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Restaurant Updates
First Edition Updates | Second Edition Updates

Agli Alboretti

In our first edition of Chow1 Venice we recommended this tiny restaurant that was attached to a small hotel of the same name. It is located near the Accademia and easy to reach by vaporetto or on foot.Then a few years ago, the woman who owns the hotel sold the restaurant to the chef. We went there and had a horrible meal with terrible service and food so bad some of it should not have been cooked let alone sent out of the kitchen and we dropped it from the second edition.


  In April,

We were told that Paolo of the legendary VIni da Gigio had bought the restaurant and his son, Nicolo, was running it so we decided to try it again. We were absolutely delighted with everything. There is a small menu filled with items that tempt the senses, and a Chef's special 19 Euro that includes two courses with selections for both a primo and a secondo. There are also vegetarian options. The restaurant has retained its basic configuration but its ambiance seems a bit lighter and brighter than it had been. The servers are deft, helpful and delightful and Nicolo is molto piacevole. The spaghetti con vongole verace is given a delightful twist by being seasoned with finochetto, and the lamb chops encrusted with almonds and eggplant is unusual and delicious. On another visit our fish dishes are perfectly prepared, and the pasta with duck ragu is happily reminiscent of Papa's version. Agli Alboretti may be small in size but it is a back in a big way and should go on everyone's not-to-be-missed list.

Ristorante Riviera

This restaurant has changed hands, and while we have not been back since the change we’ve heard good things. The new owners also own Al Pesador in the Rialto.

Taverna La Fenice

After hearing some negative comments, we returned here for a meal. The food over all is still excellent, but the cost of a meal has gone from expensive to outrageous. The servers had a bit of an attitude which bothered some of our group more than others. They were out of several of the white and red wines we tried to order. They did, on our third try for a red, give us a discount on a more expensive bottle, but then they charged us for a second bottle of white when we had only consumed one. Unfortunately we had been so stunned by the size of the tab- 200 Euro more than any place else we ate - that we did not notice the overcharge until we had left the restaurant. Not checking the bill more carefully was our fault, but it still should not happen.They were closed the next day when we tried to go back to have the bill amended.

The pasta e fagoli soup was made with long pasta that made eating it a challenge and the price was ridiculously high for what is essentially peasant food. Several items on the menu were not accurately described: a breast of duck was actually a confit of the leg and thigh, the "potato salad" that accompanied my beef cheeks was just mashed potatoes and so on. The cheese plate which had been beyond fabulous on our last visit was now only 3 cheeses. Despite requesting primarily sheep or goat milk cheeses, we were given two cow's milk - a smoked Gouda and a Parmigiano, which not everyone considers an after dinner cheese. My aged Pecorino was good but I have had far better. The accompaniments were minimal. While hesitating to discard this venerable restaurant entirely, be aware it is not what it once was in service and quality and it is a lot more than it once was in price. You can do better.

Vino Vino

Due to several complaints from readers and a disasterous visit of our own, we are no longer recommending Vino Vino in San Marco. The food, service and prices are not what they use to be. In addition, Vino Vino no longer accepts credit cards.

Il Sole Sulla Vecia Cavana

Under new management. It is now owned by the same family that owns La Patatina and Al Pantalon. The food is still good, but the overall feeling is more of an osteria than a fine restaurant.

Il Sole sulla Vecia Cavana

Having been sold, "Il Sole sulla Vecia Cavana" no longer is part of the "Il Sole" family, and so it has dropped "Il Sole" from its name and is once again it is simply "Alla Vecia Cavana."

The restaurant is now completely nonsmoking, and what was once a dark bar is now simply a second dining room, much better lit and happily smoke free. Diners receive glasses of chilled Prosecco as well as along with a small dish of olive pate, which accompanies the bread basket finds interesting,

A house amuse bouche is also offered. On a recent night it was a gratineed oyster on the half shell resting on a bed of baby greens.

For prosciutto lovers, the Artigianale prosciutto from Oswald is a must have because it is truly spectacular. In winter it was served with incredibly juice and sweet cherry tomatoes which make a brilliant partner to the ham. The parmesan cheese basket in which it was served is more of a cup than a woven basket and it was disappointingly dry and a little greasy.

The house white wine, a Chardonnay, is an outstanding one, but the bread basket is no where near as interesting as it used to be - maybe in part because we were there on a holiday when the bakers may have been off.

