Venice – cicchetti by the canal in Dorsoduro

There are lots of great places to eat and drink in Dorsoduro but my favourites are two chichetti bars located near each other along Fondamenta Nani, next to a pretty canal. My map here.

Both are great spots for a quick lunch or an aperitivo, but this first place slightly edges it for me…

Cantine del Vino già Schiavi aka Al Bottegon (Elementary A), 992 Fondamenta Nani, www.cantinaschiavi.com, closed Sunday

This old bacaro doubles as a bottle shop where you can buy good value wines and spirits from an extensive range.

However, most people come for the beautifully presented and very imaginative crostini (canapes) which are only €1.50 a pop.

I came twice and loved everything I had. From 1 o’clock on the first plate you can see Pomodoro, Spinaci, Acciuga (tomato, spinach, anchovy, with sesame seeds), Tonno, Radicchio e Rafano (tuna, chicory and horseradish), Polpo e Sedano (octopus and celery), Rosso d’Uovo Maionese e Fiori (egg yolk mayo with flowers), Baccalà Mantecato (creamed saltcod) and Seppia e Salicornia (cuttlefish and samphire).

The second time I had Salmone e Mascarpone (smoked salmon with mascarpone cheese), Crema di Formaggi e Pesto (cheeses mixed with cream or milk, and pesto), and the tuna and octopus again. They have several wines by the glass but most people go for the prosecco or a spritz (made with the local bitter Select rather than Campari).

It gets busy and it’s standing only inside but you can take your order outside and sit on the wall by the canal or on the steps of the bridge.

And on the same canal, just a few doors down…

Osteria Al Squero (Elementary B+), 943 Fondamenta Nani, www.osteriasquero.it

This bacaro is in a slightly more picturesque location, opposite the Squero di San Trovaso, a famous gondola boatyard.

The canapes here are great as well, if slightly less ornate than at Al Bottegon, and there are a few seats inside.

Can’t remember which crostini I had exactly but these look like; smoked salmon, caprese (mozzarella, tomato, basil) with pesto, Capocollo ham with truffle, creamed saltcod and finally Lardo (cured fatback pork).

Each bacaro has its pros and cons, but really you need to go to both.

Dessert is just around the corner…

Gelateria Nico (Elementary B+), 922 Fondamenta Zattere al Ponte Longo, www.gelaterianico.com

I believe this is the oldest gelataria in Venice, founded in 1935.

The thing to go for is their signature Gianduiotto, a blend of chocolate and hazlenut, which I had with some whipped cream (panna). Sublime.

While you’re here you could visit I Gesuati (aka Santa Maria del Rosario), a famous church, just a couple of doors down.

My next post is about the Guggenheim which is also in Dorsoduro…

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