The famous Bellini cocktail at Harry’s Bar
Harry’s really doesn’t need any introduction. I did learn before I went though, that not only was it the home of the Bellini cocktail, but also where carpaccio was invented. It was served to the countess Amalia Nani Mocenigo in 1950 when she informed the bar’s owner, Gieuseppe Cipriani that her doctor had recommended she eat only raw meat. It consisted of thin slices of raw beef dressed with a mustard sauce, as it remains today. The dish was named Carpaccio by the owner of the bar, Giuseppe Cipriani, in reference to the Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio, because the colors of the dish reminded him of paintings by Carpaccio.
We started the evening, along with what looked like every other diner that night – a Bellini. Even if you don’t like champagne cocktails, it’s hard not to like these. The simple combination of delicate white peach puree with prosecco works beautifully and it’s a lovely refreshing way to begin any meal.
The food at Harry’s is traditionally Venetian – simply prepared with strong emphasis on seasonal seafood and vegetables. We had wandered around the fresh food markets off the Rialto Bridge earlier that day and the produce was amazing.
Pan-seared cod with lemon and capers
To start with I had pappardelle with tomatoes which was deliciously light and fresh, and D had the Cipriani Carpaccio. The beef was sliced wafer thin and the mustard sauce really added a level of salt and tanginess to the sweetness of the beef.
Fresh pappardelle with saffron and crispy pancetta
For mains I had the cod with lemon and capers and D had the pappardelle with saffron and pancetta. Both, served table side, were amazing.
The restaurant upstairs is packed and you’re pretty close to other diners, but the staff are so friendly and great at what they do. If you go, make sure you ask them to show you the selection of desserts they have on offer on the day – we chose the chocolate mousse cake with our coffees before strolling back along the water’s edge to our apartment. What a perfect way to end our first day in the city of canals.
Calle Vallaresso, 1323
30124 Venezia, Italy
Tel: +39 (0) 41 528 5777
Open daily 10.30am to 11pm