Wonders of the Adriatic: Eating in Venice

“Water, water everywhere
And all the boards did shrink,
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink”

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The ancient Mariner might have been stuck out at sea with a malevolent spirit, but in Venice, in spite of the dominance of the Adriatic sea there are many a watering hole for the parched traveller. You’d be forgiven for using every word in the thesaurus for beautiful, charming and the like to describe Venice as it’s only when you get here that you realise that everything people say about this magical city is true (I know I said that about Florence, but it’s true!). Aside from its romanticism, charm and arresting beauty, Venice is placid. Venice is peaceful. Venice is a city that should be on everyone’s itinerary at some point in their life. And lest we forget, this is the very city where Shylock protested for his pound of flesh on the Rialto!

And beholding a city of such praise, there is an abundance of gastronomic pleasures to choose from, serving up some of the freshest fish and seafood.

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Harry’s Bar


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.With a panoramic view of the Grand Canal from its upstairs dining room, Harry’s  is something of a legend, with its bellini  and Cipriani carpaccio being classic signatures . Whilst the prices are exorbitant, the service is equally exquisite  with charming waiters in white coats keeping you on the palms of their hands.  The food may not match the prices or the ambience but, it is rather good and in large portions. We had monkfish with capers, fried sole and crispy zucchini, chefs salad all of which hit the spot on a blazing hot day.

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Continental Hotel: I was  rather dubious of this Grand Canal-side  hotel and restaurant near the train station – everything about it screamed ‘touristy’, but it had been a long day and we weren’t in the mood to spend time looking for places I had researched/been recommended. I have to say, even if the food had been bad, the view and the ambience would have more than made up for it. Peaceful, on the water, candle-lit.  We started with the Venetian traditional spritz (Aperol, white wine, sparkling water) and ordered John Dory with tomato, garlic, capers and chicken with white wine and cream. What a pleasant surprise – the fish was delicious – perfectly cooked, yummy sauce, perfect with a bit of bread.

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Trattoria Gatto Nero

Love the wine carafe!


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Whilst on the island of Murano learning about the glass works of art, our guide recommended that we head to the island of Burano for lunch to a restaurant called black cat and try their special risotto made with a fish only found in their lagoon. Now nothing beats local recommendations, but when coupled with recommendations from friends or fellow foodies, one musn’t hesitate.

There aren’t many restaurants as charmingly located as this. The island of Burano is all about bright coloured houses and the restaurant sits by a canal on a street dazzling with colours of the rainbow.

We ordered Risotto Buranelle, fried prawns, fried sole and grilled sardines. The risotto I have to say, lived up to its name. Delicate (the fish is used only to make the stock in which the risotto is cooked) beyond words and tasty in every way, while the fish were about as perfectly cooked, fresh and tasty as one can find, needing only a little olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. And what better way to follow lunch on such a colourful island such as this than to browse beautiful handmade lace products?!

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