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Norway lobster, raw, next to Venetian Cicchetti

Cicchetti in Venice

August 13th, 2018 | Landgänge

To begin with, I honestly thought what the Venetian’s hype about those “sandwiches” would be. They name it Crostini, that is Canapées – more or less. Today I know: You have to get involved in it and enjoy Cicchetti like the tapas in Spain with a walk through several wine bars in Venice. Then you get behind it very quickly, what makes the special charm of these hearty little things.

Cicchetti in Venice

They still exist in Venice: the Bàcari, small wine shops and wine bars as they probably exist only in the lagoon city. Here, the Venetian treats himself to a glass of wine called “Ombra”, which means something like “shadow”. The name has been preserved from times when the wine was sold directly on St. Mark’s Square. The wine merchants were then in the shadow of the Campanile, the bell tower, so that the wine remained cool. So you still drink a “shadow” today accompanying Crostini and Cicchetti

In the Bacari bars it is loud. And at noon or evening time it is full. So full that it’s hard to catch a glimpse of the display. If you have successfully conquered a plate with two, three luscious and delicious sandwiches and a glass of wine or Apérol Spritz, is often only the way out. There, guests sit on the little walls of the canals and enjoy Cicchetti, wine and Venice.

Cantina Vecia Carbonera

We begin our tour in the rustic Cantina Vecia Carbonera. Dark wood panelling, black beamed ceilings, centuries old flooring. In the back dining room rustic tables overlooking a barred window on canals and bridges. A long counter with glass top and trays full of different crostini, thin slices of white bread with juicy spreads or ham, salami and cheese topped.

We choose crostini with codfish cream (Baccalá mantecato), with tuna, with Gorgonzola leek cream and with red shrimp and radicchio. On a narrow bench, we sit at a simple wooden table opposite the counter and watch the goings-on. We would like to order more variants. But we want to move on.

Camin Storto

Just a few steps further we take our second round at Camin Storto. The Cicchetti Mazzancole in Saor taste great. Sweet and sour pickled shrimps with onions, raisins, pine nuts – delicious! The “shrimp skewers”, however, look tempting, but turn out to be a meat slurry. No enjoyment. What a pity.

La Cantina SNC

Our third station inspires us. La Cantina SNC is a modern wine bar, bright and friendly, and offers Cicchetti at a high level and of the highest quality with a very good wine selection. We choose oysters, scampi crudi and crostini with colorful tomatoes and anchovies. Especially the latter impress with a fabulous aroma. Excellent tomatoes, basil, good olive oil, an anchovy. So easy, so good.

Finally, we treat ourselves to a tiny slice of cheese and jam of green tomatoes.

Now I know why the Venetians love their Cicchetti so much. It is a wonderful culinary culture. From rustic to modern, from quite simple to sophisticated. Here you will find everything. For me it’s clear, I will align a Cicchetti dinner at home very soon. Many different varieties I have in my mind, the table should bend. We will enjoy an evening in “Bella Italia” at our home.

All in all: not bad, these Venetian “sandwiches”. We love them, just like we do with Venice!

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