> SlowTrav > Italy > Restaurants > Reviews > Venice

Santa Croce: La Zucca

Ponte del Megio 1762 , Phone: 041.5241570
Closing day: Sunday

Reviewed by: AnnieNC from USA, review #3652

When: 2010

I was happy to be back at La Zucca

I had lunch here on my first full day in Venice. Was able to walk in without a reservation, probably because it was November. Even in winter, you need a reservation for dinner though.

I had the famous pumpkin flan (flan di zucca con ricotta stagionata) and radicchio di Chioggia in agrodolce. Both were great. For dessert, I had this persimmon pudding thing (I didn't write down the Italian name) with spicy chocolate sauce. And the sauce was very spicy; I loved it.

La Zucca is still my favorite place to eat in Venice; I love the menu, the food, the people who work there, and the neighborhood (Campo San Giacomo dall' Orio).

Reviewed by: Gene8499 from VA, review #3585

When: 2010

Good, not great, meat and vegetarian meals at a decent price

La Zucca is mentioned favorably everywhere - here on Slow Trav, in guidebooks, and on other websites. And it's good, and in serving only meats and vegetarian type dishes, different from the normal Venetian restaurant, which typically focuses on fish. And it still gets quite a crowd, with two different seatings each night. (And we noticed at least 3 separate parties being turned away since they did not have reservations).

That said, I thought that the restaurant may be resting a bit on its laurels. Maybe that's because they messed up my order, which maybe occurred because the waitress had a bad night. As I said, the food is good. And the waitress was pleasant and helpful in walking us through the menu and in suggesting a neat red wine, Phigaia, which may be a merlot blend from the Veneto region - not bad and was a perfect accompaniment to the meats and veggie dishes we all had.

There were four of us dining. For starters, 3 of us had the pumpkin/farro soup, which was great (I had a sample). I ordered a mushroom souffle with the in season porcini - it was great too, once it came out. The only problem was that the waitress had entered the order wrong, and my entree came out first with everyone else's soup, instead of the souffle. When I mentioned the mix-up, my entree was whisked away, and about 15 minutes later, my souffle came out. When the secondi were served, my secondo looked amazingly like the plate brought out about 30 minutes earlier - held under a heat lamp, perhaps? Too bad, because even in its warmed-over state, the roasted pork was pretty good. One other entree, the roasted vegetable platter of the season with curried rice, sounded great to my wife, but was basically boring and not very flavorful.

I mentioned that the waitress may have been having a bad night - we noticed that she had messed up at least one other diner's order before us, and she disappeared from service shortly after the mistake with my order - sort of like the starting pitcher being relieved in the second inning.

Desserts/dolce were good, and as I said, the wine was nice and not something I would have ever picked out or had available in the States. So, overall, a good restaurant, but not great, at least not up to praises sung in the reviews of others. For the four of us, with wine and water and coperto, the total in dollars came to about $195 at current ($1.37) exchange rates. A little pricey for somewhat sloppy service and good-not-great food. Too bad - I really wanted to like this restaurant more.

Reviewed by: Robert Rainey from CA, review #3574

When: 2010

reservations required, we saw several folks turned away, good food several vegetarian options.

Directions: San Stae vaporetto stop

La zucca is not only a vegetarian restaurant. My wife did have the excellent pumpkin soup. Salads were fresh and tasty. I had meat ragu pasta which was good. Wine list reasonable with some good local wines, house red drinkable. Prices about "average".

Reviewed by: Monica Pileggi from USA, review #3508

When: 2010

Interesting Vegetarian Dishes

Pasta w/ pistachio nuts in a gorgonzola sauce., photo by Monica J. Pileggi

La Zucca (meaning pumpkin) is one of the few restaurants in Venice that serves interesting vegetarian dishes. I dined with three friends in June 2010.

I started with the tagliatelle pasta with chopped pistachio nuts in a gorgonzola sauce. It was rich, creamy, tasty, and filling. Next I had the baked eggplant, which was actually a side dish, but plenty for me after the pasta. We shared a liter of house red wine. For dessert, I had vin santo (a sweet dessert wine) and cookies.

23 euros total for my portion. This was my second time at La Zucca and I highly recommend it for the unique menu. Someday I’ll order something with pumpkin!

Reviewed by: AnnieNC from NC, review #3198

When: 2008

My favorite restaurant in Italy

Directions: close to Campo Giacomo dall' Orio

It had been a couple of years since I’d eaten at La Zucca because it was closed for repairs on my 2007 trip. Happy to say that this place is just as wonderful as ever. I ate here two nights on my most recent trip in December 2008. Even in winter, reservations are a good idea. I stopped by on Thursday to make reservations for Saturday night and they told me that I could come, but only from 7-9, the late shift was all booked up.

On the first night, I had tagliatelle with artichokes and pecorino, and a couple of the contorni (cipolline in prosecco, and carrots with curry and yogurt). The second night I got the vegetarian plate with couscous, and picked four of the contorni (potatoes gratin, braised artichokes, fennel with black olives, and the cipolline again). This time I had room for dessert and had chestnut mousse with chocolate sauce. Everything was wonderful and prices are beyond reasonable. Nice staff and a comfortable place to dine solo.

Reviewed by: jgk from FL, review #3006

When: 2008

Don't miss! What a wonderful, varied menu! Low key staff is friendly and knowledgable. Not an elegant setting but fantastic food. Well priced.

