Culinary Digest: Osteria da Fiore, Venice


Osteria Da Fiore, Venice. Photo by Cynthia Wamwayi

Osteria da Fiore is one of only two Michelin-starred restaurants in Venice. Situated by one of many canals the lagoon city is famous for, it is renowned for its superlative fresh fish and it’s anti tourist-trap credibilities.  We dropped by on a warm late summer midday, after wandering through small streets, a back alley and eventually a bridge before spotting the understated entrance to the restaurant.

Naturally, we were welcomed with a bellini, a mixture of white peach juice and sparkling prosecco which was invented around these parts in the 1930s, and named after the fifteenth-century Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini. Meandering along canals really works up an appetite, so it wasn’t long before we got down to the serious business of enjoying what the Osteria da Fiore has to offer.

The starter: I’m willing to bet you’ve had this dish several times over the course of your life. Still, Fiore’s crispy yet succulent fried calamari and vegetables manages to catch you unawares just on the strength of it being neither too battered nor greasy yet nowhere near bland territory. This was our first encounter with the restaurant’s culinary offering, a sort of handshake in food form that let us know we could sit back and expect good things.

The arrival of the main, the aptly named seafood tower, proved my hunch wasn’t too far off.

Osteria da Fiore: The Seafood Tower

Loved it. I liked that it was light enough for lunch but in a portion that was big enough to sate my hunger and refuel me for the rest of the afternoon. Venice is, after all, best explored on foot. The light minty garnish tied together all the different types of seafood.

I’m not big on desserts in the middle of the day, I prefer them after my evening meal. Nevertheless, Fiore’s icecream is not your regular run of the mill kind.

The Lowdown

Style: Traditional Italian dishes given the modern makeover using mostly local, seasonal ingredients.

Signature dish(es): The Molecche, which is a typical Venetian dish, and steamed local sea bass with aged balsamic vinegar among

Accolades: 1 Michelin star.

Price:High-range, though lunch menus are surprisingly good value.

Contact information: www.dafiore.net; tel. 39 041 721 308

Address: Calle del Scaleter, San Polo 2002, Venice, 30125

LTB Tip: The restaurant has one table overlooking the canal that is mighty popular, especially with couples looking to celebrate special occasions. Call well ahead of time if you want this particular spot. Do not confuse the Osteria da Fiore with the Trattoria da Fiore.

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