Review of 'Trattoria alla Rivetta'

We were a bit hesitant about visiting Rivetta as despite it having a great recommendation in our travel guide (the Eyewitness Travel guide to “Venice & the Veneto”) the reviews on Google were, shall we say, quite mixed with various people saying that it was the worst and others saying it was the best. So, with some trepidation we decided to give it a shot anyway.

Located only a stones throw from San Mark's square was a bit of a strike against Rivetta as this suggests it would be a rip-off and serve rubbish, non-traditional food but we were delighted to find that neither of these were true. Located right beside a bridge over a small canal you could be forgiven for missing this unassuming restaurant though the window showing their nibbles and the large lantern hanging above the path does somewhat give the game away.

We were swept into the small, cramped interior to be shown a table in an even smaller adjoining room at the back of the restaurant by an enthusiastic waiter. Despite it being fairly early in the evening (by Italian standards) the restaurant was reasonably full though it did seem to be mainly tourists. The walls are full of the typical tourist kitsch but if you look closer you will spot pictures of their competing boat crew and other indicators that this is a family affair.

Shoehorning ourselves into our table in the corner we were given the menu which is in a number of languages but offers a selection of classical Venetian dishes. The waiter explained that everything was fresh and using the best ingredients as well as letting us know what the specials of the day were. We decided to go with the (local) deep-fried shrimps served with onion sauce to start (one of the specials). These were very tasty and firm but, frankly, the prawns were overwhelmed significantly by the onion and strongly vinegar sauce.

Starter

For our mains, my companion had another of the specials, tagliatelle with crab, which she said was very tasty (al dente of course!) and slightly sweet.

Tagliatelle with Crab

I decided to go for the “frito misto” (various pieces of deep fried fish) which was quite nice if a bit of a small portion. This is a classically Venetian dish served simply with a small wedge of lemon on the side. This was very tasty if a bit bland. I was not terribly keen on the deep fried whole (small) fish but they were so fresh (indicated by how stiff they were) that these were a delight. Delicious.

I wish I had gone for the squid-ink pasta (served with cuttlefish), another traditional Venetian dish, that I saw many others in the restaurant ordering…Oh well.

Frito Misto

All main portions seemed to be quite small allowing for sampling of multiple dishes which is highly recommended. The dish of the day recommendations also seemed to be spot on as well…

The service was brusk but very polite and patient. I can see they had a bit of a problem with many of their guests not knowing what they are doing and speaking so little of any language they understood. But, even with this, they seemed remarkably willing to deal with this. I can see in a busier time of year that this patience might be stretched to breaking point and they could become rude. It seems they are always busy given that they are open all day and that even the local gondoliers eat there (it is true, we saw one eating when we arrived…).

At €60 for the two of us, including drinks, this was a great deal for such good authentic Venetian food, particularly in this area. Will want to come back and try some more dishes given that this is such a difficult find in Venice…

Rating:

Review Date: 2017-02-07


Cuisine: Italian

Address: Salizada S. Provolo, 4625, 30122 Venezia, Italy

Public Transport: ACTV San Zaccaria ACTV San Marco

Location: Venice (Italy) - San Marco

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Telephone: +39 041 528 7302

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