In a recent trip to Venice, I had the fortune of trying two of the best meals I had while in Europe.
Alle Testiere, near San Mark’s Square, offered an incredible lunch, one of the very best I’ve had on my Europe trip
- Gazpacho with Grilled Little Octopus (5/5) – Just crispy little octopus in a (hot) gazpacho with crisp carrots and cucumbers, and fresh tomato
- Potato Gnocchetti with small calamari and Cinnamon Scent (5/5) – Incredible sauce, cinnamon used prominently in a sauce that is savory, and tastes akin to tamarind, but isn’t tamarind.
- Dessert – Chestnut pudding (4.5/5)
It was the French lawyer and gastronomic philosopher Brillat-Savarin who quoted Charles Townsend Copeland as saying “To eat is human, to digest divine”. I have rarely had a meal that sat better with me in the afterhours of that lunch.
It’s an extremely small and cozy place with 8 tables, but the place is a highly-recommended in my book. If you can, get the cookbook (19 Euros) as a souvenir to go with the Venetian masks.
For dinner, I had what Tripadvisor called “the way local Venetians really eat” Alfredo’s Fresh Pasta to Go. The owners make the sauce every morning on site at the store, and they discourage patrons from mixing and matching the types of pasta they want – offering instead a carefully curated set of pairings. I tried:
- Rigatoni with Bolognese (5/5) – the best bolognese I’ve ever had. Fresh tomatoes, succulent beef, went well with the large-penne that is rigatoni.
- Spaghetti with Squid Ink (3.5/5) – a bit too salty, meagre on squid. Spaghetti was cooked to al dente perfection though.
Both entrees were highly affordable – with the Bolognese clocking in at 6 Euros and the Squid-Ink Spaghetti at 7 Euros. Alfredo’s is another very small place in the high-rent lagoon of Venice – 5 bartop seats to be exact. The upside of course, is relative affordability.
Thank you Tripadvisor!
Overall Rating (Osteria Alle Testiere): 16/20
Overall Rating (Alfredo’s): 14/20