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Restaurants in Veneto
Diners with a wad to blow should head straight for the train station when the Orient Express is in town (from Venice, the train usually heads north toward Paris or London, through Budapest or Prague). On departure day, passengers have a superb lunch served as they depart Venice. By the time they near Verona it’s time for dessert. For two decades, Chef Christian Bodiguel has been thrilling passengers on the midnight blue train with his fine French and Italian cuisine. He’s an expert with both. We began with Champagne (there are five including a rosé by Taittinger) to keep bilateral relations flowing smoothly. Bodiguel’s ravioli is every bit as good as his foie gras. The former was ticklishly light, filled with cepe mushrooms and placed on a superb chestnut velouté with a Parmesan cheese wafer. The latter was richness tempered with a hint of Muscat wine.
For secondo, the lotte (Angler fish) was perfectly grilled and enhanced by lardo di Colonnata and a pink pepper sauce. The wine steward, who joined a year or so ago, kept us so happily tasting Capannelle’s superb Tuscan wines (try the 1999 Riserva) that we forgot the vegetable course. Dessert was panna cotta with stewed quinces zinged with the quaintly bitter corbezzolo honey, plus a mini baba doused with limoncello. This extravagant meal requires an Orient Express ticket (so look now for deals in shoulder seasons such as November; summer fares range between €1,000 and €3,000). But don’t think twice. This is definitely the four-star way to woo a high-maintenance sweetheart or finicky business client.
If you don't want to continue on to Paris or London, bail out at Verona or Innsbruck — these days, Istanbul is rarely on the travel menu. Frankly I’d happily lounge amidst Lalique panels and mahogany for the rest of the trip (dinner and another lunch) just to see what Monsieur Bodiguel concocts. The scenery on the table matches the landscape for variety and beauty. The lounge car has a baby grand piano, which the naughty wine steward sometimes uses as auxiliary bar. We forgave him because someplace on the train he hides a few wines that aren’t on the list, including an excellent dopo pranzo sauterne, so do chat him up. Black tie is suggested for dinner. As happens with great beauties, once in awhile a bit of brake oil may seep into the atmosphere. Call it historic, the charm is undeniable, and be glad that Agatha Christie had the good sense not to murder the chef.
— Leaves from Cannaregio, Stazione Santa Lucia. Venice. The site lists departures and prices. — Judy Edelhoff
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Osteria del Duca
There’s a suggestion that this 1200s palazzo was once owned by the Montecchi family which might make it Romeo's house, or at least Romeo hangout. To their credit, no one here seems to capitalize on the marketing opportunity. Try penne con pomodoro e melanzane. Since horsemeat is still served in these parts, avoid cavallo or asino, or don’t, depending on your food politics. Horse and ass both taste like a boiled meat. No reservations — Corinna Amendola
Excellent breads, rolls, pastries and variations on pizza are at this bread bakery. Pair them up with cheese purchased from the nearby Latteria Ronchi (see reviews) or salami, take your own picnic lunch — not in the center where one is fined for picnicking — to Certosa, and watch the boat builders and repairers. — Judy Edelhoff
Pasticceria Giovanni Pitteri
The greenish torta di pistacchio is a cake so dense with the can't-stop-eating-them Near Eastern nut that one slice keeps one fueled for hours. Ideal for those that prefer sweets that aren’t gooey or cloying. — Judy Edelhoff
Whether it's the "emigrant" Abruzzese staff or its position near the Grand Canal on Rio di Ca’ di Dio Canal (near Hotel Gabriele), this place is a joy. Nab one of the few outdoor tables — even in winter if it’s sunny — wedged in at the base of the pedestrian bridge under the bustle of a non-stop parade of people and water taxis. If it’s chilly, the cozy upstairs dining is under a wood beamed ceiling a with beautiful view. Settle in with a Prosecco tinted with pomegranate juice. The antipasto selection is superb — fresh calamari with celery, “barbone” in saor (fish in sweet and sour sauce with onion), tiny shrimp with polenta, raw shrimp and mazzancolle, raw tuna, boiled shrimp, and panocca or canoccia, long razor clam-like creatures.
For secondo try San Pietro (John Dory), a meaty fish sautéed, then poached in white wine with zucchini and carrots. Fish raw or fried here is finel prepared. Don’t miss the (seasonal) lagoon scallops with tagliolini. Join all this with a bottle of Livio Felluga’s 2005 Vertigo. The fig tart has good homemade jam inside, while the delectable ricotta tart, lighter than cheesecake, has a hint of lemon zest. Both have good buttery, flaky crusts, and round out perfectly with a glass of passito. Inside 50 seats, outside 30. From Carnevale through late Oct open daily for lunch and dinner. — Judy Edelhoff
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Why do I always return here when décor is nothing special and always skip their food? For a quick boost of their tasty Girani brand coffee served at the bar in back at normal prices and to schmooze with the woman at the cash register, who has a keen sense of humor and has never steered me wrong. If you want to sit down, even inside, the price zooms... so head outdoors to Piazza San Marco where the setting is better. Sip a good cappuccino and enjoy the show. Open until midnight. — Judy Edelhoff
Trattoria alla Colonna
Solid trattoria close by to Piazza Viviani (known locally as Piazza delle Poste) that tends to find its balance on the late side — by late, we’re talking 9:30 p.m. The gnocchi Gorgonzola and beef stracotta Amarone are both Verona-worthy. If you’re hungry, there’s the famous Orecchia di Elefante culet ("ear of the elephant"), which serves three or four. Keep your mouth shut about Chievo; this is an AC Verona place. Just look at the walls. No lunch on Monday. — Katrina Maiano
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Trattoria da Romano (Burano)
Art on the walls often is by customers — one named Henri Matisse — who dropped in. Thanks to Romano’s love of artists the interior is an eclectic mini-gallery. Tradition has since passed to Romano’s son on this island of colorful houses and disappearing lace-makers. Fish is the specialty. For antipasto, the gamberetti del mare and sardines in saor is especially good. Risotto al Romano is with lagoon fish is creamy (€13). The seafood soup, brodetto, is also a hit, as is the mixed fried fish (€24).
Livio Felluga’s Pinot Grigio (€16, half bottle) beautifully enhanced the food as did the same winery’s Bianco delle Venezie Shárj’s (Chardonnay and Ribollo Giallo) (€22). There wines aplenty to choose from (some 55 from Venice and Friuli alone). Regular diners frequently outnumber the tourists, a group that has included Katherine Hepburn, Keith Richard, Ezra Pound, Michelangelo Antonioni, Chaplin, Fellini, and Armani. Warm service, lovely inside or out, and good food once inspired Arrigo Cipriani, owner of Harry’s Bar in Venice, to write: "Here, I feel like a human being." Ditto! — Judy Edelhoff
The full name of this place, which is on Piazza Bra near the Arena, is La Trattoria di Giovanni Rana Tre Corone. As impressive as the name is for many reasons, the restaurant rests too much on past laurels (and thus yields to overpricing). Verona pasta-maker ("Mr. Tortellini") Rana long ago turned his full attention to his pasta line and American exports. The associate is slender at best. Still, the local Veneto staples are all here and in working order: cotolette, gnocchi, roast pig with polenta, and San Pietro (John Dory) fish. It's all fine per se but lacking in zeal. It’s as if the piazza and its nearby monument had gotten the better of a place that in its heyday pleased a demanding local clientele but no longer needs to do so more than occasionally. — Katrina Maiano
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Displaying 21 thru 29 of 29 restaurants.