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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
DO FORNI - VENICE, ITALY
We were encouraged by several people even prior to this trip to Italy that we should definitely make it a point to dine at Do Forni in Venice. And our friendly tipsters were correct! It's a good place.
Our visit to Do Forni came during the lunch hour and we had a little trouble finding the place. We did several "spins around the block" in this very interesting and tightly packed little part of the fascinating city of Venice before we spotted the restaurant.
The restaurant is divided into two separate rooms. We dined in the front room that the locals consider to be decorated in the style of the Orient Express.
Shortly after the Pellegrino water arrived on the table we were treated to complimentary Bellinis. It's a wine cocktail consisting of white wine and peach juice. It was created at another Venice restaurant -- the world famous Harry's Bar.
Now onto the chow! I started out with a spider crab cocktail. They catch this heavily armed critter, boil him and then remove the meat. It is then stuffed back into the crab shell and is accompanied by a squeeze of fresh lemon and some extra virgin olive oil. No cocktail or tarter sauce like you'd find in the USA. My wife had a seafood soup. Both were excellent.
For the main course I chose the special fish misto that day. A selection of several different lightly fried fish. My wife had sea bass. Mine was good but not great. One reason I termed it good but not great is that I'm not used to some of the tiny Adriatic fish that are traditional in this part of the world. Some are no bigger than goldfish with buggy little eyes. I don't mind the eyes but they don't have much flavor, in my opinion. My wife really enjoyed her selection a lot.
For dessert I slurped a cup of scalding hot coffee and enjoyed a Courvoisier in preparation to head back out into the icy cold Adriatic fog (this trip came in January and the temps were in the low 30s). My wife enjoyed a sinfully rich chocolate mousse.
Do Forni is a very pleasant dining experience. It's considered to be the busiest restaurant in Venice although during our visit there were a few empty tables. "In season" it's probably a madhouse!
They're located at Calle dei Specchieri, San Marco 468. Ring them up at 041/523-2148. And if you get lost while bookin' it over there, just keep circling around until you find the place. It's worth the effort! Check out their web site here.
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