….Continue from My Gourmet Trip in Venice: Part I
When eating out in Venice, especially for Friday and weekends, if you have a good restaurant you have on mind that you really want to visit, you really have to book well in advance. I called up two days before for reservations and the two restaurants we wanted to try were both pretty booked up.
1) Ancòra Venezia
For one evening, we went to a Four Seasons Concert near Rialto which started at 8:30pm so I suggested to go to a wine bar in the Rialto quarter, Sotopotego del Banco Giro. We picked Ancora, it is the most contemporary wine bar in this area. We tasted several glasses of Italian wines, had a few snacks and then went to the concert. After the concert, we went to try another wine bar but we both thought Ancora’s selection of wine is better and the food is also better. The mozzarella they had there was one of the best I had and the vegetable ravioli which were two big ravioli instead the small ones we usually have were very tasty. Later in the evening, there is live music performance at the white piano bar.
2) Lunch at Da Fiore
Da Fiore is awarded with Michelin one-star restaurant. It’s located near Campo San Polo, however as a tourist, it’s not that easy to find, like treasure hunt but that’s also the fun part. Mistaken (see below) The reason why I wanted to go to this restaurant is not because of the award. It is because I know this restaurant when I finished my final year university exam, that was the first time when I visited Venice, I travelled with my Malaysian friend, both of us did not have any idea where to eat and we always ended up having these Menu Turistico, we both got really fed up and luckily we were being introduced to Da Fiore and had some authentic and decent Venetian food. So after all these years, I wanted to revisit this restaurant to see what the food is like now. To my surprise, it has now become a very fansy restaurant. Personally, I still prefer how it was in the past, more relaxed and down to earth. old is always better than new, as it does not exist anymore but only in our memory. I think it is also much more expensive than in the past, I am talking about almost 15 years ago. This time, we could only get a table for lunch. The service there was very good, the waiters were very attentive and the seafood was very good indeed. However, I was disappointed with the dessert, we have chosen creme brule but it turned out the dessert was a bit greenish color inside, later we found out it was because they have put figs inside. Unfortunately, both of us are not so fond of figs. The waiter was very concerned that we did not like it and offered us to change to another dessert but we decided to skip and had a cappuccino instead. Da Fiore has there own dishware which are very pretty.
My mistake: This afternoon (27.01.09) I was tidying my old stuff and found the Da Fiore business card and realised that I made a mistake, the one I went 15 years ago was called Trattoria Da Fiore at Cucina tipica veneziana, Santo Stefano 3461, San Marco. I guess I have to visit Venice again to visit the correct restaurant to see recall my good old memories. I wish I had found the business card earlier……….In their website, they do mention that be careful to mix up these two restaurants.
This is what I had that day for lunch:
Aperitivo: Spritz with Campari (that was a strong one!)
Antipasto: Fried fish ball
Primo piatto: Green pasta with clams mussels
Secondo piatto: Mixed deep fried seafood (courgette, red mullet, soft shell crab, calamari) with 3 different sauces: Horseradish, tabasco & mayo aceto balsamico
Dolce: Crème brulée with figs
3) Dinner at Antiche Carampane
The last place which I would write about is Antiche Carampane. This restaurant is strongly recommended by our friend. It’s also located near Campo San Polo but on another side. It seems a lot of good restaurants are located in San Polo. This restaurant is very cosy and the tables are quite packed together. When we sat down for less than 15 mins, it became full house. Personally, I like this one more, it feels more Italian family style and not so commercial as Da Fiore. Our friend told us that it is run by four women but that evening, we did not see the four women, wondered if they have transferred to new owners already.
Here was my Goumet dinner, see if it will make you hungry now : )
Complientary: Courgettes fritters in very thin stripes
Antipasti: Mixed Fish Carpaccio (lemon and wasabi were on side)
Primo: Tagliatelle with White Truffle
Secondo: Turbot fillet with lemon
Dolce: Panna Cotta with two sauces: Strawberry and aged aceto balsamico and Gelato di Giauduja (one for him and one for me), too good that I need to mention both.
Panna cotta with strawberry and aceto balsamico sauce
Gelato di gianduja
The mixed carpaccio was heaven, the fish was very fresh and I was surprised they will serve some wasabi on the side. The sweet prawns were so tasty that made me wanting more.
As for the pasta, at first I asked if I could change to spagetti as I was craving for some spagetti specifically but the waiter told me their fresh tagliatelle best matched with the white truffle sauce, so I had to trust him otherwise I had to choose another pasta or otherwise give up the truffle which I did not want to as it was the time for truffle. In the end, he was right, the tagliatelle which contained more egg that normal pasta really blended perfectly with the truffle. I felt actually the fresh tagliatelle was similar to our Chinese egg noodles too, maybe that would work too?
The turbot fillet was ok but I had no special remarks to this dish.
The evening finished off with these divine desserts, although my stomach was pretty full but these desserts were simply irresistible when they were placed in front of me on the table. The panna cotta took me by surprise as we had not thought the aceto balsamico could be used as a dessert dressing. It must be an aged one which is thicker and sweeter than the normal ones. As for the gelato di gianduja, the gelato was placed on top of fresh cream. Gianduja is a chocolate hazelnut paste from Turin, capital of the Piedmont region in Northern Italy. I am hoping to visit Turin one day to get a few bottles of this chocolate spread. For the time being, I will have to stick to Nutella. I love this gelato a lot and now I have another reason to buy an ice-cream maker to be able to make some homemade ice cream or maybe gelato in the near future.
The only drawback of this restaurant was that because it was so busy that you could not really stay long as when we left at 10pm, there were still about 10 people waiting outside.
So my gourmet trip in Venice ended here, writing both Part I & II really took me a lot of time even more than writing a recipe I find but it’s worth it as every time, when I come back looking at them, they will remind me such a nice trip I had in Venice!