Ristorante San Trovaso

Tel: +39 041 5230 835
Address: Larga Nani, Dorsoduro 967 (behind Galleria Accademia)
Notes: Closed Thursday
Tables outside? Yes
Cuisine Type: Venetian

Ristorante San Trovaso should not be confused with Taverna San Trovaso, though they are run by the same family. The latter is cosy and bustling (but always good fun and good value) and the former is much more spacious, with a garden – but has a slightly industrial feel to it. The main dining room is cavernous, with huge copper pipes running across the high wood-beamed ceiling – what on earth was this building? When we visited it was too chilly to try the tables in the enclosed garden outside, but they must be pleasant on summer evenings.

However the value is certainly carried across from the older establishment, and at least you’re likely to get a table more easily in the Ristorante. Though this restaurant is popular with big Italian family parties, obviously drawn by the no-nonsense food, huge portions and keen prices.

Antipasti start from €7 (verdure fritte for €7.50 looked good) and reach €13 for antipasto di pesce. Be warned though, the latter is likely to be a meal in itself.

Primi also range between €7 and €13 and my plate of pennette all’Amatriciana was hearty and good, if not special, and certainly a snip at €7. It’s the same price for spaghetti alio, olio e peperoncino – that staple dish that isn’t necessarily on the menu but it’s a strange Italian kitchen that can’t produce it. It’s often the simplest food that show the skill in the kitchen, and it was good. Spaghetti allo scoglio (mixed seafood) is €13.

I didn’t have much room for a secondi after the pasta but did my best with petto di pollo con salsa di rucola; the chicken was tender, the rocket sauce was plentiful and tasty and it was amazing value at €10. Contorni are €4.50 and a plate of spinachi was delicious.

Dolci are fairly standard though there’s what looks like a good fresh fruit salad and we did see some interesting confections being delivered to other tables.

The house white is a lovely fresh pinot bianco, still with the froth on it – and again a bargain at €9 per litre.

Not somewhere to take your partner for a romantic meal perhaps, but a really useful standby when you need to eat (especially if you have hungry teenagers to fill).