Carnival is coming! And what better time than now to travel to one of the most fascinating cities in Italy, traditionally known for its Carnival? Fun, celebration, mischief, good food, and a cuisine teetering between tradition and innovation accurately describe the restaurants we have selected for you. Traditional Venetian cuisine is rich in flavors and ingredients. The raw materials used for these northern Italian gastronomic specialties are simple and natural, deriving from the classical elements of water, earth and sky. Fish and seafood from rivers and the sea, vegetables and livestock from the earth, and birds and game from the sky. All seasoned with spices and traditions were imported to the capital of the Venetian empire by merchants and by emissaries of the maritime Republic of San Marco upon their return from their travels around the world.
Alle Corone Restaurant – Located in the Castello district, in an ancient yet renovated 17th century noble palace, it is part of the Hotel "Ai Reali", characterized by an intimate and exceptionally refined atmosphere. You can taste dishes prepared with genuine local products at the equally stylish restaurant inside the hotel. The restaurant offers an plethora of local specialties including risotto with porcini mushrooms or flounder, and grilled scallops. There’s specific local food that Venetians prefer, of which we recommend the baked sea bass or monkfish ravioli. There’s also a tavern area that offers a range of charcuterie, raw fish and an abundance of wine. (Castello, Campo della Fava 5527 - 30125 Venice - Tel. +39 0415232222)
Impronta Cafè – Inaugurated in 2005, Impronta Cafè was born with the idea of offering exquisite cuisine at a moderate price for people of all ages. The philosophy thought of by its owners, Massimo and Silvia is to have genuine customer satisfaction at any time of day- be it at breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a snack. In the evening for aperitif and dinner time, the cafè turns into “Impronta Ristorante Venezia”. During this time, the menu offers a full three course meal including vegetarian options amongst meat and fish dishes. It is known for its traditional plates with a creative modern twist consisting of seasonal fruits, vegetables and other products. The wine list includes over 150 labels, and among the mouthwatering homemade desserts we recommend the tiramisu and chocolate soufflé. (Dorsoduro 3815, 30123 Venezia - Tel. +39 041 275 0386)
Osteria alle Testiere – In the heart of Venice between Rialto and Piazza San Marco lies this small local restaurant that specializes in traditional seafood plates with a modern twist. The setting is small yet short of extravagant and furnished with testiere (headboards) ergo its name. here, the spaghetti with caperozzoli (a type of clam) and san pietro (white fish) with herbs and peppercorn, and the grilled octopus with gazpacho are a must-try. On a sweeter note, the best desserts on the menu include almond hazelnut cake with pistachio ice cream, caramelized peach pie and a lemon-flavored pudding called crema rosada. (Novo Castello 5801 -30122 Venezia - Tel. 041 522 7220)
Ristorante la Colombina – This well-known historical location native to the Venetian lagoon scene, has been sprung back to life and is described as a perfect mix between tradition and modernity. The atmosphere is warm, friendly and casual with an elegant flair. It is specially characterized by its careful selection of zero kilometer-favoring ingredients. Dishes are rooted in tradition with an eye for innovation and a hint of other regional tastes such as the Sicilian-inspired scallops au gratin or scampi risotto with prawns and porcini mushrooms. Not to mention the zucchini-crusted sea bass fillet, shellfish soup, and the tuna or swordfish tartar on parmantier potatoes that are a real treat for the palate. Also, the wine selection is nothing short of extraordinary. Inside the restaurant, there’s a hidden gem to be found: a small culinary library. (Sestiere Cannaregio, 1828 - 30121 Venezia Italia Tel. 041 522 2616)
Ai Mercanti – Located in a small courtyard in the center of Venice, Ai Mercanti offers typical venetian cuisine mixed with international flavors in an original and creative way. It has been opened since 1980 and in 2013 underwent dramatic transformation with a change of location and the arrival of its new chef, Nadia. The chef’s son, Simone Poli, then presented the restaurant’s metamorphosis as the new “Gastrosteria Ai Mercanti”. (San Marco 4346/A - Calle Dei Fuseri - Venezia Tel. E Fax +39 041.5238269)