BY MAXIMILIAN KWIATKOWSKI
My first trip to Venice was marked by a substandard meal. Regardless of what I ate, I had a great time partying during Carnevale. So I went again. I still wanted to get a good Venetian meal during my time there.
When I was dancing at a rave in the fish market, I bumped into this place called Poste Vecie. I looked at the menu and decided I should head back for lunch if I ever came back.
The restaurant is over 500 years old — it opened as a trattoria (an Italian restaurant which serves simple food) for postal workers in 1500 and is still kicking. It’s more of a curiosity for tourists now, but it’s still a really neat experience.
The walls are lined with original mail from centuries ago and an old fireplace roars in the main dining area. It’s fancy and cozy at the same time.
The service is quick and efficient and the servers speak multiple languages. I got everything I ordered piping hot.
I ordered off of a special Carnivale menu. For 38 euro, I got soup, a main course, dessert and drinks. This was not a tourist menu. This was something comparable to restaurant week in Chicago, a unique dining experience where I got to eat awesome food for cheap.
My first course was a pasta fagioli soup — essentially beef broth, beans and pasta. It tasted like it had been made to order. The broth was practically a stew-like gravy, but just thin enough to be soup. It had a rich beef taste which gave flavor to the pasta and beans, which are usually bland. It was really cold that day, too, so it hit the spot.
My second course was cuttlefish done Venetian style. It was dressed with a black ink sauce, which was very new to me. The sauce is quite heavy and hard to describe. It’s bitter, but sort of sweet and a bit gritty, though not in a way that makes it unappetizing. The fish had a light flavor to it, with a texture similar to squid but less thick.
I was surprised at how good it was. It’s a testament to what fresh seafood is supposed to be (especially compared to the frozen stuff you typically get in non-port cities such as Chicago).
The dessert was probably the least interesting. It was fried puff pastry dough with powdered sugar. Imagine a cream puff with no cream. Not bad though, considering it was pretty much an extra.
So let me reiterate, three drinks, a liter of water, two courses and dessert for 38 euro. Poste Vecie was an excellent dining experience and worth every penny.
5 out of 5 stars