Thanks to the many hounds who provided input & guidance in forming our food-tinerary: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/683834 | Florence & Venice Food-tinerary
This will be just the review for the Venice portion of the trip; the Florence portion will be another post.
Known for their pizza, Il Refolo served solid pizza. This was a bit tricky to find, even with the saved map on my iPod Touch; eventually, we asked a young man where Il Refolo was and he directed us to the spot. This is a comfy-chic spot with a warm interior, friendly & impeccable service and an awesome octopus salad. We shared everything we ordered, and the great kitchen was kind enough to split each serving onto two plates; it's considerate touches as this that win me over. This salad was our favourite dish of the evening; the octopus was perfectly cooked, lightly (but deliciously) flavoured and was not chewy at all. While our pizza was good, I didn't get the hype. We also got the pesto pasta and a dessert. Everything was good; and had we stayed a return trip would be in order--esp for the octopus salad. With a bottle of mineral water, a half liter of wine and a beer, the total was slightly above 100€.
We walked in and knew from the table clothes, the tuxedoed waiters and the old-school interior that this was a serious restaurant. Previous reviews said they had great (not-to-be-missed) risotto, so I came here planning just that. We had a couple apps, but the risotto was completely disappointing; while the flavour was awesome, the risotto was very, very undercooked. We hemmed and hawed and Mr OCAnn finally decided to say something to the waiter who took offense. We asked about the risotto and the waiter went on a lengthly explanation of how their rice was not your regular rice, how they take 20 minutes, etc...they were clearly not pleased that we did not finish our risotto, so they brought us another menu. We were disappointed and off-put by their dismissiveness, that we asked for the check and left. 70€.
This was clearly our favourite restaurant in Venice. While there, there were two other parties in this small 14-seat restaurant, that were there for *both* lunch and dinner and we understood why. They presented us with an amuse bouche of monk fish liver. Our dinner included baby octopus, ravioli, risotto and squid--everything was delicious. At the end, we had to rush out to attend a concert, but before they presented the bill, they gave us complimentary chocolates & cookies made on premises. But before we left, we asked what time they closed (23:00) and asked if it would be okay if we returned for dessert post-concert. When we returned, we finished the evening with tea and tiramisu. The tiramisu was a different style, with bits of lady fingers and meringue--all quite good. The meal + bottle of wine + mineral water = 120€.
pic 1, storefront (il Refolo)
pic 2, octopus salad
pic 3, pesto gnocchi
pic 4, pizza