Over the last few several times that we’ve visited this amazing city, I’ve always made a mental note to try out this restaurant. So, Tuesday last week, as wife and the rest of our party joined a walking tour of Venice, I went on a solo walk from our apartment in San Polo towards Rialto and into Cannaregio. Contrary to some online reports that I read, I found the restaurant easily, as it was located directly opposite the alley that leads to the Ca’ D’Oro vaporito stop. As a matter of fact, the Osteria is visible from the main street in Cannaregio, or the Strada Nuovo.
I’ve read many a positive online notes about this restaurant, and I’m enthusiastically going to go with the thumbs-up camp. I got in at 12:30 and even as there were a few unoccupied tables, I decided to order food and drink and consume standing by the bar. I really like the restaurant set-up with bronze or copper cauldrons hanging down from the ceiling, add the overall homey ambiance, and it felt good to soak up on a true Venetian eating culture. The barkeep seem to know every one that walked in and out of the restaurant with an added greeting or some small talk. In terms of the service, no red carpet were laid out, but the no nonsense, hardly smiling, but highly efficient process worked well enough for me.
First thing first was the drink offer from the barkeep who I noticed also appear to run or own the place. I went with a nice chilled glass of prosecco that tasted fresh and lively. I sensed that he wanted me to give him my food order at that point, so I walked over to the food display glass area at the end of the bar and ordered an amazingly tasty grilled chopped-up tender pulpo mixed with boiled potato pieces, a very fresh grilled large prawn with the head on, a small piece of tuna steak and a delicious polpettina or meat ball that, as far as I can recall, one of the best I’ve had in Venice. The meatball was served in a small tissue-covered saucer, while the rest were all serve together in a larger oblong plate. Barkeep also cut up a few pieces of bread and placed it, without pomp or fanfare, next to my dishes. I would give an average rating to the tuna steak, but everything else surpassed all my previous cicchetti experiences, which, just to put in appropriate contest, I don’t do much of when in Venice. I saved a quarter piece of my popettina and some of the pulpo to finish off with another order of prosecco.
Alla Vedova is a one terrific restaurant to experience simple but well-made and delicious cicchetti, as well as to soak up on some local ambiance in a neighborhood that doesn’t have the loud and sometime confusing San Marco crowd, but rather they all appear to be all from the neighborhood. One of the best ever experiences that I’ve spent Euro 18 on. I can’t wait to go back.