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Burano: Riva Rosa

Phone: 041.730.850

Reviewed by: llee from USA, review #2505

When: 2007

We had a wonderful lunch here - one of our favorites.

Someone on SlowTalk said if you go to Burano, this is the place to eat. They were right. We went on a Saturday afternoon - they were very busy, but we were seated after a 10 minute wait.

Tom had linguini and clams to start off and then a baked salt cod casserole with polenta. I love polenta and was not able to tell what it was after trying it. I couldn't pinpoint the texture; it was so different and white, too. I am used to yellow polenta.

I started off with 2 beautiful scallops and then had grilled scampi. Everything was mouthwatering delicious. There was a mixup on our order since I did not order the scallops, when they brought them I said they looked wonderful and I would eat them. They took it off the bill. The restaurant is expensive but worth every morsel.

Reviewed by: Suzanne S from NC, review #2482

When: 2007

Gorgeous decor, delectable food, charming host - a lovely night on Burano.

After reading a review of Riva Rosa on Slow Trav we made a reservation there as soon as we arrived on our houseboat. Since most tourists leave the island late in the afternoon, the only evening the restaurant is open is currently Saturday.

I don't know what the fare is like during the day but the evening dinner was spectacular! We began with Prosecco and were brought an amuse bouche of tiny shrimp in pasta that really got our appetites up! Antipasto was spider crab, shared by the two of us - beautiful and delicious. Our primi were both pastas - clams for me, shrimp for Brian. The clams were very tiny, tender and plentiful and the shrimp included a large langostine - all great. We had to be careful not to eat all of them, even though we really wanted to - had to save room for the secondi!

We shared a sea bass baked in salt. Neither of us had ever had anything like it - mouth watering fish baked in a crust of whipped egg whites and sea salt that was cracked open and the fish fileted tableside, served with roasted potatoes. Everything was superb and the service was impeccable.

As we were enjoying the fish the owner's son introduced himself and we talked a bit. He suggested that we join him on the rooftop terrace for caffe and grappa, so of course we did! We spent an hour overlooking the lovely town with its canal and boats tied up beneath us, talking about the restaurant, the family lace business and his tablecloth designs, as well as our trip and how much we liked being on the boat. The evening was a highlight of our trip - both for the food and the company.

Reviewed by: venexiananan from Italy, review #2034

When: 2006

Contemporary, elegant, even intimate setting, with a terrace, views, and a rooftop altana. Food is quintessential Buranea, well-prepared and cordially served.

Directions: From the vaporetto stop, head straight for the center. The Riva Rosa will be just on the right at the end of the main calle.

An intimate nook at the Riva Rosa, photo by

I was first impressed by the decor, actually: highly contemporary yet innovatively elegant, with antique accents that included white-washed treatment of exposed wood, beams (travi) and brick, glass panels instead of solid surfaces and exquisite glass-mounted lace (for which Burano is so famous, and which the sister endeavor Emilia sells, next door and in the main Piazza) throughout.

The indirect lighting and glass-and-oak staircases added to the impressive but still comfortable effect. There's a view from almost every table on each of its three stacked floors. Even the bathroom was stunning, with its shimmering copper-brown mosiacs and inlaid tile design.

But about the food...we ordered a 'bis,' or two first courses split among the three of us: a g (venetian fish) risotto which was delicate, yet finely seasoned, and Vongole al Prosecco, which my guest said were hands-down the freshest clams she'd ever tasted ... and she's no spring chicken! (It pays sometimes to listen to the server's recommendations.) We followed these with two irresistible fish specialties, again, split among us: Branzino sotto sale, or seabass covered and baked in salt (mixed with whipped egg whites, cracked and served tableside), and another local favorite, and Rombo (turbot), baked with fresh datterini tomatoes and onions.

We had no room left for dessert, but settled for caff and biscotti (traditional esse and some others the chef was sure we'd prefer).

The wine list was well thought out. One additional characteristic which makes this a convenient place to dine is that it's open late for lunch, so that you can tour Burano and Torcello at your leisure, and not have to rush to eat before the kitchens normally close at 2pm or so. The Riva Rosa kitchens are open till 3 - 3:30pm.

We'll certainly be back!

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

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