Picture this. You’re sitting on a little terrace, one so exclusive there are only nine tables, right on the Grand Canal. As you sip on some local wine, tourists on passing vaporettos crane their necks to see who might be special enough to dine on that little terrace of a Venetian palazzo.
I’m at L’Alcova Restaurant at the Ca’Sagredo Hotel. Sure, I’ve dined at those little touristy restaurants right at the foot of the Rialto. But this is different…the sheer elegance of the nine little tables, the view, being tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the Grand Canal, yet somehow still right in the middle of it all…it makes a girl feel special!
I’m having a lunch specially created by L’Alcova’s executive chef, Josef Klostermaier. Chef Klostermaier likes to put his own unique spin on traditional Venetian cuisine and he even takes the traghetto gondola across the Grand Canal to personally hand select fresh fish and vegetables from the Rialto Market daily.
For our antipasti (appetizer in Italian), Chef Klostermaier has prepared what he calls Scampi Rialto, fresh shrimp from the Rialto Market on a bed of artichokes garnished with an edible violet. Next came two large tortelloni filled with burrata cheese on a bed of clams, fresh basil, clams, pine nuts, and capers. The flavors danced on my tongue as I scooped up a little of everything and took delicious bite after delicious bite.
The secondi (or main course) was a delectable dish: monkfish with cherries and wild baby asparagus. I would never in a million years think to put cherries with monkfish, but the bursts of cherries were the perfect amount of sweet to compliment the asparagus and monkfish.
Even more modern and pleasantly surprising was the dessert: fresh basil sorbet in a strawberry and prosecco sauce. The basil sorbet was so delicate, exquisitely balanced by the strawberries and prosecco.
Chef Klostermaier himself came out to talk with us and ask what we thought of the meal. I couldn’t rave enough about it. He then did the most shocking thing of all – he invited us in to see his kitchen! Aside from visiting the Egyptian Spice Market in Istanbul, I have quite literally never seen so many spices from all over the world in one spot. He opened up some of his favorites for us to have a sniff. Oh my, what a treat for the senses!
My mouth is watering as I sit here just typing about my lunch. I can’t wait for a special occasion to go back and enjoy another wonderful meal perhaps by candle light next time with Tim.
Before you go:
- Book a reservation. As I mentioned there are just 9 tables outside and an intimate 6 tables inside.
- Expect to pay €51 – €100 per person.
*Thank you to Ca’Sagredo for hosting me for lunch. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.