Tag Archives: Venice

Osteria Enoteca San Marco

Caprese salad

Wandering around through the streets of Venice near St Mark’s Square you are bombarded with high-end labels, Venetian glass baubles and masks. Choosing where to eat lunch can also be daunting, with so many choices – D and I ended up picking a place that looked the least like Italy. The modern interior appealed to us and by chance we seemed to pick a touristy restaurant that also happened to serve super good food.

Wild mushroom with fresh pappardelle

Osteria Enoteca San Marco offers a selection of delicious fresh pastas with the added bonus of a great selection of wines by the glass – from prosecco to a Brunello di Montalcino, which we took advantage of ūüôā

Buffalo ricotta and scarmoza ravioli with tomatoes

There was the beautifully presented caprese salad, bursting with tomatoey, mozarella-ey and the all important basil goodness, a ravioli with buffalo ricotta and scarmoza (a lightly smoked cheese) and tomatoes, and a simple wild mushroom pappardelle angling for attention on our table with the wines.

D and I swapped the dishes we ordered – he loved the smokey cheese ravioli and I loved the simpleness of the mushroom pappardelle.

And so ends our Venetian eating adventures…next…on to beautiful Verona !

Osteria Enotica San Marco
San Marco 1610 – 30124 Venice
Tel: +39 041 528 52 42

Corta Sconta

The beautiful courtyard at Corta Sconta

Venice is a bit of an¬†anomaly¬†with the rest of Italy – it’s one of the main cities, but few people wax lyrical about the cuisine or share all of their great food experiences there. The locals cater to the masses of tourists, so expect to find trattorias with lots of pasta and pizza options on the menu, and expect to pay a premium to eat anywhere within sniffing distance of St Mark’s Square or with a view of/near a canal.

However, there are some definite brilliant hidey holes and Corta Sconta is one of them.

Carpaccio of sea bream and tuna 

For a start, the entrance to the restaurant is a bland blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hole in the wall, but walk through the small indoor seating area and you’ll pop out the back to the most gorgeous courtyard. It feels like you have entered a secret garden, where some diners eat alone with their books and a glass of wine, amongst groups of locals catching up over never-ending spritzers – a refreshing mix of Aperol and prosecco.

There is a standard menu with a list of fresh pastas, made on the premises – sauces are whatever is available that day, which the owner and hostess, Rita, will happily share with you.

Steamed local clams with white wine and ginger

The daily menu consists of dishes made from strictly seasonal products – with the great option of letting them choose for you.

We started with a tuna carpaccio marinated in balsamic vinegar and sea bream marinated in orange. The fish was delightfully fresh and firm and I loved the sea bream but thought (secretly) to myself it was a shame to marinate gorgeous tuna in such a strong flavour as balsamic.

Next up we had clams steamed with white wine and ginger which were awesome. The sweetness of the clams were released into the broth that was quickly mopped up by crusty bread.

Sardines and prawns – two of the “six fish from laguna”

Third (and for us, final) dish was a dish consisting of “the six fish from Laguna” – the Venetian Lagoon. The six “fish”- recommended to be eaten from the more delicate to the more robust flavours – were cuttlefish roe, mantis shrimp, spider crab in cream on top of crusty squares of bread, prawns, octopus and sardines. Most were simply steamed and served with a generous drizzle of olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon.

We really did consider ordering some of the pasta dishes we saw served at other tables but by this stage both of us were full of seafood and prosecco but if you can squeeze it in, based on the quality and flavour of what we ate, I would definitely recommend it.

There’s such a strong feeling that the family are cooking for you, their friends, at Corta Sconta – it’s a place where you could easily spend the entire afternoon to escape the hustle and bustle outside.

Corta Sconta
Castello 3886
Calle del Pestrin (Arsenale)
Tel: tel 041 5227024
Email: corte.sconta@yahoo.it

Harry’s Bar, Venice, Italy

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.

Cirpriani 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.

Harry’s Bar
Calle Vallaresso, 1323
30124 Venezia, Italy
Tel: +39 (0) 41 528 5777

Open daily 10.30am to 11pm