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Cannaregio: Ostaria Boccadoro

Campo Widman 5405A , Phone: 041-521-1021

Closing day: Monday

Reviewed by: BJinNM from NM, review #3150

When: 2008

We went here for my husband's 60th birthday and could not have picked a more delightful place to celebrate!

Directions: In the Campiello Widman near the Chiesa S. Maria Miracoli and right off the Campo Maria Nova.

We had stopped into this restaurant two nights before we dined there to look at the menu and decide if we wanted to go there for my husband's 60th birthday. The staff was so friendly and so welcoming that we knew this would be our choice. When we got there two nights later, they remembered us and that it was his birthday.

We let them order for us and what a meal it was. We started with their assortment of raw fish, thin slices of sea bream in very good olive oil, followed by whole scampi on top of thin sliced green apples. Then on the same plate was a terrific tuna tartare, small cubes of tuna, olive oil, salt and pepper. We cleaned the plate right down to the garnish of arugula! For a primi my husband had taglialini with sardines and fennel in a light red sauce and I had squid ink tagliatelli with scallops and zucchini. Both were wonderful and we were both grinning and eating off each others plate. Boccadoro makes their own pasta.

For a secondo we split a frito misto which had lots of squid, crab legs, clams, mussels, scampi, shrimp, and zucchini strips all fried in a very light, delicate tempura-like batter. For dessert the chef treated us to a panna cotta for my husband's birthday.

After coffee the hostess insisted on treating us to an after dinner drink, grappa for my husband and amaretto for me. They were very upset when we got up to leave and if we wanted to, we probably could have stayed there talking to the staff all night. I don't remember the cost but it was very reasonable for the food, wine and great celebration this restaurant gave us.

Reviewed by: llee from USA, review #2504

When: 2007

A lovely little restaurant on what looks to be an almost deserted campo.

This was a refreshing surprise after coming from San Marco with the horrendous crowds to find this Campo with nothing in it but this restaurant. We ate lunch here one afternoon after a tour in San Marco.

Tom had black tagliarini, a pasta with squid ink. He got hooked on that after his wonderful experience with cuttlefish at Poste Vecie. He then had a seared tuna. I had black and white gnocchi with some sort of fish and then grilled monkfish. We had a wonderful crisp white wine.

Again, another wonderful meal in Venice, thanks to the food guidebook "Chow! Venice." The restuarant is expensive but well worth it.

Reviewed by: Colleen from CA (moderator), review #1852

When: 2006

Excellent seafood and good service in a comfortable atmosphere.

Seppie pasta with artichoke slivers, photo by Colleen

I'd been looking forward to returning to Boccadoro, so on the afternoon of our second day in Venice Shannon and I stopped by to make a dinner reservation. We met the new chef/manager, Luciano, who was very friendly, and proud to show us the new extended dining area. It's a covered patio to the left of the entrance that could be opened up in good weather.

Shannon, Holly and I met up at the restaurant at 8pm that night and were seated in the new section. Holly doesn't care for fish, but Shannon and I both thought we'd seen non-fish entrees on the chalkboard menu outside the restaurant earlier in the day. When we didn't see any on the menu, we asked (and later looked at the outside menu again) we realized we were wrong. Our server sent Luciano to our table, and he offered to make Holly a pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil sauce.

She started with that, and Shannon and I shared a seppie pasta with artichoke sauce. Fabulous!! The rich and flavorful sauce on the unique pasta made this the night's winner. (Our half portion servings were almost as big as Holly's full size!)

Holly ordered the turbot with potatoes, and Shannon and I ordered an "uno per due" (one for two) serving of the John Dory/San Pietro fish. There was a mix-up in the kitchen, and our fish came with the same sauce as Holly's - which was perfectly fine because it was delicious.

With a liter (or bottle, I've forgotten!) of wine, two bottles of water, a salad, and one coffee, the bill came to about 90. Service was good; our waiter was from the UK and pretty funny. Luciano was helpful, and we could tell he really wanted us to be happy with our meal. IMO, the only nit was the price of Holly's pasta. For a simple tomato sauce we were charged the same price (13) as Shannon's and my more complicated dish.

Overall, though, I'm really happy to have dined there again, and recommend it without hesitation.

Reviewed by: Colleen from CA (moderator), review #419

When: 2003

Creative menu, fresh fish, Outstanding service, Excellent Value! One of my favorites in Venice.

Directions: Follow Calle Widman from Campo Santa Maria Nova (Chiesa di Santa Maria Miracoli).

Ostaria Boccadoro is run by the friendly and helpful Enrico, his wife Donatella, and their chef friend David. Shannon heard about it from a Venetian, who said it was one of only three restaurants he ever eats at in Venice. The small (7 table) Ostaria Boccadoro is tucked away on a quiet campo. It's decorated simply yet elegantly with dark wood furniture and a few well chosen oil paintings on the walls, with jazz and international music softly playing in the background.

As an amuse-bouche, we received thin slices of raw eel (!) marinated in lemon and something spicy, laid across crostini. I tried it, thinking I wouldn't like it, but the flavor was delicious!

For our primi, we shared the 'pesce crudo' of the day, which was sea bass. The fish was very fresh and flavorfully spicy. I then selected 'spaghetti mistomare', which included clams, mussels, and one perfect small white fish. (I don't remember what Shannon ate!)

For our secondi, we shared the 'fritto mistomare e verdure,' which included calamari, mussels, zucchini and spinach. The batter was very, very light and crispy - similar to a tempura - which kept the fish and vegetable flavors fresh.

The wine list was not extensive, but provided many good choices. We shared a bottle of the Bosco del Merlo red wine from the Veneto, which was outstanding. I had a glass of the Soandre Verduzzo delle Venezie from the same winery as a dessert wine - it was incredible! Mild and delicious, almost like a refined vin santo. It was served in a martini glass, along with some crunchy cantucci. Enrico told us we could buy it at the local grocery, but sadly, I was unable to find a bottle before I left Venice.

To finish, we enjoyed glasses of the house made 'limoncino' and 'mirto.'

I loved everything about this restaurant! The delicious food, its elegant presentation, the excellent service, and the relaxing atmosphere made it a special evening. Our total bill came to 84.

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

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