Eating in Venice with elegance, style and quality
Are you planning a romantic dinner in Venice or simply want to treat yourself to an elegant evening?
The answer is Restaurant la Cupola in Venice.
The Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal, location of the restaurant, is located right in front of Santa Lucia Train station and has been run by the same Venetian family for over thirty years.
Surely the highlight of this place is the attention to detail: sumptuous 18th century Venetian style, elegant and refined interiors, covered with intricate Venetian stuccoes, Murano glass wall lamps and golden furniture as a final touch.
As you walk in you can immediately breath an air of class and elegance.
I was invited to have a meal there thanks to 2Night.
I made my way to the restaurant on a cold evening in November.
A Cocktail in Venice
Upon my arrival I was greeted by the kindness and calm manners of Enrico, the maître, and I took a seat in the restaurant’s lounge bar.
Enrico advised me to try their new drink called “Sesto Senso – Sixth Sense”: a mix of gin, honey, fresh ginger, cucumber and ginger beer, decorated with truffle shavings, served with a generous portion of battered fried vegetables.
It is an aperitif studied by the same maître: a recipe created at the molecular level, with careful research into the characteristics of the distillates that can be combined with the battered vegetables. The cucumber to clean the mouth from the oiliness of the fried dish, the truffle to give the aroma to match with the vegetables.
A cocktail of pure magic, aromatic and nuanced, also thanks to the truffle and the ginger flakes. Gin lovers will love the resinous touch of alcohol that slowly fades between the freshness of the cucumber and the vivacity of ginger.
Restaurant la Cupola in Venice
While I was enjoying my drink and the vegetables, with a taste of olives, chips and small canapés, I took my time to admire the very soft and refined atmosphere of the lounge.
The restaurant was quite full, mostly guests of the hotel, but there were also those who came in only to drink a cocktail or a Spritz admiring the view of the Grand Canal from the various windows of the bar.
My table in the restaurant, complete with a candle, was in a nice secluded corner.
The restaurant, open about twelve years ago, can hold up to about fifty seats and in the summer it also serves the Roof Top Sky Lounge Bar.
I spotted the elegant details: the fresh white tablecloths adorned with candles and a relaxing combination of beige colors. All visual features that define this restaurant, making it the perfect location for a romantic dinner.
Traditional but refined menu
A quick look at the menu: the proposed cuisine is of high quality, based on typical Venetian products, mainly of fish, but with a special focus also on vegetarians and people with celiac disease.
I decided to ask Enrico to choose for me, relying on his experience.
He chose a series of fish dishes pairing them with a South Tyrolean Sauvignon GFILL DOC: expressive and savory wine, with notes of elderflower and various exotic fruits.
I liked the wine list: very varied and well thought of.
While I was waiting, the amuse-bouche arrived: Sarde in Saor, sweet and sour Sardines, the typical Venetian dish, with raisins and pine nuts marinated in winter citrus fruits – a traditional dish, but very delicate.
It was then followed by what will be my favorite dish of the evening, the appetizer: the Medallions of Scallop on a bed of pea cream and tagliatelle of Cuttlefish.
Very large portion for a starter, but sublime: the cuttlefish, cooked to perfection, added value and exquisiteness, which blended perfectly with the taste and consistency of the scallops, juicy and almost sweet, and the pea cream, which was very light.
As a first course, Enrico chose homemade Ravioli, stuffed with cod and sea bass, on creamed potatoes, scampi and truffles.
A mix of sovereign ingredients in Venetian cuisine, fish, molluscs and crustaceans, born from the imagination of chef Alfonso, who set off on the creation of the most original combinations. A refined dish, but at the same well balanced.
For the main course, Enrico proposed a Sea bass on cream of chickpeas, sautéed spinach and tomato comfit. The skin was fried separately to make it crispy and flavored with rosemary oil. A really very good dish.
Chef Alfonso Cicerale
Alfonso Cicerale, the Apulian chef of La Cupola restaurant for three years, in the middle of my dinner, left his kitchen to come and check if everything was to my liking. Obviously everything was perfect and I told him so.
Young, creative and passionate, cooking since he was twelve years old in the family restaurant, he then came to Jesolo to do his apprenticeship and training during the summer season, until his arrival in Venice.
Alfonso has a deep knowledge of the territory and local products, which is widely reflected in his way of cooking: a delicate fusion of traditional Venetian cuisine with the search for new flavors and ingredients.
His dishes are exquisite, built to perfection, with touches of originality, beautifully presented.
He suggested I tried his version of soft Tiramisù with flakes of white chocolate, brittle and coffee foam.
Certainly a different variant of the traditional Tiramisu.
Alfonso also made me taste his Panna Cotta with Lavender and that is when I was left breathless; I state that I generally do not like Panna Cotta. I find it very bland, insignificant as sweet, but here the lavender is delicate and makes this dessert very interesting and perfect as the end of a seafood dinner!
It made me change my mind on the goodness of Panna Cotta!
Throughout the dinner the staff was always present, discreet, and friendly: exactly what a person expects from a restaurant of this level!
At the end of the evening, Alfonso also gave me some homemade biscuits – all the bread and pastry are prepared every day by him and his staff!
Perfect conclusion for a classy elegant night, with excellent food and excellent wine!
I plan to come back as soon as possible – there are still many nice dishes I have to try on their menu!
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