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Ristorante Quadri, San Marco, Venice

121 Piazza San Marco
San Marco
Italy 30124
Tel: 39 041 522 2105
view web site ›'s insider take:

The window tables in the upstairs restaurant at Gran Caffè Quadri—with their peerless views across St. Mark's Square—have been sought after for centuries, whatever the standard of the food served. But with the arrival of Michelin-starred chef Massimiliano Alajmo, the battle to secure them, or indeed any other perch in this classically elegant Venice restaurant, has really hotted up. With maître d' Raffaele Alajmo (the chef's brother) ensuring that diners are treated with the utmost in old-fashioned charm, the groundbreaking dishes sometimes come as a surprise. The lagoon cappuccino appetizer is a concoction of the best of local seafood and dark, creamy squid ink in mashed potato so exquisite you might not even identify it at first bite. First-course and main dishes change seasonally; on a recent visit, a risotto with baby shrimp and garusoli (sea snails) was given an exotic undertone with a note of cumin. Downstairs in the beautiful frescoed-and-mirrored café itself, two young chefs prepare light meals at lunch and dinner, at prices that are (a little) lighter on the holiday budget.—Lee Marshall

Open Tuesdays through Sundays 12:30 to 2:30 pm and 7:30 to 10:30 pm.

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