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Da Fiore, San Polo, Venice

2202 San Polo
Calle del Scaleter
Tel: 39 041 721 308's insider take:

The release of the 2003 Da Fiore Cookbook catapulted this restaurant into the spotlight (though it had been around for 30 years), and it's been a hot spot ever since. The attention's not unwarranted: Chef Mara Martin's creations—many of them reworkings of traditional Venetian dishes—are dependably delicious. Her tagliata di tonno (tuna steak) is tender and succulent, as is the turbot baked in a potato crust; the sea bass with balsamic vinegar is another hit. There's also a terrific array of raw seafood among the antipasti choices. The homemade desserts are better than average, and both the cheese and wine lists are impressive. But there are downsides: no romantic view (the table by the one small window is booked weeks in advance), the service isn't overly solicitous, and since you're paying as much for the reputation as the food, the prices are exorbitant even by Venetian standards. (Note: There's a small bacaro called Trattoria da Fiore near St. Mark's; it's not related.)

Closed Sundays and Mondays.

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