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“Great food, a little pricey” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Osteria Ai Do Farai

Osteria Ai Do Farai
Sestiere Dorsoduro 3278, 30123 Venice, Italy (Dorsoduro / Accademia)
041 277 03 69
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Ranked #161 of 1,204 Restaurants in Venice
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian, Chowder, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Dorsoduro / Accademia
Seattle
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great food, a little pricey”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

We went to Do Farai on the recommendation of our B&B host and must admit that food was some of the best that we had during our 16-day trip to Italy. We had spider crab, an artichoke salad, linguine with clams and the famous fish that the other reviewers talk about. The fish was absolutely amazing -- probably the best fish I've ever tasted in a restaurant (even the nice places tend to overcook it). The downside is that the fish itself was a "special" that wasn't on the menu, so the price on the final bill was far more than what was it was worth -- 48 euros alone. Rookie mistake (it was our first night in Italy), so we then knew to clarify the price on any "specials" that weren't on the menu before ordering.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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320 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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Regina, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Do NOT recommend”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013 via mobile

In Italy we have had many wonderful meals ranging from 15-50 Euros. This one, however, was mediocre and cost 120 Euros. Stefano, who gave us great first impressions, tried to order us expensive dishes, and a lot of them. He scolded us and the table beside us when we were busy chatting together and did not pay full attention to his tableside fish preparation. We left not yet satiated but smarting from the giant bill and feeling had.

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Seafood Heaven”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

My husband is a seafood enthusiast and he had Stefano's seafood plate as a starter... it was so good he ordered it twice! Declared the best seafood of our trip to Italy.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, FL
Level Contributor
41 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Fine seafood, but pricey for what it is”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

When is a "neighborhood" restaurant not a "neighborhood" restaurant? When it is so lionized in forae like Trip Advisor that it draws a wealthy and extravagant crowd in lieu of the neighborhood residents to whom it might appear to cater. So it is with Do Farai. This innocuous-looking little joint with a handful of tables, bare of linen, with the ambiance of a local trattoria is now a world-class destination for foodies seeking the signature dish: Carpcaio di Branzino.

What a performance, Like Benihana! Mr. Branzino is brought to your table by Stefano, the owner, host, headwaiter, server and master of ceremonies. He (The Branzino) is glistening and fresh as fresh can be. Whack, out comes a dagger and impales Branzino's head to the cutting board right in front of you. It's like Luca Brazzi's demise. Wham, another knife comes out and impales the tale. This piscine crucifixion gets your attention and lets you know this is no ordinary fish joint. With both daggers holding Mr. Branzino in place Stefano, or sometimes his assistant, deftly filet this sea bass into paper-thin slices of the most exquisite perfection until there is not a single iota of flesh remaining on the still-impaled skeleton.

The slices are neatly arranged on a platter and garnished with olive oil and lemon. A culinary masterpiece and a visual treat. If you go, be sure to have your camera ready. On the other hand, why are we eating this kind of food with bread of the most pedestrian quality, even for Venice? And why, I ask, does it cost 6 EUR per 100 grams (of whole fish). Mr. Branzino weighs in at around a kilo, so this little appetizer will set you back $90.00 or so.

In Rome I routinely ate this dish, without the Benihana style performance, but garnished with black truffles, for 20 EUR per person, amply provided. A Branzino in the Venice market sells for around 6-8 EUR per kilo. Although I would never criticize someone for turning a profit, it seems a bit exorbitant to multiply the cost of this dish by a factor of ten and then serve it in so humble an environment. At 6 EUR per 100 grams I'd expect a setting like La Tour d'Argent.

The other menu menu items will always seem like a bit of an afterthought given the performance one has just sat through, but they are excellent and priced within the norms for local dining, which in Venice ain't cheap. So what am I grousing about? Well, as I said above the problem here is not that it's pricey, although it is, but that one dines in an atmosphere calculated to evoke a local neighborhood workman's dining room but no one aside from foodie tourists eats there. Locals do stop in and take a coffee at the bar and I suppose there are some wealthy gourmands among the Venetians who patronize this joint but it might as well be dinner a Florian's with a band, waiters in tailcoats and several layers of white linen on the table for the price this guy is getting.

So will eat well, nay, better-than-well but I found something odd about the whole affair.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Istanbul
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Best Demo ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

One should always taste seafood in Venice. And the sea food in Do Farai is delecious... this time had difficulty to find the restaurant but at the end we were there...
Thanks for the hospitality

Visited April 2013
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