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Ristorante Da Ivo doesn’t only owe its fashionable reputation to its famous patrons but also to its charm as a traditional Venetian trattoria with great character and class. Owner Giovanni resembles a friendly bear and may hug you or crush your hand in an effort to make you feel undoubtedly welcome.

Inside, you’ll notice paintings by locals as well as the quirky but extremely precious sketches, drawn spontaneously on napkins, by the likes of George Clooney, Elton John and even the revered artist Damien Hirst.

The small restaurant has hidden, private corners where you can remain incognito.
I had no idea that Bono and his wife were sitting a few yards away from me, and his bodyguard right next to us, until my friend dropped it into the conversation, and I nearly choked on my sea bass.

Located adjacent to the canal you can arrive directly by gondola, or like Clooney did for his bachelor’s (but with a lot less fanfare) through the porta d’acqua.

In the kitchen, Luciano and Marcella’s passion for cooking centres around natural flavours, fresh seafood from the Rialto market and the best meat. Tall, muscular Rachid will explain whatever you need to know. The portions are hearty and beautifully presented, the emphasis on quality rather than hooking passing tourists. As usual in Venice, fish is a speciality, with starters like misto crudo (a sort of Venetian sushi, with marinated raw fish) and tortellini di ricotta e spinaci con salsa di basilico (pasta with ricotta, spinach and basil sauce) designed to prepare you for the superb baked turbot with potatoes, olives and cherry tomatoes.

Copyright © 2021 Sharon Feinstein. All rights reserved.