You HAVE TO make a reservation at La Zucca if you want to eat at a reasonable time. We saw people being turned away who didn't.

I absolutely loved our meal! We started with tagliatelle with gorgonzola and pistacchio nuts - silky rich with a little crunch from the nuts - fabulous.

I loved the pork roast with "prugne" which turned out to not be prunes but fresh plums in a wonderful sweet/sour sauce. Kris had roast beef with avocado which was just that - beautifully simple. She loved it. The peperonata was peppers and eggplant together and very tasty.

We drank a Schioppettino - Friulian red, on the light side. It was the suggestion of the server and it worked perfectly with both of our dishes.

Loved La Zucca!

Reviewed by: llee from US, review #2501

When: 2007

A wonderful restaurant with reasonable prices.

Directions: Walk up Salizzada San Stae, turn right on Calle del Tintor. La Zucca is on your left.

This was our first meal (lunch) in Venice and conveniently located near our hotel.

We started out with a zucchini mousse that was delicious. I wanted to lick the plate clean. I had the gorgonzola pasta, a little overpowering for me, but gorgonzola is a strong flavor. Tom had the artichoke pasta that was light and flavorful, and after that he had a dish of stewed rabbit that was very good. We had an Inama Vin Soave, that was very refreshing.

It was so funny - an Italian man was sitting next to us and laughing and patting his stomach at the amount of food Tom ate.

Reviewed by: AnnieNC from USA, review #2488

When: 2006

An awesome restaurant, one of my favorites

Directions: close to Campo San Giacomo da l'Orio

I reviewed this place in 2004 and am happy to report that in December 2006, it’s just as good if not better. What a bargain too, for such amazing food.

We ate here three times on a 12-day trip! There were just so many things on the menu that we wanted to try, and while we had some very good food at other places, nothing compared to this.

You have to reserve in advance, even in December. The menu changes daily, though some things remain the same, like the Pumpkin Flan, which is one of the most delicious things I’ve had in my life. It’s incredible (it’s a savory not a sweet, by the way, with lots of cheese).

La Zucca began as a vegetarian restaurant, and they do vegetables like no other. You can even order a contorni assortment plate to try five or so of the daily choices. They have some interesting meat choices (goulash, duck), but I didn’t eat anything other than vegetables (and dessert!).

Everything was awesome: a radicchio salad with shaved parmesan, sautéed chard, lentil and pumpkin soup, a super-rich potato gratin, curried yogurt carrots (I ordered these two nights), a warm goat cheese salad, roasted cippoline onions in prosecco sauce.

And the desserts were amazing too: an eggnog semifreddo, a pear and chocolate tart, pannacotta with honey and almonds.

We had house wine (very good), water, and more food than we could really eat, for about 25 euros per person each night.

And as an added bonus: our first night there, we were sitting next to a nice couple from California and later discovered that it was 'cubbies," a fellow Slow Traveler! Her husband got a funny look on his face when he realized that she was “meeting” people she knew from the Internet! It was great.

Reviewed by: AnnieNC from NC, review #1001

When: 2003

Excellent food!

I love this restaurant and consider it a real bargain – food this good in the U.S. would cost a lot more than it does here.

I ate here in October 2003 with a friend; we stopped by in the morning and made reservations for that night. For a starter, I had a pumpkin – chickpea soup that was great. For the main course, I ordered the vegetable plate which was an assortment of about 5 of the contorni of the day – all were wonderful and it was fun to try so many different things. And for dessert – fig gelato with caramel sauce – yum! All of this and house wine was only about €30 - which is amazing considering how good everything was.

Reviewed by: Colleen from CA (moderator), review #717

When: 2002

Small trattoria with a well deserved reputation for fresh ingredients and well prepared dishes.

Directions: Walk straight back from the San Stae vaporetto stop; turn right on Calle de Tintor. La Zucca is on your left.

I'd heard and read so many recommendations for tiny La Zucca restaurant, I was happy to be there for dinner at last. It was worth the wait! My friend Shannon and I met up with another friend at about 7:00pm, and arrived at the restaurant soon after for our reservation. There was one other occupied table when we arrived; the other tables filled up quickly.

I started with linguini with gorgonzola cheese and pine nuts. So Good and So Rich, I couldn't finish it - and I was hungry when we arrived! (It would be a perfect dish for two people to share.) I tasted Shannon's radicchio lasagne - also fantastic. Then our vegetables arrived: pumpkin with a spice (cardamom?) I wasn't crazy about, broccoli in olive oil and garlic, and spinach with cheese topping. All good, but to me, the spinach was the best.

Cantucci and vin santo finished the meal for me and our friend, while Shannon enjoyed one of her favorite house desserts - panna cotta with honey. During dinner, we shared a liter of house red wine and a small bottle of mineral water. Total for three: €54.

Reviewed by: Sheila from MD, review #317

When: 2000

Big disappointment. Although it was highly recommended, I was not impressed by the food.

Directions: From Campo San Giacomo - with the back of the church on your left walk towards bridge; cross bridge going to your right; Zucca is just beyond the bridge-in fact you can see the side of the restaurant from the bridge.

From postings on the AOL Italy travel boards, I was expecting this to be a moderately priced restaurant with very good food, patronized by locals as well as tourists. Well, it was moderately priced, but I was not at all impressed by the food. La Zucca had a small and not too interesting menu. Food just so-so.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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