A few friends and I recently went off to Italy—namely, Milan, Venice, and Parma—and explored the sights, shopping and of course, the varied food scenes. I will post in no particular order of the restaurants we have dined.
One of the most glamorous ways to dine is at De Pisis at the five-star luxury hotel, Hotel Bauer Venezia.This hotel is surrounded by all of the high end European designer boutiques that lead to the entrance of the hotel. When you walk through the doors, it’s a spacious, elegant lobby set with palm trees giving off the warm Mediterranean vibes but done in neutral earth tones.
To find the De Pisis restaurant, it’s in the back of the hotel, right off their private water taxi dock. There is an outdoor dining space right off the water taxi but it’s closed until spring since it is freezing in Venice. The main dining room itself is a plush, dark green room offset with gold accents from the wallpaper pattern to the tablecloths since Italians are generally maximalists when it comes to their tasteful style.
We started off with glasses of wine from Colmello di Grotta (Sauvignon for one of my friends and the rest of us had its Merlot). We started off with a large assortment (about six dishes) of the chef’s choice of cicchetti. Cicchetti is similar to what you would think of Spanish tapas where you would get small portions or bites of food and have with your apertivo or glass of wine. While all were tasty, we really enjoyed the adorable twee cone of whitefish topped with bottarga, a lighter rendition of sardines in saor (a classic Venetian dish) and the puffed rice chip topped with shiso leaf and branzino tartare.
Frankly, when we finished eating all of our cicchetti we felt satisfied and didn’t think we needed more food. Until we realized the kitchen sent out a four-course dinner over the course of the next few hours we dined there.
We started off with seared scallop with roast pumpkin, shaved fennel and ginger. It’s a delicious first course that sets the autumnal tone for the evening. The sweet pumpkin works perfectly with the perfectly cooked scallop and the fennel added a freshness to the dish.
The most comforting dish of the evening was the ricotta cheese gnocchi with seafood broth, cepes and shiso since it was a cold night. The hot, intensely flavored seafood broth was filled with pristine seafood like mussels and shrimp, and fluffy clouds of gnocchi to make it a substantial bowl of soup.
Risotto is another dishes that is a cultural mainstay in northern Italy. De Pisis’ version is cooked in the style of the northeastern Venetian town of Grumolo delle Abbadesse, made with Treviso raddichio and Colmello di Grotta’s merlot. It has wonderful depth of flavors from the red wine and the bitterness from this unique raddichio added a certain freshness too. It’s delicious and we adored it.
The final savory course of roasted Dentex with cauliflower cream, chickpeas fritters and coriander was very good. The fish was cooked perfectly with the crisp skin and the dots of coriander wasn’t too pungent for me (I tend to dislike coriander).As dessert finally arrived, we had pineapple and vanilla meringue and gingerbread ice cream. It was a fine dessert that felt light enough after having so many dishes prior to this.
What really shocked me (in a great way), was the restaurant surprising me with a spectacular chocolate cake decked out with a sparkler candle catching the entire room’s attention! I didn’t have words to express how cool and unexpected it was. I was thinking my birthday dessert plate would be like most restaurants – the dessert of choice will have a chocolate inscription of “happy birthday” and a normal birthday candle. But no, they go all the way in style.
This cake we saved for breakfast the next morning since we were stuffed to the gills. It was a chocolate and coconut mousse cake, chocolate mirror glaze coated in chocolate nibs and topped with chocolate bonbons and white chocolate decorations. It’s very pretty and we have enjoyed it everything – the food and dining experience all the way to the glorious chocolate coconut cake we have at our apartment.
To view more photos of this visit, please view the gallery below or CLICK HERE for the photo set:[alpine-phototile-for-flickr src=”set” uid=”26389565@N00″ sid=”72157701224309852″ imgl=”flickr” shuffle=”1″ style=”gallery” row=”4″ grwidth=”1200″ grheight=”800″ size=”640″ num=”30″ shadow=”1″ border=”1″ align=”center” max=”100″]
De Pisis at Hotel Bauer Venezia
Piscina S. Moise, 1459
30124 Venezia VE, ItalyPhone: +39 041 520 7022