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Vini Da Arturo

Calle Degli Assassini 365,
Phone: 39 041 5286974

The chef at this tiny, Venetian trattoria prides himself on the fact that, in a city laden with fish-focused restaurants, there’s no seafood whatsoever on the menu here.  Instead, chef Ernesto Ballarin focuses on vegetables, meat and pastas and boy do they do justice to pasta!!

You’d be wise to order more than one.  We sampled the just-made Pappardelle with Radicchio.  The radicchio is simmered with cream for four hours until it becomes something that mimics the texture of creamed spinach.  It’s the perfect foil for the perfectly al dente ribbons of pappardelle and a simple, yet tremendously satisfying bowl of pasta.   Just as good is the Spaghetti alla Siciliana, which translated to a tangle of spaghetti mingled with eggplant, tomato and mozzarella.

Pappardelle with Radicchio

Pappardelle with Radicchio

The notably rustic cooking is so gratifying that  Joel Silver flies the chef and his team to Los Angeles to cook for him every year.  We were actually tipped off to Da Arturo by our tour guide, who told us he brings his own family in for dinner all the time (that’s high praise from a local).  And you can see why after you sample an antipasti of Eggplant En Saor, which is the Italian version of Sweet and Sour sauce, crowned with Marcona almonds for crunch.  Or after tasting the Veal Scaloppine, pounded paper thin and anointed with a rich red wine sauce that makes all others seem downright dull.  There’s steak smothered in a green peppercorn sauce, pork chops and more.   For dessert, get the Panna Cotta, one of the best I’ve had to date, dense and dreamy.  Oh, and bring cash.  That’s all they take at this no nonsense, no seafood joint.

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