Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Risotto featured prominently...

Nearly every time I tried to research restaurants in Venice I was told the same thing: "overpriced and not very good, too touristy, but here's a list of 20 restaurants I liked." My own experience is that Venice restaurants are indeed on the expensive side (though probably less shocking to someone used to New York City prices). But we found plenty to eat, and even some particularly memorable meals.

The least expensive option is to buy one of the many slices of pizza or wrap sandwiches sold all over Venice. These are usually around three Euros. Here's the catch, though. Europeans do not walk and eat at the same time. You sit, you enjoy your food, and then you move on. What about coffee? Especially coffee! Again, you sit, you enjoy your coffee, then you go on your way. The take-away windows wrap your food so you can find a place to sit down and eat your sandwich before walking to your next destination.

We enjoyed the following restaurants.

Al nono risorto
Sottoportico di Siora Bettina, Santa Croce 2338. Phone 041 5241169
This place is known for their pizza, which is good. But our guide recommended a specialty for our appetizer, sardines cooked for a long time in vinegar with onions and raisins. Unlike the fresh sardines I tried to cook a couple months ago, these sardines were boneless. The onions were carmelized and with the raisins added a bright sweetness to the salty and tangy fish.

Ristorante Villa 600
F.ta Manin, 67/68 - Murano (whatever that means -- it's right on the walk to the Santa Maria Assunta) tel. 39.041.739310
This is the place that rescued us when we arrived in Torcello -- they took in all 30-or-so of us with no notice and perfect cheerfulness. We enjoyed a lovely shrimp and artichoke risotto, salad, and a mixed platter of fried and grilled seafood including langoustine, squid, and monkfish.

Osteria Santa Marina
Castello, Campo Santa Marina 5911 tel. 041.528.5239
This is where we officially celebrated Monroe's birthday. Lane and I got a sitter for the night. Roberto arranged that for us -- she's an expat from San Francisco staying in one of their apartments, so sweet. She and Jasper had a great time exploring the pensione, especially the "jewels," inlaid glass on the 4th floor. But the fun ended when he suddenly remembered to miss us and had a meltdown. Lane was kind enough to retrieve Jasper during dessert, bringing Ms. San Francisco as well! I didn't find out about the meltdown until after dinner -- Lane didn't want me to worry. Isn't that sweet? But back to the food.

The dinner was a fantastic feast of seafood. We started with polenta with squid in beautiful black squid ink sauce. Then we had scallops in parsley sauce sprinkled with nougat. Following that came risotto with shrimp and carbonara sauce topped with egg yolks. The final dish was seared tuna with fava beans (so happy -- fava beans I didn't have to peel!). And for dessert we had a scrumptious tiramisu with eggnog sauce along with petit fours, such as little s-shaped shortbread cookies and cinnamon chocolate truffles.

Osteria Jodo
Via Caldretta, 152 in Maser , Phone: 0423.565886
We went to Osteria Jodo on our excursion to Padua and Vicenzia. It's in Maser, one of those classic Italian roadside treasures I'd always read about and wanted to visit. There was a big fireplace oven right at the entrance. We started with moist corncakes covered in diced squash and speck. Following this was a vegetable risotto. The main plate was a meltingly soft veal in a rich sauce over polenta with a side of rosemary potatoes and (here it is, the veg of the season) braised radicchio. For dessert we had a sweet bread with custard-rum sauce. After Santa Marina this was my favorite meal.

Osteria Vecio Forner
Campo San Vio, 671B Dorsoduro. Tel. 041 528 0424.
This is a casual bar right between the Guggenheim and Accademia. They serve chicheti, tapas-like snacks such as tuna fritters. In fact, it was the fritters that first lured me. While Lane and I were talking about lunch one afternoon I saw a young man munching on some (obviously an American!) and made a beeline for the direction from which he came. Jasper had a little spinach mini-pizza and Lane had tramezzini, little grilled sandwiches. Vecio Forner seemed like a tourist spot; our waitress was English and there were other English-speaking patrons there. But we sat right next to a Venetian family and there seemed to be more locals than foreigners. Anyway, it's a perfect lunch spot.

Pasticceria Colussi
Dorsoduro 2867 on calle Lunga San Barnaba
I mentioned the little doughnut-shaped cookies and focaccia Veneziana in a previous post. This is address for the pastry shop -- worth a visit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After reading this post, I'm tempted by a midnight snack...gee, thanks. Wish I had one of those cookies! Yum! Your trip was chock full of sights and tastes!