Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Milan and Venice Restaurants

A long overdue post from some honeymoon dining. I haven't spent that much time in Milan, not that much to see and the euro has killed it as a shopping destination. Both times I've been there as an adult, I've eaten at the same restaurant, which is excellent.

Da Giacomo (via Pasquale Sottocorno 6 - tel. 02 760 23313) - reservations required, closed Mondays. It is very fish-focused, and really, really delicious. They have a great wine list that is well-priced. The spaghetti a la vongole and the shrimp and squid brochette were particularly good, and the desserts rock (get the profiteroles).

In Venice much of the food is not very good and is absurdly over-priced. Wine also tends to be very mediocre. The best food, given the location is fresh fish. In particular, the scallops, (capesante in Italian) are big and have a bright reddish-orange appendage on the side I've never seen in America, that is the best part of the scallop. Their famous "spider crab" is ubiquitous, pricey, and totally uninspiring. Nonetheless, there are a couple of gems we found:

Altanella (Giudecca 268, Rio de Ponte Longo tel. 041 522 7780) - reservations essential, not a lot of english spoken and it is very hard to find but totally worth it (closed Monday and Tuesday). You need to take one of the vaporetti (mass water taxis) to the Giudecca which is across the Grand Canal. The restaurant is down a dark alley-like street just before the Ponte Lungo. They're famous for gnocchi cooked in squid ink, which is worth trying, though a bit odd and incredibly rich.

The other great dinner we had was at La Furatola (Dorsoduro 2870, Calle Lunga Banaba tel. 041 520-8594) Closed Wednesday and Thursday. - also out of the way but on the regular side of the Grand Canal. Again, reservations are a must. It is reputed that if the fish at the market isn't fresh enough, they won't open. The spaghetti vongole was great, as were the simple grilled fish.

Da Fiore (San Poli 2202, Calle del Scaleter tel. 041 721 308) came highly recommended, but we didn't get there. It looked very good and is fairly central. mostly Americans, in contrast to the other two places. they're closed Sunday and Monday.

There are also a number of wine bars serving food that seem good and frequented by lots of locals near the fish market. If you're walking away from the Rialto Bridge towards the fish market, stay all the way to the right by the canal and you'll find it. There are tables set out and people standing everywhere drinking from wine glasses. I had some good risotto there.

No comments: