In Venetian, they call it a bacaro (pronounced BAH-kah-roh, with the tonic syllable in the first position).
In Italian you might call it a cicchetteria (chee-keh-teh-REE-ah), a place where cicchetti or Venetian small bites are served.
One of the most thrilling discoveries of my recent Venetian sojourn was Lino Fritto, a new bacaro in the Venice fish market with classic and creative dishes and chic, clean-lined modernist décor.
I was so enthralled with the food the night we visited that I forgot to take pictures of the space itself.
From the sarde in saor (traditional sardines cooked and served in sweet and sour sauce and consumed whole) to the classic Venetian-style seafood salads and fried fishballs, Lino Fritto serves my favorite kind of meal (especially easy on Jewish-boy stomachs, btw).
But they also serve a wide variety of fried and puréed vegetables.
The fact that it’s set on the edge of the picturesque Venetian fish market only sweetens the salty deal.
On my friend Adam Japko’s Design and Wine tour this month, we hosted our Sunday night light dinner there and it was perfect (especially when paired with Wayne Young who was pouring and speaking about Bastianich wines).
I need to send out a special thanks to owner Marco Ferro who was so gracious in taking a cold call from some dude in Houston (that would be me) and working with me to make this happen.
And I am also sending a big Texan-style bear hug to the lovely Federica Zane who handled our party and put our evening together so seamlessly.
I had so much fun planning and attending our dinner there and I can’t wait to get back and dive right back in to one of my favorite styles of eating and my new favorite bacaro.
Why doesn’t every American city have this? Hint hint: Marco is looking for American partners…