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At The Pass

Venice – Osteria da Fiore

During our all too short long weekend in Venice for the Regata Storica we ate extremely well. Our meals ranged from a few Euros to expensive.

Tucked away in a narrow alley (Calle del Scaleter) not far from the Rialto Market and the Grand Canal is a restaurant, and what a restaurant – the Osteria da Fiore.

At first sight you can be forgiven for thinking it is just another neighbourhood restaurant. From the outside it is very unassuming. But enter and you discover a dining room of understated elegance and tables adorned with crisp linen, gleaming glass and cutlery. The welcome is warm and the service attentive and charming. And then there is the food; and what food. Well, it does have a Michelin star!

The chef is Mara Martin, wife of Maurizio who heads the charming front of house team. Mara originally learnt to cook from her grandmother, a chef in Mirano where the couple grew up. But Venice is noted for its sea food and when the Martins moved to Venice Mara set to work to learn more about cooking the local fish.

The Osteria da Fiore opened its doors in 1978 and quickly made a name for itself as an excellent restaurant specialising in sea food. Of course dishes other than fish are on the menu – indeed we can vouch for the delicious Venetian liver.

It was an expensive evening, but worth every single Euro. We wouldn’t dream of going to Venice now without trying to book a table – a fabulous evening.

Apart from running their Michelin star restaurant the family also have a cookery school and have produced their own cookery book Osteria da Fiore.

Osteria da Fiore,Calle del Scaleter, , San Polo, Venice, Italy. www.dafiore.net

We also strongly recommend:

Birraria La Corte, San Paolo. Amongst a wide range of dishes their specialities include excellent pizza and pasta. http://www.birrarialacorte.it

Trattoria Toma, San Paolo. Highly recommended – the lamb cutlets and the sautéed rosemary potatoes. www.trattoriasantoma.com

Ca’Rezzonico, once a magnificent palace now a major museum with an excellent groundfloor café (not part of the galleries). Where a delicious toasted basil, mozzarella and tomato sandwich drizzled with olive oil was a few euros and a huge glass of superb Aperol Spritz €5. www.carezzonico.visitmuve.it

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