Wow. Why am I always surprised by wonderful Venice? Each returning visit becomes a new revelation. The city without cars and trucks, with, instead, blue-lagoony canals and narrow walking lanes with quaint bridges, and architecture that charms with every glance. There’s a reason why travelers flock here. It’s enchanting. And the Venetians know the paradise they own. I just led a wonderful group of cooks to Venice where we cooked together and dined out to our heart’s content (very contented!). With every Venice stay I become completely re-enchanted.
The cuisine of Venice is filled with specific specialties. Lots of fish, seafood, shellfish: seppie, scallops, crab, shrimp, scampi, vongole, mussels, octopus, rombo, branzino, orata… And other classics like fegato alla Veneziana (liver), carpaccio, polenta, artichokes, sardines in soar (sweet/sour), and the bellini.
Many many (many) restaurants are wonderful. But I have a few favorites, particularly in the neighborhood of Dorsoduro where I usually stay.
Taverna San Trovaso is always reliable with a varied menu of delicious. The ambience hugs you with warmth and character and the staff, sometimes aloof, can always be coaxed to smile and join in with your enthusiasm.
San Trovaso staff
Favs here: spaghetti alle vongole….
spaghetti alle vongole at San Trovaso
fegato alla Veneziana…
fegato alla veneziana at San Trovaso
Fran with pizza at Taverna San Trovaso
our lunch break from shopping
Not far from here, still in Dorsoduro is a small trattoria called Ai Cugnai ( “at the in-laws”). We had dinner in their back room which doubles as a terrace when the retractable ceiling is open. It was a breezy, almost rainy night so the ceiling was closed, which added to the coziness. Favorite dishes are their baby octopus salad “moscardini” …
“moscardini” at Ai Cugnai
the beef carpaccio…
carpaccio at Ai Cugnai
and the mixed seafood pasta…
mixed seafood pasta at Ai Cugnai
Ai Cugnai house wine
Still in Dorsoduro is a small restaurant that really feels like someone’s home cooking. Quattro Feri is on a small street off of Campo San Barnaba. We had their stellar spaghetti with scampi…
spaghetti with scampi at Quattro Feri
Also some great spaghetti alle vongole here. And do not leave without having dessert. Here’s their apricot jam crostata…
crostata marmellatta at Quattro Feri
We strayed from Dorsoduro for our other favorite La Zucca in the Santa Croce sestiere. Every Venice stay must include a visit to La Zucca. Their specialty is inventive vegetarian dishes but they do not shy away from meat. I went for the pork Marsala…
pork Marsala at La Zucca
We all skipped around the menu…each dish perfect…
braised fennel at La Zucca
asparagus at La Zucca
vegetable lasagna at La Zucca
tagliatelle w duck ragu at La Zucca
Exciting food in Venice. The more I know it, the more I love it. And the more I learn to cook it at home. An infinite excitement!
cooking fava beans in Venice