Monday, June 6, 2011


Corte della Pazienza, Venice, June 6, 2011—
WE WALKED DOWN TO San Marco today to take in the Correr Museum, partly for learning and culture, partly to keep out of the rain; and afterward, when we really did need to sit down for a while, I recalled a plain-and-simple joint nearby I'd read about on John Whiting's estimable website. It hadn't been tops on my list of places I want to visit, but it was nearby, we were tired, it was rather late (three o'clock), and it was raining, so in we went.

Cozy room. Twenty places at the tables. Friendly rushed waitress. Vague menu offering only categories (pasta of the day, Venice specialties, that sort of thing). But somehow homey and promising. We ordered a plate of vegetable for the table, and they were nice: carrots, eggplant, potatoes, onions, all sliced up and sautéed in oil and carefully salted.
Then I had baccalà manteca, for the third or fourth time in the last couple of weeks. The salt cod is soaked in several changes of water, cooked until tender, shredded with one's fingers, then beaten with olive oil as if one were making mayonnaise. The result, as you see, is not particularly photogenic, but it is delicious. Pungent, soft, textured, long on the palate. It's always served with polenta, just salt cod and polenta; and it's always welcome.
Tocai di Friuli in carafe
• Osteria Da Carla, 1535, S. Marco, Venezia (in the Sotoportego Corte Contarina, off the Frezzaria); 041 523 7855

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