Wandering around this afternoon, my primary culinary goal for the day was to find the cheapest place that served spaghetti al nero and that got at least 4 stars, and go back there for dinner. I looked all over Venice, and this was the place I decided to return. Sadly, I was, for once, unpleasantly surprised: while the location was quite pretty (not next to a canal, but still rather fancy, outside in a garden), the food was not actively *bad*, but fairly bland.
I ordered, of course, the spaghetti al nero - which had a good deal of cuttlefish, which were pretty tasty, but the sauce itself could have used a bit more umph. My other half ordered what in the US we'd call a cioppino (we learned today that that word is totally an American invention - here it's just called a fish soup, Zuppa di Pesce), which again, had a decent amount of seafood, but the soup itself could have used a bit more umph. Both were improved somewhat with a liberal amount of black pepper, but that hasn't been necessary any other place we've eaten at around Italy.
I also wasn't very impressed with the fact that I ordered a spritz (one of my new favorite drinks), and our waiter apparently didn't know what Select was. Not having it, fine, but it seems to be kind of the unofficial drink of Venice, and you don't know what it is? I've been in Venice all of a day and I've learned all the various things one puts in spritzes, and I'm not even a waiter at a restaurant that serves spritzes. (Unsurprisingly, it was also the worst spritz I've had so far, and I've tried a good few around. It was rather bitter, not in the sense that it used a bitter bitter - I was informed they only had camperol - but more in the sense that it didn't use the greatest wine, and then watered it down too much.)
So basically, pretty restaurant, service was fine, food was entirely edible but nothing exciting.
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