Lagoon apartment, Venice, May 22, 2011—THERE ARE MANY REASONS to spend some of your life in Venice: Fegato Veneziana is not the least of them. Eating in general is near the top for us, of course: fish from the lagoon; fruits, vegetables, and wine from the nearby mainland; the rich, knowing cuisine that's had centuries to steep in a complex, multicultural history.
To celebrate our first day here we took Fran to Montin, storied itself, walking through the dark tranquil dining room hung about with dozens of paintings left here by various artists and stepping out into the fine arbor. A smiling six-year-old girl, for example, clearly a member of the locanda family, brought us our basket of bread; then gravely walked away, hands clasped behind her back.
We looked at the menu, but I knew what I wanted: sarde in saor, arugula with shavings of grana padana, and fegato venexiana: good calves' liver sautéed quickly with onions and finished with red wine and butter, served with squares of grilled polenta. It is truly one of the Hundred Plates, and Montin, while it may not be illustrious, is among my Hundred Restaurants. It always reminds me of how things Used To Be, and that they still can, at least here.
White Trebbiano in carafe• Antica Locanda Montin, Fondamenta di Borgo, 1147 30123 Venezia; +39 041 5227151