Saturday, December 19, 2009

Venice: Cicchetti

I've neglected my foodblog for a while, so here are a couple more posts to finish off our Italy trip and then I can move on to Chicago, our new home (for this year, at least).

Anyhow, back to the food. As I've already mentioned, Abby and I were really surprised about how much we liked Venice. The food here is fantastic, and, like Spain, they have a great tradition of "small bites" that you can wash down with a glass of wine.
Referred to as "Cicchetti," these small bites could be described as the Venetian take on tapas. Like tapas, they come in a variety of forms, and they are perfect for food oriented travelers who would spend all day hopping from one restaurant to another if constraints - both on your wallet and stomach capacity - didn't interfere.

We spent most of our time in Venice wandering through the back streets and stopping in at every cicchetti bar we could see. There is a considerable variance in quality, but two of the more memorable places we went to were "Cantina do Mori" and "All' Arco"
These two places are right next to each other. We had seen Cantina do Mori on an Anthony Bourdain show, and it has to be, by far, the oldest eating establishment I have ever been in. It has been in business for around six centuries!
All' Arco was significantly more modern, and we were drawn in by the numerous "Slow Food" awards posted in their window. We ordered several different varieties of bruschetta
and an amazing tomato salad. While Cantina do Mori was good, I think All' Arco takes the award for best cicchetti in Venice.
Cicchetti isn't just bruschetta, though. We went to places serving poached artichoke, grilled fish and shrimp, croquettes, arancini
as well as seafood salads and fried anchovies.

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