Best Bites of Venice #1: Osteria Alla Frasca, Fresh SeafoodMonday, August 4, 2014
This is the 6th post in my Best Bites of Italy series, a round-up of the best eats during my 2 week trip through Rome, Venice, Florence and Cinque Terre. The first five posts in the series started in Rome, highlighting Renato e Luisa, La Gelateria del Teatro, Fried Artichokes at Giggetto, La Pizza del Teatro in Rome and Osteria Le Mani in Pasta (truffle heaven!).
After 4 days of delicious bites in Rome, J and I took a four hour train ride to spend a night in Venice. We departed from Rome early Sunday morning since Sundays in Italy are usually more quiet since everything is closed for this sacred day. What we failed to realize is that Venice would also be more quiet - as it turns out, all of the tapas places we wanted to try on Sunday afternoon was closed. So much for tapas hopping on a Sunday!
Luckily, there were still a ton of choices for dinner options. Unlike the bustling big city of Rome, Venice had such a small town feel unlike any other place I've ever been to. Of course, since it is such a popular tourist destination, there were handfuls of restaurants around the Grand Rialto which screamed tourist trap! To avoid those spots, I found a restaurant that was a bit more "in the cuts" of Venice, where we had to wander through numerous alleyways, bridges and dead end streets.
As we strolled through the quint streets of city of romance, we saw tons of lost people trying to navigate the confusing streets of Venice as well. Luckily I bought a SIM card from WIND (a must!!) so we had Google Maps to direct us, but even then it was difficult.
As it got closer to sunset and we were to our destination, I couldn't help but to be a bit paranoid about how sketchy the empty streets felt - there were definitely some scary streets we wandered through - including this creepy tunnel way. Good thing the crime rate in Venice is pretty low, but I just imagined how easy it would be for someone to just snatch our stuff and jump into a gondola and row away!
Half an hour of getting lost, a gelato pit stop and tons of pictures later, we ended up at Osteria Alla Frasca. On our walk there, we passed by a ton of little restaurants like this, surrounded by residential buildings and situated in an open square. I mean, how cute does this look? Having read the reviews of how busy this place gets, I was surprised to find that there were a few tables available. Our server told us that since it was Sunday, there's less tourists around so things quiet down.
Renato e Luisa where we were overstuffed, we opted to only share one appetizer and an order of pasta for each of us.
True to the the restaurant's name which literally translates to "Fresh Trattoria", Osteria All Frasca served us the freshest seafood that was sourced locally, and usually the day of. Our seafood appetizer was filled with the freshest prawns, whitefish salad and the most tender octopus. A staple of Venice is squid ink pasta, so J opted for that. The dish was just what we expected it to be, pasta was perfectly al dente covered with a briney black squid ink that tasted of the sea (in a good way). As for me, I was still having an obsession with all things seafood, so I ordered a simple seafood pasta. Fresh fresh fresh is all I have to say about all these dishes. Definitely a best bite of Venice!
Since the restaurant was emptying out, we decided to take a nice walk back to the Grand Canal for drinks by the water. That restaurant turned out quite touristy, but the view & company was fantastic... :)
Cannaregio 5176, Corte della Carità, Venice, Italy
☎ 39 041 241 2585