ago, and thought it was good, carefully prepared, but really, really expensive, for what I got, and my thoughts later were that I have had equally good, if not better meals in Venice where I did not spend nearly so much-(hence my recommendations) Plus, if you are staying anywhere other than in Castello/San Marco-it's quite a hike to get here-by the Arsenale stop down the waterfront. It's simply too expensive for what you get-I did not find the price/value ratio to be worth it here.
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Old Apr 21st, 2007, 08:08 AM
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We had dinner at AL COVO last August and it was very good, good service, expensive and a lovely setting...That said DA IVO was fabulous, romantic, expensive also, but the best meal we have ever had in Italy. We are still talking about returning to Venice just to eat at DA IVO again. Don't miss it...its in the San Marco area but away from the crowds.
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Old Apr 21st, 2007, 08:50 AM
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Actually, Texgirl, Dorie's recommendation is a very good one for you-this is a restaurant with an emphasis on Tuscan, cuisine, which means steaks, and the famous "bistecca Fiorentina" very tiny, romantic, and if I'm correct, it also has a canal view (have not been there). For someone who does not eat seafood, this may well be the place to go.
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Old Apr 21st, 2007, 09:09 AM
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Girlspytravel,

Well we all have our opinions, and tastes. I liked it and felt it worth the money. I have a right to recommend it.
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Old Apr 21st, 2007, 09:54 AM
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Absolutely. You'll get no disagreement from me there whatsoever.
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Old Apr 21st, 2007, 10:29 AM
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Girlspytravel, Your right, DA IVO does have a window on the canal and while we were there the gondoliers were passing by and singing their hearts out...soooo wonderful!
Texgirl, Here is the address and telephone number
DA IVO
Ramo dei Fuseri
San Marco 1809 Phone# 041/5285004
reservations are a must.
They are known for their Florentine steaks, sea food, and pastas. Enjoy, and let us know how you liked it.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2007, 12:25 PM
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Dorie...Da Ivo sounds really good. Can you give me an idea of the price and dress?

Thanks.
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