Alle Testiere has been a regular stop for us in Venice for years and unfortunately it has also become a regular stop for way too many other tourists. There are only 11 tables and while at lunch it used to be a place you could drop by, that is no longer the case. Reservations are a must and for prime times you may need to make them a week out. The same staff works there but this visit it seemed less interesting, or maybe I’ve been too many times. The appeal of this place was the use of fresh local cuisine, sometimes classic and sometimes with a twist. This visit the “twists” didn’t work for me but their classics met my expectations. There are a couple really bright spots to Alle Testiere, though, one being the wine selection. Luca always comes up with something reasonable, different and tasty for you to try. The other bright spot is his wife’s desserts. They are generally quite good and change on a regular basis.
Today’s meal started with grilled razor clams. They get a bigger variety than some of the other local spots and that may be why they often have a bit of grit but they have a good chew and taste but are a bit pricey.
For the next course we tried the octopus and cardoon salad. It was served warm and was a jumble of tastes and textures. For all the busyness of the plate it was a bland dish.
The spaghetti with clams is a classic yet subtle dish.
The pumpkin and ricotta ravioli was served with a red tuna ragout. It was garnished with a purple/red cluster of string that made for an unattractive plate. The ravioli were okay but the tuna sauce didn’t compliment them and was too heavily seasoned with olives. It was odd.
The sole fillets were accompanied by an overly complicated garnish. We hoped for some artichoke hearts to accompany the nicely cooked fish but instead got the grilled mix which turned out to be a bunch of bland grilled vegetables.
We finished with the pistachio cake which was quite good.