Venice 2014 Guidebook
Best and worst restaurants:
Best: Antica Sacristia
Why: We took Rick's advice and let the owner, Pino, recommend our meal. We were not disappointed. A delicious (and large) seafood antipasti platter, roasted seabass and polenta with grilled vegetables, tasty dessert and an excellent recommended Cabernet Franc. When we complimented Pino on the way out, he ran back to get us something to remember him by -- a leather bound day planner with various photos of him in his restaurant (including one with Rick).
Jennifer Henry in Dallas, TX USA 06/03/2013
Best: Gatto Nero on Burano
Why: Best fresh fish-quiet off the beaten track
Clare Fannon in Newtown, PA USA 08/24/2012
Best: Trattoria Pizzeria al Nono Risorto
Why: My 17 year-old son loves pizza, and we search out good pizzerias in out travels. Great food, great outdoor garden dining, reasonable prices. A little hard to find, in spite of you directions on p. 282, but Google maps made it easy. So good we tried to go back twice more during 3 days in Venice, but we should have read more closely when they were closed.
Steve Denman in Sarasota, FL USA 08/19/2012
Best: Osteria al Mascaron
Why: We made 9pm reservations, and the place was filled with locals! The manager was very gracious and funny. We loved seeing the different plates behind the glass filled with seafood and vegetables. We had a wonderful meal-- seafood platter appetizer, shrimp, clams, and mussels with spaghetti (my husband and I split it), zuppa inglese, and perhaps the best panna cotta I've ever had. Their red table wine was very nice. It was our best dinner in Venice. My 10 year old loved this place, and the manager was very funny with her. We also enjoyed gelato at al Todaro!
Jane DePasquale in Wilmington, Ma USA 07/30/2012
Best: Trattoria da Nino
Why: Located on the far corner of Campo San Proviso across from the Hotel Fontana (close to Piazza San Marco). Good food, great prices, great staff...No rip-offs!
Paul McAllister in Belleville, ON Canada 03/16/2012
Best: Ca d'Oro Tavern
Why: I can't find the book for an exact name match but it is the place with the polpetti. It was an ear-splittingly noisy mob scene from the minute the doors opened at 6:30, seven people deep at the bar. The polpettis were good and very filling, the house wine will remove the enamel from your teeth. I had dinner there (pasta) and it was salty and very bland. Cookies and dessert wine were great.
Why: I traveled alone and as a single diner I was always seated in a deserted part of the restaurant, away from any noise, life and charm. On my next trip I might re-think the "stay away from touristy areas" rule and choose a place near St. Marks that is warm, lively and full. I was not impressed with the food in Venice overall, even in recommended restaurants, so I feel one place would be as good as the next.
Suzanne in San Diego, CA USA 12/27/2011
Worst: Ristorante All Conchiglia
Why: Pre-Fixe dinner is average at best.
Peter Fabriele in Scotch Plains, NJ USA 10/20/2011
Best: Trattoria da Giorgio ai Greci
Why: Really good fish and vegetables, pleasant and friendly staff, lovely location by canal. Very accomodating at squeezing us in when restaurant was full.
Elizabeth Bamberger in Portland, OR USA 09/26/2011
Best: Antica Berraria la Corte
Why: Exactly as recommended by RS, we ate dinner there two of our three nights in Venice. Food and service were excellent; lots of outdoor seating on the big neighborhood square which our grandkids loved. They played with other children from the restaurant and neighborhood while the older folks finished our wine and relaxed. A great spot.
Ron in DeWitt, MI USA 06/30/2011
Worst: Osteria La Duca in Verona
Why: Although the food may be traditional Veronese, we found it to be pretty dreadful. The grilled chicken had absolutely no flavor, the pasta with anchovies had so many anchovies it was almost too salty to eat and the veal with tuna sauce was just a bunch of mush that tasted like bad tuna fish from a can mixed with Miracle Whip. Who says you can't get a bad meal in Italy?
Michael in Seattle, WA USA 05/23/2011
Best: La Lanterna in Padua
Why: Great staff and wonderful experience dinning out in Piazza dei Signori. Come early, tables filled up by 8:15 PM when we were there in early April.
Bill Bozo in Springfield, VA USA 04/13/2011
Best: Trattoria da Giorgio ai Greci
Why: Why?!!!! Oh, let me count the ways! First, Roberto is great! My husband and I got there a little ahead of our reservation time and we stood on the bridge a few feet away just watching the world around us. Seeing the speed and fluency with which the outdoor server conducted business immediately resonated with your reference to Roberto in your book. We did reserve for canal-side and he was our server! The best! He recommended the house special" flounder, which he brought to the table fresh! Then he described how it was going to be prepared, and we were sold. We ordered a bottle of wine and began our dinner extravaganza. We started with a shrimp appetizer with some kind of mustard sauce and, of course, bread. It was killer! Then the flounder was ready and a girl brought it out and filleted and de-boned it right there WITH A SPOON! It looked so easy - but I know better. Then it was time to eat...I'm pretty sure the heavens opened and angels sang! It was glorious! We ordered another bottle of wine and since the one we had ordered was out Roberto recommended another that was so close it was hard to tell the difference! We had desert and cappuccino and probably would've started all over again if we had any room left to put it! My husband and I talk about this dinner frequently and are planning our five year anniversary to include time in Venice and we will go back to ai Greci as many nights as we can afford! Thank you for this recommendation!
Shannon Fonferko in Schaumburg, IL USA 03/20/2011