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“An Italian Experience”

Ristorante Ai Leoncini San Marco
Ranked #433 of 1,425 Restaurants in Venice
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Child-friendly, Local cuisine, Groups
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Brunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighbourhood: San Marco
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
44 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“An Italian Experience”
Reviewed 3 June 2014

On a short visit to Venice, like thousands of other tourists thronging Piazza S.Marco, we found ourselves in need of sustenance. Now, as fabulous as ‘The Piazza’ is, (and I recommend everyone to visit) one has to recognise that the local population also recognises its attraction and magnetism and definitely recognise this simple fact, that its very existence is almost a license to print money – and all the shops, stores, and restaurants in the immediate vicinity do! We were not there long before it became very obvious whilst walking around the perimeter of ‘The Piazza’ that the nearer one got to the actual Palazzo (Palace buildings) the more expensive prices got. So! A coffee in a bar next to or close to the Palace would cost say 8 to 10 Euros whilst the similar coffee in a bar farthest across ‘The Piazza’ would cost 5 or 6 Euros.

If this is the case with coffee, you can imagine the price of a meal!

The best advice we can give is venture off ‘The Piazza’ into some of the side streets, not too far away, but being careful not to get too lost in the proverbial “rabbit warren” of side streets. Look for the restaurants and bars frequented by the locals – you can’t miss them, they are the ones where everyone, but everyone, is stylishly dressed and happily chatting and gesticulating. Don’t be afraid to sit down, you will be welcome. In a whole week of travelling we never felt out of place or afraid we would not be able to communicate – all the waiters speak English and love to serve you. Believe me, this is service like you have never experienced before, full of theatre, enthusiasm, energy, and fabulous showmanship – great, we loved it! the one thing to accept with these side street restaurants, is the fact there is no splendid views. They are situated in very narrow side streets where space is a premium, so don't expect some splendid view of the Mediterranean. The other factor in favour of these places off the main Piazza is that they all tend to be at the same level. Venice, as you can imagine, is not the most wheelchair friendly of places, although they do try wherever it is practical. The city is full of bridges and steps and not every location accommodates (or can accommodate) the use of wheelchairs.

We discovered this particular restaurant after just a short journey and ventured in. We were so glad we did because we had a fabulous time. Now remember, eating is an art and an occasion in Italy and one just does not pop in for a quick snack or a drink, even when all you want is a snack and a drink! Take your time and savour the unbelievable atmosphere and enjoy not just the fantastic quality food and attentive service, but the whole experience. “Relax and enjoy” is the order of the moment. Whatever you order will be of the finest quality whether it be a simple Spaghetti Carbonara; Meatballs; the Sea Bream and side dishes; one of the outstanding salads; or a pastry; coffee, or a simple glass of wine; the tastes and textures will be a real treat. Don’t be cheap and miss the Desserts and Coffees – they are worth every Euro!

On this occasion our 2 hours of sheer relaxation and entertainment for two cost 80 Euros and included Breads and Dips; 3 courses; water; wine; coffee and mandatory service charge. We would recommend this restaurant to anyone and we are convinced that numerous others in the immediate vicinity would be equally as good.

All in, even the simple street bars we frequented for drinks, pastries, and Ice-cream were very good and we encountered the same high standard of service and welcome wherever we went. A service experience sadly so missing in many eateries and restaurants in the UK. The difference being, the Italians wanted to please and took nothing for granted, even in this very popular tourist attraction nothing was too much trouble as they busied themselves from table to table. If you wanted it, they were happy to serve you and it just made you feel so good. Well done Venice, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Robert B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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373 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Dorset, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
108 reviews
93 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Goon & Dark Horse Honesty Box”
Reviewed 2 May 2014 via mobile

Disappointing. We decided to have a budget pizza/pasta meal and thought Al Leoncini looked like a fair bet. The pasta, a Penne with a Bolognese sauce was reasonable (although I could produce better at home) but the Pizza de Mare was not great because the mussels on it were shrivelled up in their shells and unpalatable. I'm afraid this restaurant also fell short in other areas because the bread was dried out and stale and the waiter tried to recommend a 50 Euro bottle of wine to accompany our food. Also for some reason the same waiter announced that our bill was 20 Euros too heavy. The Tiramisu and expresso coffee were of good quality. We left feeling irritated because there are so many potential punters that this restaurant probably doesn't have to try too hard. Grump!

Visited April 2014
1 Thank Christopher G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
“I dont want to recommend”
Reviewed 1 May 2014 via mobile

No tap water, but waiter didnt tell. He just give us no gas water. Food was late served, appetiser is too salty. Actually pizza & spagetti's taste was good, but it was overprice.

Thank yeojink940
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ashtead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
94 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“OK to refuel, not if you want enjoyable dining experience”
Reviewed 20 April 2014

After a long day on my feet, I allowed myself to be tempted in by the waiter's promise of a free Bellini (very nice). Dining alone, I was given a table right at the kitchen serving hatch, up against the large drinks fridge, and hidden from most of the rest of the restaurant. Confirmation that I had made a poor choice was when I ordered a pasta dish, and was asked if I wanted chips with it! Had to wait ages to order and receive a dessert. The food was OK, but nothing special. Would not go back again.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Alison M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Average San Marco touristic restaurant”
Reviewed 16 April 2014

Food was OK but average. Service was piu o meno. Non Italian waiters like to talk too much. Touristic place. Would not go again,

Visited April 2014
Thank Mabel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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