London, United Kingdom
March 9, 2004
In many ways, it is the perfect example of a bacaro. Such establishments are a world away from the more famous and glamorous counterparts that are often popular with tourists. Customers nearly always stand at the bar, mainly because the generally basic places do not tend to feature much in the way of tables and chairs. Constantly on offer is the region's wine, which is most usually available by the glass, a measure colourfully known in the local parlance as an ombra, which translates to English as a shadow. Also served are chicheti, which are small and often seafood-based tapas-like snacks, including classics such as are sarde in saor and baccalà mantecata, marinated sardines and dried cod in garlic and olive oil respectively. The latter is particularly popular in the Schiavi, but vegetarians like me will obviously be more interested in the tasty combination of Gorgonzola and Mascarpone on walnut bread.
What makes it stand out in particular is the cosy atmosphere, which is mostly due to the friendly Gastaldi family, the owners for several generations. All through the day and early evening, regular visitors drop in for a drink or some food, accompanied by genial conversation, and newcomers also receive genuine warmth. Meanwhile, on sunny days, the customers forsake the low ceilings and dim lighting of the interior and instead enjoy the canal side location.
Finally, it also doubles as a very good bottle shop. Covering the walls is an immense range of wines and spirits, from local specialities to more exotic items, which is for sale at reasonable prices.
From journal Venice - The serene city of canals