Antica Trattoria alla Maddalena is on the island of Burano, just off the Mazzorbo vaporetto stop, in Venice. It is a large building that has numerous dining rooms, garden, patio and take out counter. Inside we were seated in a contemporary dining room decorated with modern paintings and large wood accents. It has been serving typical Venetian cuisine for 60 years. Service was friendly and efficient and they were happy to show us around to some of the other rooms when we finished our meal. It is worth it to take the trip over here.
The Spider crab here was presented similarly to what we’d had elsewhere but this one had slightly larger clumps of crabmeat and much fewer shell bits. The sweet meat was ultra fresh and very nice. It was on some fresh greens and topped with bright orange roe. A winner.
The mix of mussels and clams was another dish of great freshness. The dish contained multiple sizes but all were delicious. The broth was mostly briny which added a nice amount of salt to the shellfish. Another winner.
For a first plate we had the Risotto with Shrimp, which is served for a minimum of 2 people. It looked to be a popular item as I saw it served to a number of other tables. The popularity was well deserved as it was served perfectly al dente and was creamy and deeply flavored. The shrimp had been used to flavor the broth introduced to the rice as the dish got a rich pinkish color and the taste of shrimp was amazing. I really enjoy a well done risotto and this was it. It was wonderful yet so very simple.
For a main course we split an order of Moeche or fried soft shell crab of the Lagoon served with polenta. They were typically small and came 6 to an order served with fried vegetables like carrot, eggplant, red pepper, and zucchini. All were lightly coated but still nicely crispy. Some of the smallest crabs got a bit of a taste of fryer but the thickest part had that good sweet taste you want. The crabs are quite rich so 3 was plenty for me along with all the vegetables and triangle of white polenta.
Alongside we each had a side of Carciofi or Artichokes that were steamed. They came 3 to an order and we probably could have split this too but you simply can’t get these in the U.S. so I have to stock up on them when I can. They were cooked perfectly and had a nice artichoke taste.
For dessert they offer a selection of housemade cakes and I chose the apple cake. It came with a scoop of ice cream drizzled with caramel. The lattice crust was somewhat broken but tasted of good butter and had been caramelized when cooking. The apple was mixed with raisins and was a good sweet ending to a nice meal.