Campiello della Pazienza, May 26, 2011—LAST TIME WE WERE here (in Venice, I mean) for any length of time we stopped in late one night at a nice place not far from the Rialto. It was a hot night; we ate outside. Halfway through the meal we were serenaded by an accordionist: it was a very pleasant evening.
I wanted to check the place out again, particularly as it's among the relatively few Venice restaurants mentioned in this year's Osterie d'Italia, the Slow Food guide to eating in Italy. We got there a little after two; the tables in front of the restaurant were already full, but we sat at just as pleasant a section out behind, just at a window looking into the kitchen — a serving window, in fact: our food was handed through by the cook to the waiter.
We began with a plate of cichetti — Venetian "little bites," amuses-geule: rice ball, teeny polpetti, a little scallop on its shell with roe and sauce, a tiny sole breaded and fried, fried zucchini slices, that sort of thing. There were two little toasts spread with baccalà mantecato, too; and F____ and I thought the baccalà tasted off, though L. disagreed. I mentioned it to the waiter, who was surprised.
I went on to an orata, simply grilled and served with a triangle of delicious white polenta. Flaky, fresh, sustaining: a fine thing, this fish, making up for the baccalà which, the waiter agreed later on — perhaps after having tasted it himself — was troppo forte, too strong.
White wine in carafe
Osteria "Al Bacareto", S. Marco S. Samuele 3447, Venice; 041-5289336
That was lunch. Dinner tonight, as last night, in our apartment: melon and prosciutto, some giardinera or pickled vegetables, a piece of Castelmagno; still Prosecco; some chocolate. And so to bed.