My wife, my 2-year-old son, and my in-laws are traveling to Italy next week (!!), and I could use some dining advice. A little about us: my wife and I are adventurous eaters that love food and consider great food of all kinds to be one best parts of a vacation, although on this trip we are fully prepared to be a lot more casual than usual. My wife is a vegetarian (no meat/seafood), but is fairly flexible about finding what she can when traveling. Our son eats out a lot and is generally good in restaurants, but will not have the patience for long (>1.5 hour) meals and may be tired and off his game from jet lag. My in-laws are not particularly adventurous. Whew, a lot of constraints to deal with!
We are flying into Venice (arriving 12:30 pm from the US), and then proceeding to Florence the following day (departing on a 4:30 train). I know, far too short a time, but that is the way this trip worked. We are looking for one dinner and one lunch, plus some ideas for snacks mid-afternoon the day we arrive, in case we are hungry before dinner.
I've done quite a lot of reading through this board and other places, and found lots of ideas, but need some advice in narrowing down the options and gauging what will be appropriate for us.
For our first dinner, the night we arrive, I am thinking we will want something simple and lively within a short walk of our hotel. Based on what I've read, it sounds like Aciugheta, Ostaria al Garanghelo, Trattoria Al Bacareto, Ostaria Al Mascaron, Da Alberto, and Bancogiro might all be options. Any thoughts on which of those are likely to be more feasible for a vegetarian and toddler, and for a first dinner? I also looked at Enoteca la Mascareta for cicchetti, but will there be tables to sit at? Are there other good first-night options I'm missing?
For our lunch, one of the above places would of course also be an option. Alternatively, we've considered something more pricey like Al Covo. There have been reports on this board that Al Covo was fairly toddler-appropriate, and it seems to be very well regarded. Will it be tough getting a table? Other ideas?
For a late lunch / mid afternoon snack, will bacari / cicchetti places be an option for a snack at, say, 3 pm? Any recommendations for good ones within 5-10 minutes of Santa Maria Formosa?
Thank you so much in advance, I know this is kind of a complicated question!