Antica Birraria La Corte

Tel: +39 041 2750 570
Address: Campo San Polo – San Polo 2168
Notes: Closed Monday

Antica Birraria La Corte opens up behind a blank wall at one end of Campo San Polo to reveal a yawning restaurant and pizzeria. A long hall, furnished with bland modern tables and chairs, and a massive copper half-tube suspended from the ceiling and running the length of the room. It has a slickness about it that makes unsettling allusions to fast-food – but they prove unfounded. These guys take their pizzas very seriously, evident not just in the size of the menu but in the quality of their output, their attention to detail, and the imagination throughout the list of pizzas.

There is the omnivorous Scoazzera – ham, mushrooms, artichokes, spicy sausage, wild boar salami, peppers and marjoram; the more delicate Scantamata – sliced raw beef, arucola and balsamic vinegar; and the unlikely Pescari – swordfish.

The pizza base is good – chewy but not dense, and with the faintest doughy sweetness. The mushrooms are deliciously woody. The wild boar salami is truly pungent and not just a fancy way of passing off chubby pepperoni. Ungenerous critics might grumble about an overabundance of cheese and the lurid red of the tomato paste, but they are low-level grievances at worst.

Service is amenable and efficient, making it a perfect lunchtime stop after a stretch of overambitious sightseeing; appetite quickly excited and fulfilment speedily delivered.

The restaurant and pizzeria operate separately from the bar, which disappointingly means you can’t enjoy eating at the pleasant tables out on the square. But it is large and long and airy enough to mean you don’t feel too resentful at being shooed inside, and once the food and wine arrive you feel positively grateful.