We visited Caffe Centrale on our last night in Venice.
The place is a little tricky to find, but the internal décor is lovely. The atmosphere is superb, with a packed out, bustling restaurant and lounge area.
Unfortunately the restaurant was fully booked but we were seated in the Lounge area on a Saturday night.
We waited a long time for our initial service and unfortunately this was the theme for the remainder of the evening. For a meal comprising two drinks and a main course, we were seated for approaching two hours! At several points in the evening we were tempted to walk out and pay what remaining bill we had racked up.
I can't deny though that the food was absolutely fantastic, the selection of breads and main courses of beef three-ways and filet beef potato gratin were delicious, the drinks are actually quite reasonably priced and on the basis of the food alone we would certainly return, but the service was a real let down and fell well short of the quality of the food. I'd have probably given this five stars had the service been better but it really did taint the experience.
I don't think it was the result of the waiting staffs inefficiency, I think it was more the fault of the management in not having enough staff for an extremely busy and obviously popular restaurant. The service may be better in the restaurant portion but I can't comment on that.
If you have plenty of time and can overlook crap service for very good food, I'd certainly recommend Caffe Centrale, otherwise give it a miss!
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