My husband and I were recently in Venice for three weeks. We ate dinner at Antiche Carampane soon after our arrival, and were so taken by the quality of the food and cooking, the friendly service, and general ambience that we booked again for the next week when a friend would be visiting. And after that wonderful meal, we booked for a third time for the following week with two other friends. So, in total, we and our friends enjoyed 9 meals, including a couple of repeat orders, and I know I speak for all of us in saying that we would return to this restaurant in a heartbeat.
Although there were a handful of other tourists among our fellow diners, this is not what you would call a tourist restaurant. It's quite off the beaten track, for one thing, and the menu does not hew to the usual tourist canon of various set price menus featuring the usual dishes. Rather, this is a Venetian restaurant, serving Venetian fish and seafood specialties, including whatever is freshest at the market, and it makes for a wonderful experience. The dishes are clean and light and straightforward. When the ingredients are this impeccably fresh and impeccably well prepared and served, no fuss is needed. We loved the minuscule fried shrimps served in a paper cone as an amuse bouche, the mixed fried seafood in a light batter, the mixed raw seafood appetizer, the grilled fish. . . . well, there's really no point in listing it all, because everything we tried was superlative. Nevertheless, as a devoted fan of salt cod, I feel that I should put in a little plug for the wonderful airy billow of baccala mantecato (creamy whipped salt cod) that appeared on the mixed seafood appetizer plate. The version here has to be just about the best ever.
Service is informal, friendly, and efficient.
Now, about finding this place. We rehearsed the path from our apartment in Dorsoduro several times, using Google maps and turn-by-turn directions, and nevertheless had to resort to asking directions from folks we encountered, on multiple occasions, on each attempt. On the basis of these experiments, here is what we can report: 1) Google maps and directions indicate the presence of a non-existent bridge that we wasted all sorts of time trying to locate; 2) the name indicated on Google for a particular street or bridge does not necessarily correspond to the actual stenciled name; and 3) therefore, when you get lost on your way to this restaurant, there is absolutely no point whatsoever in asking directions to a particular street. Instead, just ask for this restaurant by name. Everyone knows it.
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