It has been long time that we wanted to try the Restaurant La Zucca (The Pumpkin), a Venice restaurant that was recommended by several Venetian and also by restaurateurs. We had to postpone several times our visit because the 35 seats available are not many and the fame of the restaurant makes the reservation, at least for the evening, almost mandatory.
I believe that we should begin by describing the environment, very special and fascinating, both for the romantic location of the restaurant with its windows overlooking the canal and for the interior: warm and cozy, paneled with oak transversely mounted, perfect lighting, many plants and paintings with pumpkins of all sizes all around. Really a special place.
Another very nice aspect of La Zucca is the outstanding value for money, we had already spend thirty euro in Venice, but never in such kind of restaurant that serves sophisticated dishes in a very frame.
In fact La Zucca shows a sophisticated menu where vegetables – and pumpkin- are the masters. One of the few vegetarian restaurants in Venice where vegetarians can be at ease and where fish dishes – incredible to say in the lagoon – are not even contemplated.
Mind you, there are also meat dishes, such as liver pâté marsala (9 €), tagliatelle with duck ragout and zibibbo (10), duck breast glazed with orange (20), rabbit roasted with onions in balsamic vinegar (20), pork braised with prunes (20) and braised beef cheeks with polenta with Cabernet (20), but the vegetable dishes are dominant and often prepared with some originality.
For example, particularly convincing seemed to us the flan d pumpkin with seasoned ricotta cheese (10) and the artichoke pie with cream cheese (10). Flavors balanced with skill, with no preponderance of egg (as often happens in little flans and pies succeeded), elegantly presented.
Many contours of seasonal vegetables, with pairings often very successful and creative as in the case of the Roman Cauliflower au gratin with almonds and pecorino cheese (6), chicory and spinach with prunes (6), carrots curry and yogurt (7) , the glazed onions prosecco (6), stuffed champignons baked (6).
Excellent wine list, with no excessive mark-ups and many wines by the glass.
The restaurant is easily accessible (10 minutes walk) from Piazzale Roma or the train station and is good for a passing night in Venice.
The list of restaurants where we have to go back when we are in Venice has lengthened. And when I have to recommend a restaurant in Venice, La Zucca will be in the top places on the list thanks to its charming atmosphere and a culinary offer made with great skill.
You just have to remember to book as it is since 1980 that the Venetians have noticed this charming little restaurant.
Restaurant La Zucca
PARKING: inside the channel
PRICE: 30/35 €
ADDRESS: Santa Croce 1762 Venice
CLOSED: Sunday, open lunch and dinner
POSITIVE: interesting vegetarian dishes in Venice, restaurant near the train station of Venice, elegant atmosphere, competitive price, no fish restaurant in Venice, no turist trap
NEGATIVE: almost obligatory reservation
PLATE NOT MISS: flan and pumpkin flan artichokes