Best Restaurant in Venice

The streets of Venice are lined and lined with restaurants.  In fact, all of the cities I’ve been to in Italy so far have been filled with restaurants.  I’m pretty sure the main activity Italians think tourists want to do is eat.  And eat.  And eat.

But hey, as a foodie, I can’t say I totally mind this custom.  Four-course meals equipped with plenty of wine, typically spanned across a two-hour time period…it’s not something I can really complain about.

However, the problem is that quantity doesn’t always equate to quality, and so far over 75% of the Italian joints I’ve hit on these restaurant-packed streets have been mediocre, or worse.

Nearly all of the places have menus with more options than I can fit on 10 hands.  Not only does my indecisive mind despise choosing from such a lengthy list of items, but also it’s nearly impossible for a chef to cook such an extensive list of dishes really well.  This is where quality is degraded by quantity.  Where fresh becomes stale.  Where Grace becomes slightly disappointed by the highly anticipated “authentic” Italian cuisine.

Just when I was getting sick of huge plates of pasta smothered in bland, not-so-fresh sauces and salads consisting of half-dead iceberg lettuce, I came across Barababao, what I believe to be the best restaurant in Venice.

Walking down one of the quaint side-streets of Venice, my family and I stumbled across a couple chowing down on what appeared to be two delicious, beautifully constructed plates of food.  We immediately ditched our pursuit to find a restaurant near the water and grabbed a table at Barababo for lunch.

After seeing the couples’ food, the second sign that the restaurant was going to be good was the menu, a compact display of a good 10-15 dishes–something that I believe a chef can properly handle.

For the first time in Venice, I felt like I was eating flavorful, fresh, picturesque Italian food.  Seasoned well and plated with care, Barababao was a hit.  Not willing to take another risk at one one of the other restaurants with a dictionary menu, we promptly returned to Barababao the following evening.  Happy to see us back, the gracious and attentive service gave us drinks on the house.

Creamy lasagna layered with eggplant and swordfish

Grilled octopus with celery puree

Turbot Stew- Steamed turbot atop a fresh vegetable stew resembling a ratatouille

Tiramisù...Not the best I've ever had, but extremely moist and pretty delicious

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  • Reply
    Angela (the diet book junkie)
    August 19, 2010 at 5:27 am

    i’m surprised the quality in restaurants hasn’t been up to par, that sucks. well, at least you found the best restaurant in Venice! the food sure looks good 🙂

  • Reply
    melindard
    August 19, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Looks like this was a good choice. I am surprised more did not taste good. I wonder if they have a different take on taste and flavors than Americans. I guess good taste should be the same, but some cultures really might have different likes all together.

  • Reply
    Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    August 19, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Funny thing is, I don’t even remember what I ate in Venice besides gelato. I remember the food was good but the sightseeing was even more amazing.

  • Reply
    eatmovelove
    August 19, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Oh my – I had no idea you were travelling – I’m insanely jealous…but happy for you!…well kind of 😉
    I’m looking through all your photos and it’s just STUNNING!

  • Reply
    educational grants
    August 21, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Keep up the good work, I like your writing.

  • Reply
    Home « Food-Fitness-FreshAir
    August 27, 2010 at 7:12 am

    […] plates of tacos paired with a kick ass story, 15 something British candy bars, and a whole lot of pasta, wine, and breathtaking sights later, I am alas leaving the summer to start yet another phase in my […]

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