Estro for lunch in Venice. Gambero Guide 15/16, probably for their wine selection. Cool looking spot, they even have a burger.
Had a Pinot Bianco from Southern Tyrol, Sirmian Vineyard, Nals Margreid winery. Solid drinker. Since I looked it up, reasonably high scores for a white wine, 3.50 eu a glass.
To start, whole langostines. They were cold and sweet and served with the shallots from a mignonette. These were good, but not blowing my doors off. I'd need like 10 to make an impact and you pay for each individual langostine.
Next up, beef tartare. Raw meat, nice sides. Cold. But to be honest, I've had this meal several times over the last two weeks. It was best in Parma when it was horse meat and spiked with peppers and onions. I want a French styled beef tartare about as badly as I want Mexican food right now. Forgettable.
Barberano from the Veneto. Smells like ripasso method with some stewed fruit on the nose. Don't remember the producer. Good, but not good enough for me to ask to see the bottle again.
Cheesecake with robilla cheese and an orange marmalade that was rindy but good. Actually, the dessert was my favorite part of the meal. I liked the density and flavors of the cheesecake. It was memorable and delicious.
Notes on Venice, because my review is short and sweet:
Venice as a city is NOTHING as it appears in ANY movie you have ever seen. It's frightfully crowded, streets adorned with crappy trinkets, and my gut says, reasonably stinky in summer because of all the water washing up on the streets from the bay. If you're gonna wear heels or flip flops ladies, you're feet will touch something you didn't want them to touch. I would wear boots. Venice is Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, a souk in Marrakesh and the smell of Market Street rolled into one.
Every movie you've watched about Venice is about someone that has a larger budget than you in an idealistic setting, on the perfect day, before the advent of the cruise ship. Venice must have the best Chamber of Commerce on the planet. Remember ladies, you are not Audrey Hepburn. Nor am I James Bond or Indiana Jones. The last thing you want to deal with is your luggage from the train station. Bond never deals with luggage. Maybe during the fictitious time of Indiana Jones, Venice was lovely. Not in the 21st Century.
If you have a private boat take you to a private dock on your way to a exclusive hotel with porter service and an in-house chef, absolutely, Venice is the place for you. Until you walk outside and want to see Venice, then you become no different, exclusive or important than any one else on the street. Billionaire and rabble mingle together. You might as well have gotten off of a cruise ship with 6000 other people and the 5 trains that just unloaded all at the same time. Every hour.
"But Honey, don't you wanna take a romantic Gondola ride?"
Rent a boat on Lake Tahoe, the views are better and the smell is better. Or just take a Cable Car in San Francisco. It's cheaper, there is no negotiation of the price, and there is better food on any line you take. You'll thank me later.
More advice, visit Venice on a day trip and stay in Verona. Verona is less busy, more quaint, and has streets you can navigate without hawkers and cheap street trinkets. You can tell all your friends you visited Venice.
Remember go to VERONA not Venice. Verona is the town of Romeo and Juliet.