What We Ate in Venice

  • La Cantina: When I asked the bartender – at the ungodly hour of 4 pm – when the kitchen would be open, she said my most recently-learned word: “now.” So, we plunked ourselves down and looked around for a menu. Apparently, the menu is primarily oral in nature, though the wines get a Grissini in Venicewritten list of their own. Our very-Italian server asked us if we wanted to hear the options in English, in French, or maybe in German. B automatically said English, and I said (in Italian), ‘French, English, whatever…,’ thinking to give him the option. He very cleverly said, ‘Preference goes to the lady’ (in French) and proceeded to detail the entire menu to me in French. (Later on, eavesdropping on an American couple, I heard him listing the menu in English, and I legitimately believe that it was a slower recitation than his French. B says I just need to brush up on my French.) Their options were basically a fresh fish plate, a fresh meat plate, or a fresh salad plate – each in either a small or a large size. (See, Italy is all over the locavore trend!) We got the small salad and the small fish plate, which was perfect for the two of us. The former had cabbage, carrots, radish, tomatoes, and cucumbers in Balsamic, while the latter was squid, branzino, red sea bass, tuna, and clams. It was fresh and delicious and perfect with our bread sticks and Langhe wine – which he said would be ‘pay-for-what-you-drink’…and then we downed the whole bottle. On the expensive side, but good food, and far enough away from the main tourist area that I wasn’t homicidal.
  • Antico Pizzo Risorto: This was our big dinner (thanks mom and dad!) in Venice. My dad got a tomato soup appetizer that was mostly seafood, with a few tablespoon of tomato liquid at the bottom. I ordered the whole grilled branzino with vegetables: the fish was good, but huge. B got something with chicken and bacon, which he liked. My mom and sister split a caprese and a lasagne, and my dad got a seafood sampler as his main entree. A good place overall, and it seemed to be run by family, which is always nice.
  • Mille Vini: After our tour, we were all fairly ravenous. We intended to have an ‘aperitivo,’ but our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. I got a seafood salad, my mom and sister split a prosciutto-melon appetizer and a cheese pizza, I don’t recall what my dad ordered, and B got an appetizer sampler, heavy on the anchovies. B and my sister also tried the signature drink: the Spritz. It’s made of aperol (a slightly sweeter version of campari), soda/tonic water, and Prosecco – and it ends up being the color of Fanta.
  • Gelateria Alaska: I wasn’t super impressed here, though that might have been because I just got hazelnut. It was fine, don’t get me wrong, but I guess I was expecting something monumental. My sister (independently) got the same thing I did, though she wished she had gotten her standard lemon. My dad got fior di latte (sweet cream), and I don’t remember what my mom got. B picked celery and strawberry, which was interesting (good!), but he lost most of his cone in the canal.
  • Gelateria Ca d’Oro: I had missed the yogurt flavor of gelato, which resembles the tart frozen yogurt at Red Mango/Pinkberry, and this place had it. (I know, I know: I’m crazy.) B got a cone of ricotta and gianduja (chocolate and hazelnut mixed together).

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