Monday, May 30, 2011

Just another bacaro

Piazzetta di Pazienza, May 30, 2011—
A BACARO, HERE in Venice, is simply an ordinary trattoria serving traditional Venice food, including cichetti, which, as I've mentioned before I think, are simply the Venetian take on what the Spanish call tapas, and that's about enough italics for one evening.

Of course a number of Venice trattorias use the word "bacaro" in their name, or next to it, or prominently on their signs or menus or, if they're ambitious enough, websites. So today, walking down the Sottoportego de Siora Bettina in the Santa Croce district, we fell upon a place something about whose name, or sign, or doorway, or menu, resonated with something I'd read in Rick Steves, or Slow Food, or the New York Times, or the Manchester Guardian. And we were getting hungry and a fairly lengthy sit-down wouldn't hurt. So after looking at the menu, in we went.

We sat outside in one of the usual giardini — oops, sorry about the italics, one of the gardens. Lots of tables under an old wisteria, a big rectangular umbrella giving a yellowish cast to the light. Menu only in Italian, as I recall; lots of nonItalian being spoken at tables around. Rushed, non-nonsense Italian women of a certain age for waitresses.

Let's have a baccalà mantecato for the table to start, I said; then I'll have the fegato Venexiano. Half a liter of white; a big acqua gazzata. By now you'll know that means salt cod, whipped with olive oil to a lovely soft consistency and accompanied by a square of grilled white polenta, and

strips of calve's liver, sautéed in butter and served with onions similarly treated, with another slice of the same polenta. Service and wine could have been better; food was quite acceptable. We didn't linger for coffee or dessert.
Nono Risorto, Santa Croce 2337, Sottoportego de Siora Bettina, Venice; 041 5241169

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