Thursday, March 15, 2018

Finding the lost paradise and experiencing a "Locanda".

yeeeeh, I am in Venice!!!

San marco, Venice
San Marco and the Doge's Palace, seen from the ferryboat.

We arrived by car via the 7 km long bridge, the Via della Libertad in Venice. The farest you can go by car is the Piazzale Roma and our hotel Ca Doge is on this square and our hotel has a parking, one of the few hotels that have a parking. The name of the hotel is fancy, the rooms are not as fancy as the name of the hotel but hey are nice,  in a good size, a  king size bed with excellent mattress, bathroom with shower, toilet, bidet and washstand;

Ca Doge, Venezia, bathroom
Ca Doge, Venezia, bathroom

enough choice in the breakfast room, staff is friendly and helpful and you have a guarded parking space, this is for us very important since Venice is a transit place.

Where to sharpen your taste buds?

Il Paradiso Perduto

Three years ago, we visited the Jewish ghetto and the Cannaregio area.  Around 6 pm we got hungry. Since this part is far less visited by tourists, there were not any restaurants visible. We accosted a local lady, asked her where we could eat real Venetian food and she advised Il Paradiso Perduto! on the Fundamenta Misericordia 2540 in the Cannaregio part of Venice, closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. I didn't find a website but here you have some more info.The instructions to get there sounded very easy but I assure you, finding your way in Venice is  quite difficult But it was worth every effort! Outside, in front of the place was  a crowd, people sipping wine, eating chichetti (equivalent of Spanish tapas) having a good time; the inside looked weird, crazy with the floor laid in bricks tilting to one side, not one table or chair the same, crazy paintings of creatures half fish half human on the wall, a fire place with huge logs burning but the food, the food, probably the best restaurant I have ever been to. I say was because the place has been revamped with a level floor, a stove instead of the fire place and the weird paintings have been replaced by blurred ones but the food is as delicious as before: as starter or antipasti we had a mixed seafood platter for 2 persons: scallops, stuffed squibs, giant shrimps, sardines with tomato sauce, mussels, calamari salad, white fish paté, sour  sardines, grilled radicchio and carrots and peas. DELICIOUS!

seafood at Il Paradiso Perduto, Venice
seafood at Il Paradiso Perduto, Venice

As primmi piatti I had spaghetti cooked with the ink of the squid (it is really ink; I used it to draw and you get a darkish brown color when dried!) and my husband had a fish soup: mussels and different parcels of white fish and 2 big chunks of bread, delicious.

Fish soup at Il Paradiso Perduto
Fish soup at Il Paradiso Perduto

We were not the only one that appreciated the food: a cat choose out a table, begged for food, got food and then took things in her own "hands" and finished the bowl. The cat was the star until one of the waitresses picked her up and took her away.

The cat gourmand at Il Paradiso Perduto
The cat gourmand at Il Paradiso perduto

the Antica Locanda Montin

Last year, we were in Venice on a Tuesday and we learned that our beloved Paradise was closed. In a way it was good because we discovered another very good "Locanda". Wandering around the Campo Santa Margherita (more about the campo in the next post) we got hungry and asked a local for a good place to eat. Again it took us almost 30 min to find the place that was really only a 10 min away. It is a restaurant and a hotel. Here is their website.

The  Locanda montin is a very colorful, picturesque place to stay and eat. The interior is very interesting with its disparate and comic picture collection:

Locanda Montin, Venice
Locanda Montin, Venice; Photo courtesy of Suat Ozonder.

and a wonderful collection of Venetian glassware:

Locanda Montin, Venice
Glassware at Locanda Montin, Venice

and there is one word for the garden: gorgeous!

Locanda Montin, Venice, garden
Locanda Montin, Venice, garden.

and at night the ceiling light casts beautiful shadows:

Locanda Montin, Venice, ceiling light
Locanda Montin, Venice, ceiling light.

The food is as good as the interior: we had mussels and then each had a sole because we hadn't eaten sole in ages. The grilled eggplants and zucchini as a side dish and the caprese salad were excellent; one of the owners spoke French what made my husband very happy. The food pictures I took turned out blurred, sorry no pictures of the food.

Al vecio pozzo

The hotel recommends this place and it is frequented by Italians and tourists. There is a huge choice of pizza's and pasta's; but you should try their other very original dishes like the fried vegetables (a spectacular view and taste); we split the mussels and sardines Venetian style (sarde in saor). then I had the pasta spinacina, very simple but delicious with the spinach and butter and my husbands 4 formaggi was nice also. The red house wine is good and the next time I want to try out the prosecco house wine. The address is: Santa Croce 656, tra campo de la lana e rio martin. It is on a dead end street. Here is their website

Ristorante Taverna dei Dogi.

we had lunch at this restaurant the very first time we were in Venice. We had covered a lot of distance, were hungry and were in one of the most touristic area of Venice, not far from San Marco and the bridge of Sighs. My husband spotted the place; I had my doubts: a huge place, full of tourists, lots of groups, almost 3 pm. A waiter took us to the other end of the salon. I outed my fear of waiting too long but he said: you won't wait. We ordered fish and to my surprise, it didn't take long and the fish was good.  This happened a long time ago, maybe 7 years, but the taberna still exist and I have good memories of the place, despite the kitschy decoration and interior.

If you are only for a couple of days in Venice,  and you want to avoid the beaten path, this choice of 4 places should be enough to start with. If you stay longer, you can discover your own favorite place and tell us about it! I love to try new food, new places to eat if they are authentic or honest. So please leave your suggestions in a comment below!

Next week, we'll go treasure hunting! Be sure to get the next post in your mail box by subscribing in the column on the right.

See you!

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