Da Fiore is a medium sized place that is made up of basically 2 rooms – one quite formal and then a very small, more casual room that looks out onto the canal. We hadn’t been in 6 years and this visit we sat in the bigger room which I preferred to the smaller room that felt cramped. The tables are set with fine linens and beautiful local glassware and the waiters are formal yet quite helpful. It is old school enough that the “lady’s” menu has no prices. There was a mix of languages within earshot. We were there for lunch and it was not full.
They started everyone with an amuse bouche of shrimp head soup with ravioli. While it didn’t sound any more compelling than it looked, it was excellent. Full of rich flavor and you can bet I drained my cup.
We started with the fried oysters. I had seen pictures of these and they lived up to the hype. They were crispy, tasty and just plain great!
For our first plate we chose the shrimp and porcini risotto, which is ordered for 2. The very small risotto rice still had a nice bite and it was suitably runny. It was served very hot and had exquisite flavor. The background taste was a buttery shrimp taste with the mushrooms filling out the front. It was a lovely rich dish and what a fun surprise when the waiter brought out the pan and proceeded to scoop the reminder into our dishes.
As a main plate we split the stuffed calamari with pumpkin sauce. It was served with a whole crusted porcini sitting in a pool of porcini purée. The calamari rings were stuffed with shrimp but it was not an overly strong taste. It was all accented with pumpkin purée that was very tasty. The dried ring was a bit tough to cut but worth the effort as it was quite flavorful. An interesting and well executed dish.
For dessert we tried the meringue dessert that was stuffed with cake and a bit of caramel. It was light, sweet and yummy. In Michelin style they brought out a selection of cookies for an extra dessert. The coconut one was very short with a slight chew and rated a yum. The meringue was totally light with a wonderful chewy center. Double yum here. The chocolate cookie was mostly sweet rather than chocolate but very short and crisp. It was tasty too but the meringue was my winner.