> SlowTrav > Italy > Restaurants > Reviews > Venice

San Polo: Ostaria al Garanghelo

1570 Calle dei Botteri , Phone: 041.721721
Closing day: Sunday

Reviewed by: Joseph from USA, review #3853

When: 2011

Friendly owners. Decent food. Recommended by lots of guidebooks. A victim of their own success?

The owners of this restaurant were exceptionally welcoming and gracious - in spite of the fact that we arrived at their restaurant about half an hour before dinner service began. We were offered a seat, and invited to wait inside or out for the remainder of our party of seven to arrive. During this time, we were encouraged to look through the many guide books in which the restaurant has been featured, as well as their book of postcards from past guests. This is a small restaurant, yet a table for seven was arranged and held for us - apparently without concern that the remainder of the party might be a little late. To my relief they arrived on time.

Unfortunately, the food did not live up to our expectations, which might have become inflated and unrealistic based on the glowing reviews on www.slowtrav.com and what we had read in the guidebooks. Seven entrees gave us a good feel for the scope of the menu. The food was good, but we found nothing in the broad array of food before us to rave about - with the exception of the desserts, which were quite good. One of two identical dinners - simple steamed orata - came out long after all the other diners had completed their meals.

The restaurant has a lively ambiance, and was packed to capacity the entire time we were there. Our location gave us a bird's eye view of the comings and goings of what appeared to be an overworked staff. It's possible that a key member of the kitchen or wait staff had called in sick that evening. In spite of the obvious stress level, there was always a sincere effort to please. In spite of the slight let-down on the food, the friendliness of the owners and staff was such that we would give them another chance before writing off this welcoming restaurant as a victim of its own success.

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

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