Our Italian Restaurant(s): Venice, Part Three

Let's be real. The best part about Italy was the food. It seemed like we started the day with a big spread at our hotel (where there was always hot cappuccino, and gluten-free options for me), and then we spent the rest of the day figuring out what our next culinary indulgence would be. In between, we checked out some famous - and amazing - historical sites, museums, and churches, but it was really all about the food. In this series, I'll share the amazing meals we had, just in case you're planning a trip to Italy anytime soon ;)

 Our last day in Venice was spectacular. We finally found the gluten-free grocery store, called Mea Tutti Libre. We stocked up on gluten-free bread, pasta, and cookies to take home with us, and the guy made some restaurant recommendations - complete with good directions for finding them in the crazy streets and alleys that is Venice!

At lunchtime, we finally found Risto Bar - which is actually a generic name for a type of Italian restuarant. Here's how unassuming it is - not even a sign on the awning:

Our dishes were probably reheated frozen meals, but they were delicious. I had cannelloni beita e ricotta (cannelloni with chard and cheese), and it was delicious. I don't know about you, but it's been ages since I've had cannelloni since it's so hard to find large gluten-free pasta. The dish even made me re-think my stance on chard. The chard was chopped so fine, the texture was manageable for me - usually I think it's too chewy and give up.

Mike enjoyed another gluten-free rarity - tortellini panna e prosciutto (tortellini with cream and ham). The photo's not great, but it tasted amazing.

Best of all was the dessert - a gluten-free tiramisu, which I had been craving the entire trip. This one was definitely frozen and then thawed, but it was still delicious.

 After lunch, we took a gondola ride. Mike negotiated for a much better price - forty euros instead of eighty - though it didn't hurt that we went during "off" hours. The gondolier pointed out the palazzos of people like Marco Polo and Casanova, which are now occupied by banks and insurance companies. It was chilly, and even though it was definitely all it's cracked up to be, we were glad to get off the water when it was over.

For dinner, we went to Ala Vecia Cavana. They gave us a grapefruit juice cocktail and a delicious sampler plate of gluten-free bread with wonderfully crunchy breadsticks.

Our first course was mussels and clams in a light tomato broth, and our second course was pasta carbonara. Both were absolutely perfect. For dessert, I had another tiramisu, which was exactly the same as the one at Ristobar, but with a lovely presentation.

If you ever make it to Venice, I definitely recommend  stopping by Mea Libera Tutti, Ristobar, and Ala Vecia Cavana. 

That's it for our Italian Restaurants! To see all of the places we dined while in Italy, just click here.

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