Saturday, November 24, 2012

Osteria Al Diavolo E L'acquasanta, San Polo, Venice

We stumbled upon this bar/restaurant (San Polo 561b | Calle della Madonna, Venice, tel : +39 041 277 0307) not too far away from the Rialto bridge purely by happenstance while wandering around in the early twilight of autumn within the maze like pavements in Venice. While we didn't decided immediately that this was the place that we'll be having dinner, we did eventually head back. And it was a pretty good thing we did.

The menu here is generally frills free, looks as Venetian (mostly seafood) as it can get and the place has the good sign of being graced by a healthy count of locals. The proprietress was explaining that the name of the bar/restaurant means the devil and the holy water and that holy water in Venice, refers to wine.

Having snacked through more than our fair share of cicchetti for the day, we skipped trying to pretend to eat like locals at the bar and dove straight into the menu. First up was their antipasto della casa which was basically a mixed plate of sarde in saor (a Venetian dish of sardines with onions, white wine and vinegar), baccala and octopus. Altogether, a great deal of mixed flavors and textures coming from the fishes and chopped up cephalopod tentacles.

Their clam and mussels soup was loaded with shellfish in a rich white wine broth. Here was when we noticed that they were not as heavy handed as most, with garlic.

Steering away from the usual seafood laden items for a little bit, we had their bollito della casa which consisted of boiled tripe, salami and something that was described as beef head. I'm not too sure if the latter was really parts from the head. This rustic dish was simple and actually pretty good.

We haven't had some greens in our meals for a while, so we thought it was time to get some mixed boiled vegetables for fibre and whatever benefits vegetables brings to ones diet. Those bean like things that came with the contorni were actually very good.

Cuttlefish was in season, so we couldn't say no to some grilled ones dressed in simple olive oil, salt and parsley.

We were pretty stuffed from all the food and wine that we had to give a pass on the desserts. As unexciting as I may have described this, I think I liked this place quite a bit and would certainly consider coming again if I ever visit Venice again before it becomes Atlantis.

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