Don’t spoil your visit to Venice by eating in over-priced tourist traps – follow the locals’ lead and graze on bar snacks in back-street osterie
My trip to one of the world’s most romantic cities was inspired by the least romantic of situations: a boys’ night out in Soho, London, the kind that ends up in a random curry house before falling asleep on the night bus. On this night, however, we fell, quite by chance, into Polpo (see Jay Rayner’s review), a relatively new restaurant that appeared to be some kind of tapas bar, was lively and not too pricey – yes, this would do.
It was an inspired choice. It turns out we weren’t eating tapas (“We don’t use the T-word here,” said the waiter) but cicheti, small snacks unique to the bars of Venice. Our conversation, usually dominated by football, turned to the tenderness of sliced flank steak and the sweet softness of the sensational cuttlefish cooked in its own ink.