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Venissa, Mazzorbo, Venice

3 Fondamenta di Santa Caterina
Italy 30170
Tel: 39 041 5272281
view web site ›'s insider take:

A gourmet eating experience it may be, but Venissa must also rank as one of Venice's strangest. For a start, it's on an island—Mazzorbo—that most visitors have never heard of. It's also in the middle of a high-walled working vineyard, where a long-lost local grape variety—Dorona—is being coaxed back into production by the Bisol winery. Perhaps most surprisingly, it's attached to a hotel/hostel where the cheaper rooms come in at backpacking-student prices. But there's no arguing with the quality of chef Paola Budel's cooking. Budel's career has taken her from London to Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Milan, sparking influences that she ably merges with the Venetian tradition. In a tall, barnlike structure with contemporary dark wood fittings and open kitchen, Budel uses produce from the garden right outside and pairs them with seafood caught daily in the lagoon in a series of ever-changing creative hors d'oeuvres, pasta and risotto dishes, and mains.—Lee Marshall

Open Tuesdays through Sundays 12:30 to 3 pm and 7:30 to 10 pm. Open daily from March to November.

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