We went to Venice at the end of December for a three day trip. Since we were traveling around New Year’s Eve, I booked most of our tables in advance and was happy I did–a good number of restaurants were closed during this period.
I’d read something about it being difficult to locate, but man this restaurant was difficult to locate. I adored the tagliolini with spider crab sauce, also had a great radicchio appetizer. Too stuffed to eat dessert, but we liked what we saw. Walking out, we were alongside a couple who ate here every December for the last 17 years!
Cantinone già Schiavi
For a lunch-time bite of cicchetti–this was a five minute walk from our hotel and I would have gone many more times, but it was only open once during our trip. A glass of prosecco and a plate of little baguette slices smeared with fish and vegetable toppings suited me fine for lunch when our dinners were so heavy.
Trattoria Ai Promessi Sposi
We came here without a reservation for lunch at around 1:30 and were lucky to nab a table (I think we got the last one with no wait). It was frigid and pouring outside, so the tavern-like interior at Promessi Sposi felt cozy and welcoming. I had read about the “wine bar” snack offerings at the counter up front, but I didn’t see anyone eating here other than sit-down diners. The house white wine here was my favorite of the trip–minerally and a bit bracing. Because of the cold, we dove into pasta: he had the spaghetti with clams, I had the black squid ink pasta. The guy next to us had the fried seafood plate, and it was a mountain of food! I was feeling under-vegetabled, so I ordered the contorni of vegetables of the day and was impressed by the size and quality–a mound of roasted peppers, oily artichokes and radicchio.
Fiaschetteria Toscana was my only regret–we ate here on New Year’s Eve. There was only one seating and the restaurant was booked, so that probably should have been the tip off–as everyone was served at the same time, but food felt very wedding-y to me–fish was too dry, dishes were the wrong temperature, we had to wait too long or rush courses. I think there were a few other tables that noticed the same problems (at least two groups left with multiple courses unserved). I certainly wouldn’t write off the restaurant–it may be excellent during normal service–but for us, this was an expensive disappointment.
My great regret was that the pastry shop Tonolo was only open the first day we were in Venice, but had nearly sold out by the time we arrived. No cream puffs for me