Sunday, November 25, 2012

The best fritto misto in Venice according to Mark Bittman


If Theseus had to navigate like we had to reach Vecio Fritolin (Calle della Regina 2262 - Sestiere Santa Croce, 30135 | Calle della Regina, Venice, tel : 041 522 28 81) from the hotel via his method through the labyrinth to the minotaur, his ball would have run out of string. Seriously. 


My incompetency with directional mapping in the early dark of Venice's autumn aside, I had discovered this osteria the night before while valiantly trying to navigate my way back to the hotel. The place had for reasons attracted my attention so I walked in and asked for a business card and promptly made reservations the next day after taking a peek at their menu.

candied almonds?

Mark Bittman had once written a number of years ago in NYT that this restaurant (which dates back more than a couple of centuries if what I had read were true) had the best deep fried seafood in Venice. I was pretty sure he hadn't eaten in all of Venice, but the point was not that. It was just that this was an opportunity to put the words of a food channel celebrity to the test and see if we share the same taste. Heh!


To start, we tried their deep fried crab and artichoke which were in season. As tasty as they were, I thought a little salt would have gone ways in making them taste better. No complains about the crispy little crustaceans and vegetable though.


The first of the two pasta we had was an egg spaghetti with baby squids, black cabbage leaves and garlic cream. Venetians are really subtle with the garlic thing. I tasted more of the squid in the sauce. Still, I thought it was pretty good until the next pasta arrived and impressed me off my feet.


Vecio Fritolin's black tagliatelle was an amazing. Redolent with the flavour of squid ink like we've never had in pasta before. Paired with nicely boiled cauliflower and fresh sweet chunks of scampi tail to boot. I'd recommend this in a heartbeat to anyone and I only wished that the portions were double of what they served.


The item to order here as recommended was their platter of deep fried seafood and vegetables. We had noticed that it was on almost every other table. Even on the one just next to ours that freakily ordered exactly the same items as we did. I suppose it was all very decent fried seafood. Again in need of some salt to elevate the flavors. It's also a first time that a large amount of fried stuff I'm eating were babies of the actual seafood.

But anyone that thinks that what they did here is amazing (Mr Bittman!) needs to visit Porta Porta for comparison.


Dessert was a very innocuous but wonderfully robust and creamy saffron creme brulee that I would order again if I ever get the chance to come back.

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