Trattoria al Ponte

 

Tel: +39 041 7197 77
Address: Ponte del Megio (Calle Larga), Santa Croce 1666
Notes: Closed Sunday
Tables outside? Yes

On a sunny day arrive early at Trattoria al Ponte to grab one of the few outside tables. There are plenty more inside but it’s a picturesque spot right by the bridge, just along from Campo San Giacomo dall’Orio and across the canal from another of our favourites, La Zucca.

This Trattoria is more basic in its cooking, but the quality is still very high, starting with the delicious bread and an excellent bottle of one of the best local wines, Raboso (€15) – a fresh, slightly fizzy red that slips down very easily. (House red is cabernet franc at €7 per litre).

Friendly ladies wait on you and serve up some almost perfect classic cuisine. The zuppa di verdure is good but the antipasto misto di salami, at a mere €5, is fabulous – the variety of absolutely fresh meats is superb.

Pasta (€7) could be one of a couple of specials of the day – perhaps spaghetti con scampi e radicchio – or plain with a choice of sauces: pomodoro, Bolognese (ragù), burro e salvia or Gorgonzola. My gnocchi Bolognese were very good indeed.

A perfectly grilled orata (€13) was the star of the meal, though. Served simply with rucola, it was moist, tender and delicious.

Dolci are basic – gelati, tartuffi and fresh fruit (€4 – €5). But again, the quality is there: the fruit that day was perfectly ripe pineapple (two large slices), a great end to an excellent meal. This is honest, simple cooking at its very best, and the sort of value that makes Londoners weep in frustration as they contemplate that city’s overpriced, pale imitations.