The jewel city on the water, especially during the week, has never been so peaceful given the lack of foreign tourism. On the other hand, the Italians are rediscovering it. Also from a gastronomic point of view: here's how to find your way among the top restaurants, emerging clubs and traditional places
A premise is absolutely necessary: the rediscovered pleasure of wandering around Venice, almost getting lost, in silence and without encountering shouting crowds does not overshadow the fact that the collapse of foreign tourism is a big trouble for entrepreneurs in the sector and those who work in hotels, restaurants, bars and so on. It is desirable that as soon as possible one of the most beautiful cities on the planet will return to being alive and lively, perhaps with a limited number (a common wish in the calli) and without swede passing in the Grand Canal. Having said that, it is worth taking advantage of the Lagoon and its culinary offerings, which are very different from each other, once more than ever. Maybe taking a whim off.
Very high cuisine
For example, the Quadri restaurant. It is located in Piazza San Marco, on the upper floor of the concept that the Alajmo family took in hand about ten years ago and brought back to its former glory, involving the brilliant Philippe Starck in 2018. At the level of the square there is the Quadrino bistro and the Gran Caffè Quadri with its large outdoor area: it is nice, before dinner, to drink an Alajmo Spritz (Barbaresco Chinato Quintessenza di Punset, Fever Tree tonic water, a slice of orange) while listening to good live music. You go up and enter a place that D'Annunzio would have defined as imaginative: mystery, beauty, poetry. In the precious coatings, in the chandeliers and in the windows. Mise en place essential, perfect. Top class service, led by Stefano Munari and Marco Cicchelli, with the sommelier Giacomo Lorato to manage a cellar of the highest level. And then the kitchen, played on two tastings: Classic and Quadri, 225 euros each in the nine-course version, but you can have a selection of five or draw from the two cards of the individual dishes. It is difficult to find in Italy a cuisine that manages to combine refinement and gluttony like that of Massimiliano Alajmo, here interpreted by the faithful Silvio Giavedoni and Sergio Preziosa. Able to enhance the ingredients of the Lagoon and represent both the Italian tradition and pure creativity. Just to give an example, on one side there is the sumptuous Cappuccino of Laguna and on the other there is the sensational fried turbot with spicy sweet and sour sauce sorbet that would be a jewel even in a large Japanese restaurant.
The novelty of the year
The idea of the season is also due to the Alajmo: Hostaria in Certosa, pop-up that will remain in operation until October 31 to return in 2021. It is located on the Certosa island – located between the Lido and the Arsenale – a few meters from the vaporetto station. It is included in Wind of Venice, the structure of Alberto Sonino, a former sailing champion who is working on the redevelopment of Certosa, with major projects to make it more enjoyable for tourists, starting from the already active marina. “It's just the fuse. In the next few years the island will explode with all its potential, "he says Raffaele Alajmo. The Hostaria in Certosa is open every day from 9 to midnight, designed to offer everything: from breakfast to evening aperitifs, from sandwiches for lunch to afternoon ice cream, up to dinner or after dinner with drinks from Lucas Kelm, former bar manager of I love which is the Alajmo concept in the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. There is also a take away service managed through a digital platform, designed for those arriving by boat. The structure can accommodate a hundred people outside, mostly on a floating bridge, and about thirty inside, plus various lounges and lounges. The kitchen? Tradition and simplicity, with great ingredients (fish, first of all) and that touch of class that comes naturally to Max Alajmo. Just taste the Peppered mussels or the Spaghetti with clams or the Scartosso to understand it.
The class is on the water
There was talk of whims. Here, one could be having lunch or, better still, candlelit dinner on the Grand Canal: a must in the life of a traveler, especially if a gourmet. The right place is the Club del Doge (nomen omen) ie the terrace at the water level of the The Gritti Palace, open until October: we are talking about a 15th century palace, a private residence of doge Andrea Gritti who called Giorgione to fresco the facade on Campo del Traghetto … Converted into a hotel in 1890 and internally redone in 2013 by Luxury Collection Hotel, it is a concentrate of luxury (ancient and modern) with hundreds of works of art to leave you speechless. If you are looking for the whim of whims, one of the 23 five-star suites in Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, is that of the Redentore, which leads to one of the most beautiful terraces in Venice and therefore in the world: 250 square meters and mini pool …
Daniele Turco's kitchen is precise, direct: it does not forget to have a largely international clientele (and therefore with the need for Italian and other certainties) but at the same time plays on the territory, revisiting it well with dishes such as
Glam is in pole position
Given three examples of how Venice has changed, let's see other places worthy of a stop starting from the starred, which obviously require a adequate budget. You can take the whim of a Michelin star, exceeding at least 100 euros each. In addition to the Quadri are five with a restaurant that repeated the macaron last November: the Glam – inside the elegant Palazzo Venart – which Enrico Bartolini has entrusted to the talented Donato Ascani. Then there are the spectacular Gold of the Belmond Hotel Cipriani on Giudecca, the historic one Osteria Da Fiore (five years he was the only star in Venice …); Reduced (more creative, with only nine tables), the increasingly convincing Venissa on the island of Mazzorbo directed by Chiara Pavan. In medium range of expenditure (50-80 euros), there is no shortage of reliable places like At the Covo, Hostaria by Franz, At the Pass in Campalto. Tradition and modernity go hand in hand in two modern, well-kept taverns such as Santa Marina (five minutes walk from Rialto) and the small To the Headboards, always in Castello.
Fish reigns in the tavern
As for the taverns, symbol of that Venetianness that resists invasion. They focus on fish, in classic recipes or in some slight reinterpretation, but they have civil prices, thanks to family management. The oldest is easily Ca d’Oro-La Vedova in Cannaregio, not far away there is also From Marisa. Pleasant the recent Co.Vino between San Zaccaria and the Arsenale. The only exception to the fish line, La Bitta in Dorsoduro: here you can eat cold cuts and meat dishes. There are also those who face an hour by ferry, with the excuse of a trip to Burano (an evocative island), but actually want to taste the dishes again Black cat, historic and always crowded trattoria. One last place that we really like: the suggestive Local, near San Zaccaria, where the very Venetian Matteo Tagliapietra offers his daily selection of cicheti ancient and very modern, made with products from the Lagoon: history counts indeed, in the Serenissima.