The caffè was opened in 1831 and has a long history as a hangout for the Padova political élite. The style (in the vein of a classical temple) remains, but today it is (according to the time of the day) café or restaurant for all and sundry, though the place seems to attract the somewhat quieter public which shuns the pizza and hamburger outlets. The inside rooms (or should I say halls) are pretty posh (see picture), while the outside terrace is just in very good style. Service is attentive and friendly. As in most Italian restaurants one is given the choice of antipasti, primi piatti and secundi piatti, but here the choice is far from run-of-the mill. The salads, served in large bowls, are tasty and abundant. We opted for small asparagus flans (high in taste and colour), and a risotto with zucchini (plant and flowers) topped with thin slices of smoked duck breast. Wine came automatically with the menu and glasses kept being filled -- we wondered what that would eventually come to mean on the bill, but the price of "wine for two persons" turned out to be more reasonable than if we had ordered a whole bottle, and moreover the house's choice was excellent. We concluded with espresso, but were in addition treated to a "coffee of the house", topped with mint ice and cream. Not bad, but a bit heavy after a whole meal. But having been served and fed as we have, it would be mean-minded to complain about that.
The restaurant is also very well situated, near the four piazzas (del Duomo, dei Signori, delle Erbe and delle Frutta) and the Palazzo della Ragione.
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