Venice, a place that is unique in the world. And not only because of its palaces on the Canal Grande or because of the Gondolas that invite you to a romantic trip in the Laguna.
Venice and the sea around is also place to the most extraordinaries quality of fishes and crustaces. Exquisite dishes wait us every time we visit this fascinating city. Flavours that accompany our journey. Memories we bring home and that delight our palate. Even now that I’m writing about our recent culinary experience.
But, not every place in Venice offers the food I’m writing about. There is an historical restaurant, hidden in a ‘calle’, a small street in local language, just few steps from Rialto Bridge. It is called ‘Alla Madonna’, not because of the delicious food, one would think, but it is named after Calle della Madonna, the street where it is located. Do not expect a luxurious place; it is a ‘trattoria’, less formal than a restaurant, offering home-made food. Several rooms packed with tables and waiters and paintings on the walls. A cozy atmosphere, home to the exquisite fish of the Adriatic Sea.
The first thing we usually do when entering, is to look at the counter where all fresh fishes and crustaces are displayed: granseola, a big crab with a delicate pulp ready to eat by adding some pepper and lemon, garusoli, tiny sea snails delicious with oil and lemon, canocie, sweet crustaces served with oil, lemon and pepper, scampi, tasty shrimps without the shield, vongole, small shells that come from Chioggia, an area near Venice. Every time the choice is extremely difficult! Especially if you consider the other typical Venitian dishes!
Sarde in saor, for example, are fried fresh sardine fillets marinated in softly cooked white onions, with vinegar and raisins, stored in the refrigerator the day before serving. Served at ambient temperature, the flavour of the onion and fish is tempered by the vinegar. A tasteful entrée perfect with a glass of chilled Prosecco.
Scampi fritti. Simply gorgeous. Succulent shrimps fried without their shields. No other place serves this delicatessen.
Last but not least Risotto ai frutti di mare. Differently from other sea side cookings, the Venetian risotto is without tomato sauce and you do not need to waste time for opening shells or for cutting shrimps and prawns. All sea food is ready to eat and so delicious and delicate to the palate.
Venice and the sea around is also place to the most extraordinaries quality of fishes and crustaces. Exquisite dishes wait us every time we visit this fascinating city.