LEFAIR Volume 10

Page 62

HOT SPOTS In The Cities of Lights & Love

I. BISTROT DE VENISE Classical music plays throughout the rooms. Bistrot de Venise owner, Sergio Fragiacomo wears bright blue pants, matching loafers and a white button down. He welcomes us at the door. The bartender pours three glasses of Prosecco. “It’s the Venetian way to start a meal,” Fragiacomo says. With around 55,000 locals living in the historic city of Venice (Centro Storico) and around 1,000 to 1,300 restaurants, plus bars and street food, “You have to be qualified and keep a high standard,” Fragiacomo says. “You have to cultivate a loyal local following” Owner since 1994, the restaurant has undergone a few changes under Fragiacomo. Beginning as an easy-going late night joint to grab pizza and a quick bite, in 1999, the owner decided to try something new. He started by introducing local wines that were on the verge of disappearing from the market. Fragiacomo then took a friend’s recommendation to tap into the Venetian library’s rich collection of ancient recipes from the 14th to 18th centuries and try to replicate some of these old-fashioned dishes. “Wines and ancient dishes are our specialty. It’s classic food. I don’t like stylish fusions.” One of the most compelling aspects of Bistrot de Venise is Fragiacomo’s vision and drive to bring people together. “We organize a lot of events here. I want the locals to feel at home even when we are completely overrun by tourists. This restaurant is more of a local spot. Beginning in October, we all start to meet here throughout the winter months and read poetry.” Fragiacomo takes an enormous book off of the shelf and opens it on the table. The pages have been filled (since 1994) with hand-written poetry entries written by or recalled from guests, including some famous poets like Jack Hirschman. Overall, the experience of dining at Bistrot de Venise revolves around the company of the staff, the owner and the locals, and about perhaps expanding the palette to some more adventurous raw seafoods and lesser known wines. Calle dei Fabbri, 4685 30124 Venice, Italy bistrotdevenise.com


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