#BestMeals2013: Trattoria Nalin, mainland Venice

she crabs roe

After Tracie P and I serendipitously discovered this mainland Venice classic earlier this year, Trattoria Nalin meteorically rose to the top of my “favorite restaurants in the world” list. In the fall, on my last trip to Italy for 2013, I managed to break away from work and enjoy a super fun dinner there with my very close and dear friend Steve and Sita (Steve and I were college roomates and we’ve all known each other for more than 25 years).

It was early October and a very special time to be there: the sea animals of the Venetian lagoon had just mated and the crustaceans were teeming with roe, called coral in Italian because of its bright red color. Those are the she crabs, above.

she crabs

You just pop them into your mouth and bite down: their shells are delicate and the reward inside is as sweet as candy. This was one of the best things I ate all year. (And you can only get them right after the mating period.)

razor clams

Grilled razor clams… unbelievable… so tender…

ca del bosco dosage zero

Were I to publish the obscenely low price we paid for this Ca’ del Bosco 2008 Dosage Zero, the censors would surely lock me away. It’s my favorite in the Ca’ del Bosco portfolio… so brilliant, so focused, so fresh yet so nuanced in its tannic structure. A favorite wine, paired superbly…

scampi risotto

Risotto with prawns. Note the coral that the kitchen used to sprinkle on the rice. Amazing… Did I mention that I love this restaurant?

borgo tiglio ronco chiesa

Borgo del Tiglio 1999 Ronco della Chiesa, easily one of the best wines I drank all year. And again, an obscenely low price.

Old white wine, when it’s great like this, is one of the greatest pleasure on G-d’s earth… I’ll never forget this bottle and was so glad to share it with people whom I care about so deeply.

Nalin’s son told me that he’s sold off a lot of his list but he still has a mini vertical of Borgo del Tiglio. I plan to drink every last bottle. These are game-changing and life-altering wines.

grilled calamari

Grilled calamari, with a spritz of fresh lemon juice. No explanation necessary…


Cuttlefish served in its ink with white polenta.

Thank you for letting me share this unforgettable experience with you.

Nalin is SO worth the journey…

More “best meals of 2013 coming up”…

One thought on “#BestMeals2013: Trattoria Nalin, mainland Venice

  1. Pingback: Is @WineEnthusiast biased when it comes to Italian whites? Time to cast off stereotypes | Do Bianchi

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