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Cannaregio: Osteria Ca’ d’Oro alla Vedova

Calle del Pistor 3912 , Phone: 041.5285324

Closing day: Tuesday

Reviewed by: Joseph from USA, review #3441

When: 2010

Our worst experience during a five-week trip. Possibly ever in Italy.

Something drastic must have happened between the time this restaurant received rave reviews in a variety of publications and our visit in April 2010.

The restaurant appeared to be crowded as we entered at about 9 p.m. on a weekday. At first we were told reservations were required, and were turned away. The place did seem to be full (however it is VERY small). As we started to leave, we were called back and offered a tiny table for two virtually in the entrance. When we turned that down and started to leave again, we were offered seats at a nice table set for four, and we gratefully accepted.

A quick glance at the menu told me that no credit cards would be accepted, so I got up and apologized for the trouble, because I knew I was short of cash. I was told, "No problem, there's an ATM just around the corner." As I turned to leave for the ATM, I was urged, "Sit and take care of it after your meal." Wow! An attractive, small restaurant; highly recommended by knowledgeable travelers; and they actually trust me to return to pay the bill AFTER I eat! A home run!

Unfortunately, here ended the best part of our experience at Alla Vedova. The food (at least the part of our order we ever received) was overly spiced and salty. Courses appeared out of order or not at all - after extremely long waits in between. The table service was appalling: I have never had an Italian waiter return to my table after 30 minutes trying to decipher his own writing, not sure of what he had written. Lastly (and this is not a deal-breaker by itself), but I also dislike being served dinner by someone who looks like he's been living in the same street clothes for the past 72 hours.

I finally cut the evening short, paid for the portion of my order I had been served up to that point with the cash I had on hand, and politely left. As for the "full house"? The empty tables that had been "reserved" when we entered remained empty the entire time we were there.

Is the restaurant under new ownership? Did a temperamental chef walk out in a huff just as we arrived? Was it only an off night? Maybe so. But you have only one "last night" in Venice each trip, and this one was a disaster.

Reviewed by: Doru from Canada, review #839

When: 2003

A place you can feel at home, even if you are not a Venetian. And everything - food, atmosphere, service - is very good.

Osteria Alla Vedova is very near, almost across from the vaporetto stop Ca' d’Oro. At the rather late lunch hour when we arrive, the osteria is not quite busy. We share a table with a couple of local gentlemen. Although we try hard not to appear as if we listen to their conversation, it is inevitable and it seems they discuss a real estate transaction, apparently a lawyer and a local bureaucrat.

Alla Vedova, a venerable Venetian establishment, is one of those places where menus are not offered, a traditional spot where staff and clients seem to know each other very well. While our neighbours are served antipasti without having ordered any, we make decisions. We will share a selection of crostini and Josette will have grilled vegetables while I ask the waiter to help me for a decision on a selection of sea food from the bar, which arrives as a heaped plate of marinated and grilled squid, polpetti, scallops, a paste of bacalá, clams, sardines, a cornucopia framed with a few slices of sausage. It pays to ask the locals what to eat!

And so, the food lives up to the expectations, and we also use the time to observe the surrounding and the happy patrons. The above lunch for two, including wine, water and coffees sets us back only €40, which also includes a nice tip.

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

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