Betigodi

Tel: +39 041 7162 69
Address: Calle Selle, Cannaregio 1423
Notes: Closed Sunday evening, Monday
Tables outside? Yes

Just outside the Ghetto and off the bustling Rio Terà San Leonardo, Bentigodi is another simple Trattoria offering more than just simple fare. Plain white walls, dark beams and bare tables create a calm, cool atmosphere in which to choose from a menu featuring much of interest, especially to those – and I’m among them – who like their verdure.

The antipasti (€5 – €12) looked good but I couldn’t resist starting with carote con sesame piccante from the list of contorni (mostly €4), which also included interesting things done to endive, verdure in padella con curry and cipolline in agrodolce, the tiny flat onions cooked in a sweet and sour oil. Here they come with raisins and are marvellous.

A plate of spaghettini con scampi alla Busara, with just a hint of chilli (€13), was declared perfect, as was the creamy, soft polenta that accompanied salsicce con fagioli (€10). The sausages and beans were pretty good too, the former containing a lot of wild boar (but much more succulent than is sometimes the case with that meat) and the latter a very far cry from Heinz, even though they came in a tomato sauce – this sauce was fresh.

There’s a wide choice of secondi, both meat and fish (€10 – €15), but the most expensive dish – costicine di agnello con radicchio – was disappointing. The flavour was good but the lamb was hard to find among a mass of bones, and the radicchio didn’t lend the sharpness I hoped it might.

Puddings (€4.50) are all home made and include a rich but light tiramisù, a torta di cioccolato ditto, and a very interesting-sounding crema di castagne con rhum.

There’s a good wine list that included a fine Raboso at €12; house white is Chardonnay and house red is Merlot. The small cover charge of €2 includes some delicious breads, and the service and the unusual (for Venice) variety on the menu makes Bentigodi worthy of repeat visits.