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“Are we talking of the same place?”
Review of Al Poggio

Al Poggio
Ranked #1,792 of 2,178 Restaurants in City of Venice
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Cannaregio
Reviewed May 15, 2013

Yes, we must be, since there's only one Al Poggio next to the Guglie bridge in Venice. Although it doesn't look like much, and the guy at the front luring people in is a bit annoying (although who gets "charmed into" a restaurant I can't really imagine), this restaurant was excellent. I mean let's face it, Venice is the ultimate tourist-trap rip-off, and much fancier places are the first to play that game. For example across the street, where the Alla Palazzina restaurant for all its high-class look is nothing more than a standard eatery with frozen food and outrageous prices.
No, Al Poggio may not look like much with its multilingual plastic menu, but if you sit down and have a meal here, you'll find out two things: 1) the seafood here is much fresher than you'll find elsewhere; 2) the pasta and sauces are home-made and freshly-made; and that really makes a massive difference in the quality of the food. In Venice, where good food is scarce, that makes this modest and unassuming place a gem.
Regarding the issue of the "scam" - the first thing to know is that in Venice you will get ripped off no matter what you do or what you buy. Yes, the waiter here will try and sell you an extra soup, an extra salad, a more expensive wine... so what? You're the customer - no-one's forcing you. And it is entirely at the owner's discretion to offer complimentary drinks or snacks - or not. We didn't ask for one, we weren't offered one at first, but we received it anyway. Why? Is it because we managed to say a few words in Italian, or because we played along with his little game? People in southern Europe are not as straight-laced and rigid as further north. Therefore I gave an extra point to this restaurant which offers much better food than the competition, at a similar price, because it's been so unfairly treated in previous reviews. If really there was a "scam", well I'd much rather that it be incredibly obvious and refuse it in a good-humored way, than to be truly scammed by a waiter in a penguin suit who can do it because he works for a fancy-looking establishment which serves ready-made food and charges double.
So, by all means ignore the negative comments. We never had a better spaghetti carbonara in Venice than here, we had the best scampi & calamari fritti, and yes we got a couple of free drinks... Just be cool about it.

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3  Thank Zerosixzero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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260 - 264 of 656 reviews

Reviewed March 5, 2013

We had just arrived, were cold and ready to eat. This guy out front charmed us in the front door. Wish I had stopped and looked at Trip Adviser first but no we got scammed. He said drink on the house - showed up on the bill. We had the sea bass for 2 and it ended up about 20 euros more than what I thought it was on the menu.... However, we were lucky as the food was okay (just but not for the high price we paid) so they get a star for the food but the whole money scam left me with a bitter after taste... Won't fall for that again! Worse - I saw so many others do the same thing...

3  Thank Debbie0791
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2013

This was the worst dining experience we had in Venice. Both of us have Coeliac disease and staff were not understanding & bordered on rude, despite man outside promising everything but.. Other places were incredibly helpful , but not here! Expensive, bland and unfriendly. Eat somewhere else!

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3  Thank Joss P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

I Was there my fiance for valentine day we were invited by the person outside the door and we sit but too eat pizzas,we saw the menu and we changed idea and we have done the right thing,bicouse the fish that we ordered was fresh clean and DELICIOUS,the staff was great and very educated.WE FELT VERY COMFORTABLE THERE.the price was a little expensive but worthwhile.Everytime that i will go in Venice,i will eat again there its worthwhile :)

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2  Thank MariaSmith_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013

I was there for Valentine's day and i pass a very good day. The food was excellent.The service of waiters was pleasant and confortable.I paid for what i get and i was very satisfied.The restaurant was in a very good place and i can see beatiful views out of the window.

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2  Thank Ergys Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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