La Vecia Cavana offers both meat and fish dishes. The menu is decidedly less elegant than it used to be, but the branzino with its potato coating was delicious; the potatoes were crunchy and crusty on top and tender underneath, The fish is tender and fresh, but there was definitely a small amount of Branzino in proportion to the crust of potatoes. Among the other listings there are many tempting items, but several favorites from the Il Sole days have vanished.

Among the dolce the poached pear with gelato is a good choice; it is made to order and the ice cream which is encased in the pear melts endearingly into its flesh, which does make it difficult to share.

The prices as well as the level of cooking have come down since our last visit. Despite basically very good food, and much prompter service, La Vecia Cavana has not completely jelled. It may be caught between what it was and what it will be. Time will tell, but it is still definitely worth a try.


Trattoria Da Silvio
San Pantalon 3748.3818
Dorsoduro Venezia
Tel: 041.520.5833
Fax: 041.524.4275

Despite having gone through several incarnations, da Silvio has been run by the Raccanello family for thirty years. At the moment, da Silvio has opted for a comparatively stripped down decor. The surprisingly comfortable chairs are all metal and molded plastic, and the tables have plastic wood tops on metal frames. The menu offers traditional excellently prepared trattoria food, and a long list of pizzas.

The antipasto and primi piatti listings hold few surprises, but do not disappoint. Among the pastas, classic spaghetti con ragu comes in a nice size portion for a primo piatto. The pasta is cooked perfectly, which is hardly a surprise in Italy, and the sauce has a slight bite but is not too spicy for a basic ragu, and it has a classic proportion of sauce to meat. It is a simple dish made extremely well and it is very satisfying. Several other pasta dishes, gnocchi and soups are included with the primo piatti.

All the trattoria standards can be found here but they are done with flair and finesse. The bracciole di vitello is a satisfying choice especially when accompanied by a contorno of grilled vegetables or patate fritte. The pizzas come with a huge variety of toppings or "come te vuole" as you wish.

A tira misu made with chocolate biscotti is among the featured desserts. If you choose a sweet wine, you can pretty much count on a refill. The tab is most reasonable, and the meal, while not haute cuisine, hits the mark.

There is a large and lovely garden, offering both sunshine and shade available in spring and summer, and with the new no smoking rules, da Silvio has become a good place for a delightful low key dinner.


Vivaldi

Sadly this restaurant has changed from a traditional Venetian osteria into a tourist pasta and pizza place. Check out one of our many other recommendations for the area instead.


Trattoria San Toma

Under new ownership. Very hands on owner - when things get really rushed he puts on an apron and joins the kitchen crew. The quirky signs are gone from the walls; the menu has been reduced and freshened and the food is a good or better than before.

Le Bistrot de Venise

While still offering a fascinating menu and wonderful food, Le Bistrot de Venise has moved from expensive to extremely expensive. Dinner for 2 with 2 glasses of Prosecco, 2 primi, 2 secondi, 2 glasses of wine and 2 glasses of dessert wine came out to 157 Euro, about 35 Euro more than our last dinner there in May 2003.

La Perla Pizzeria

Now under new management. The pizza is still excellent, but the staff is not as pleasant as before. They are now open Thursday - Tuesday (closed Wednesday.)


Bar Updates
First Edition Updates | Second Edition Updates

Alle Botteghe Osteria

No longer has a little window bar, and they no longer have sandwiches. They are a sit-down restaurant only.


Il Cavatappi

Now closed Monday, and open Tuesday - Sunday from 9:00 A.M. to 11:00 P.M. Some of the features of this bar are no longer available (such as the revolving wine and cheese from different regions) but it is still a great bar.

Enoteca San Marco

No longer allows customers to sip wine at the bar during dining hours. We are bummed!

Vecia Carbonera

Has posted new hours (whether they really keep them remains to be seen.) The new hours are Tuesday - Saturday from 10-3 and 5-11, Sunday from 10-3.

Paradiso Perduto

Also has new hours. They are closed Tuesday and Wednesday, open Thursday - Monday at 7:00 for dinner, Saturday and Sunday they serve lunch as well.

The Green Pub

In Campo Santa Margherita is now called Madigan's Pub. It is still a great place to hang out, maybe even better than before.