|Trattoria Alla Madonna|
It was now evening when we ended our tour of the Rialto Bridge and it was now time for supper. We wanted to try a specialty of Venice - Spaghetti al nero di seppia (squid ink spaghetti). You can find this pasta dish in many authentic Venetian osterie or trattorias but one of the best that offers this dish is Trattoria alla Madonna, also said to have the best Seafood Risotto in Venice.
Check out "Rialto Bridge"
It was very close to Rialto Bridge, a block off the Grand Canal but, as it was off the beaten path, we still needed to seek it out. We found La Madonna on a narrow alley far from the maddening crowd, in one of the most charming corners of the city.
This renowned seafood eatery was said to be often visited by cultural and show business celebrities who prefer an informal setting with an attentive quick service. However, their clientele is still diverse, with a mix of locals and tourists. The restaurant was opened in 1954 by Mr. Fulvio Rado but, for the last 35 years, it was managed by his son Lucio.
Upon arrival, we first noticed the antipasti counter and seafood chiller. As it was still early, we didn’t have to wait for our table. While seated, it was entertaining to watch the waiters, in their black trousers and starched white jackets, busily assembling antipasto plates and seafood dishes ordered by customers.
|The dining area|
The walls of the nine dining rooms of this popular and busy trattoria are all adorned with a wealth of Italian contemporary paintings of famous Italian artists. The menu was quite varied, with lasagna, spaghetti and soup but the fish dishes predominate.
Trattoria alla Madonna specializes in seafood and the main dishes in the menu of Venetian classics were fish dishes such as the Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia (squid-ink spaghetti), Antipasto Misto di Pesce, Risotto ai Frutti di Mare (seafood risotto) and the Fritto Misto (mixed seafood). They were prepared in the most natural way to preserve the typical taste of each ingredient as well as enhance the typical flavors of each single dish.
|Venetian Fried Sardines (10€)|
For those who don’t love fish, they have of course an alternative menu with different traditional meat dishes such as Fegato alla Veneziana (liver), Scaloppine di Vitello (veal scaloppine) and Costato di Vitello (grilled veal chops).
The traditional Venetian squid ink spaghetti we ordered (11, 00€) with its strong squid ink aroma, was excellent. A word of warning though. Before leaving the restaurant, check that your lips and teeth are not stained with the black ink sauce.
|Roast Chicken (10€)|
You might scare someone off when you smile in the dark. We also ordered Cutlet (breaded the Milanese way, 12, 00€), Venetian Fried Sardines (10, 00€) and Roast Chicken (10, 00€).
Though we didn’t order wine, their wine cellar offers a wide choice of wines from the Friuli region of Collio as well as any prestigious principal regional Italian wine labels such as Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti Riserva.
It was not cheap but we had very good value for money. The menu clearly states there is a 17% service fee, plus cover charge which is normal for many restaurants. Highly recommended.
|Cutlet (breaded, Milanese way, 12€)|
|Spaghetti with squid ink (11, 00€)|
Trattoria alla Madonna: Calle della Madonna, San Polo 594, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy. Tel: 39 0415223824 | E-mail: email@example.com. Website:
www.ristoranteallamadonna.com. Alla Madonna only takes reservations for tables of four or more. If there’ only the two of you, just show up and join the queue. It’s best to get there at 7 PM (when it opens) or after 9 PM. Tourists are ushered to the left section of the restaurant. All credit cards are accepted. The restaurant is closed on Wednesdays.
How to Get There:
Take the vaporetto (Line 1) and get off at "Rialto Mercato," a narrow street along the Rialto market street. From the foot of the Rialto Bridge, at the San Polo end of the bridge, turn left and follow the Riva del Vin along the Grand Canal. Look out for Sottoportego della Madonna, the second passageway on your right, which then becomes Calle della Madonna. Trattoria alla Madonna, with a big yellow sign across the street, is on your left.