The sooner you accept that getting lost in Venice is an inevitability, the sooner you’ll have a good time in the city of canals. That’s almost how we came to stumble upon Ristorante da Sabrina during our trip, because we were just meandering our way through the twisted lanes of Venice in search of dinner. There are many restaurants that cater to tourists, to be sure, but we learned our lesson in Nice and avoided the ones where they were aggressively out on the street, trying to coax in some new patrons.
Even though we were in very much a touristy part of town, the pricing was still at the lower levels that we experienced in Florence and in Rome. You could choose between the “meat” menu or the “fish” menu. Since we already had a fair bit of meat, we went with the fish menu for 17.50 Euro per person. Unlike some other restaurants, Ristorante da Sabrina didn’t have a service charge either.
Spaghetti ai fruitti di mare: Spaghetti with seafood
Susanne had this as her first course. It wasn’t terribly fancy and the “seafood” consisted mainly of mussels and squid rings.
Spaghetti al nero di seppia: Spaghetti with squid ink
I decided to order this for my first course. There is a very distinct flavor to squid ink that I enjoy and this earthiness was further enhanced by the inclusion of mushrooms.
Branzino alla griglia: Grilled sea bass with grilled vegetables
For my main course, I opted for the branzino. I had the option of choosing a light salad or grilled vegetables, and as you can see, I went with the latter. The fish here was quite small, especially compared to what I had in Florence. I also found the vegetables to be only lukewarm, which was disappointing.
Orata alla griglia: Grilled sea bream with grilled vegetables
Susanne’s main was fundamentally the same, except she went with the orata instead of the branzino. It seemed like her fish got a little bit of a better char, at least at the one end.
We both opted for the tiramisu for dessert. Susanne’s, shown here, held together a lot better than the slice that I was offered. It was fine, but ultimately forgettable.
And that’s largely how I would describe our dinner at Ristorante da Sabrina. The food was only decent, but the wait staff definitely offered service with a smile. It seemed like they were having a good time and they were kind of enough to offer some complimentary limoncello to finish our meal. I suppose when it comes to a very tourist-centric town like Venice, we really can’t expect much for such a cheap three-course dinner.
Dinner for two–with a couple of drinks, coffee and a modest gratuity–came to 52 Euro.