Last week I visited Bottega ai Promessi Sposi in Venice–twice. The first trip was with fellow blogger and Fodor’s colleague Nan McEllroy, who clued me in on the Sposi in the first place. We met for some cichetti and wine and chatted about Venice, a city that still fascinates and confuses me, even after so many visits. We stood at the marble countertop near the entrance and grazed on traditional snacks: octopus and potato salad, grilled radicchio tardivo, meatballs (some in tomato sauce, others served fried on a stick), and baccala’ mantecato.
This last one, known as bacaea’ manteca’ in dialect is a creamy spread made from salt cod, olive oil, and garlic. It was served with taralli, not quite the right vehicle for eating it while standing up and totally ineffective for a scarpetta. I wanted to lick the plate.
I returned for lunch a couple of days later for a seafood-based lunch. Not surprisingly, I started with sarde in saor, a tangy sweet and sour sardine dish. Next up, garganelli with swordfish, capers, and olives, a dish that felt more Sicilian than Venetian (but I could be wrong).
Last came an absolutely enormous portion of cuttlefish in ink with grilled polenta. I like this dish, but it was a bit too much. Even I can’t put away a litre of ink. La Bottega Ai Promessi Sposi is conveniently located just off Campo SS Apostoli in Cannaregio and makes a good destination of Happy Hour or a proper meal. I am glad I was able to try both.
La Bottega Ai Promessi Sposi
Calle de l’Oca 4367 – Cannaregio
Closed Mon. lunch and Wed.