Shiraz: wine, cocktails and excellent food in Rialto
NOW CLOSED. IN ITS PLACE YOU WILL FIND A MEAT RESTAURANT.
I returned home yesterday evening and today I wanted to enjoy a morning out in Rialto to catch up with my grocery shopping and, of course, to indulge in some good wine and food. I had heard and seen Facebook ads of a new wine and cocktail bar that opened in August called Shiraz, which I hadn't tried yet, so I decided to go there and check it out.
Located in Calle della Regina, thus in the heart of Rialto, Shiraz is not so visible, it can be considered a sort of hidden gem so, when you cross the bridge on the left in San Cassian and see El Vecio Fritoin in Calle della Regina, turn right, a lantern with a candle and some beautiful dried flowers signal the entrance. You will be surprised by what you'll see.
The location is fantastic: red brick walls showcasing fragments of old frescoes, wooden beams, checked floors, modern and fancy design and subtle lighting. The space is quite big for Venice and it is separated in two by Rubelli's textiles, the seating area and the area with the bar, two long copper tables and the see-through kitchen. The attention to detail is further proved by the seasonal decorations with gourds and candles.
The feel was good, so I sat down for lunch. I went very early, around midday, but in general, it's quite calm at lunchtime, Shiraz works a lot more in the evening and most of the clients are locals; as already mentioned it's slightly hidden and only the more curious stop by. One comes here for cold cuts, cheese, vegetables, fish and meat fillets, gourmet salads, club sandwiches and for the daily specials. Short menu, fresh and high quality ingredients and wine, how I like it. Special attention is dedicated also to the spirits, Gin in particular.
To drink I chose a round full bodied Shiraz, while with regard to food ... I was undecided between the octopus salad and the burrata with grilled vegetables, but in the end I opted for the latter. While waiting I couldn't help notice the beautiful fabrics on the chairs and sofas and all the small details, like the linen tablecloth and napkins and the beautiful glasses.
I didn't wait long for my dish to arrive and how nice it was, well presented and inviting. There were grilled zucchini, aubergines and bell peppers, some baby spinach and herbs, a cherry tomato and a couple of capers, the types that in dialect we call cucunci. It was delicious, the burrata was so creamy that I would have wanted for it to last longer and the whole wheat bread was perfect for cleaning the olive oil. Excellent.
I learned that the owners are from Treviso, where they have another Shiraz, the original one, which opened about 13 years ago. Their idea is to create a contemporary environment where it's possible to feel at home from lunch to the aperitif, dinner and after dinner and, although my house in not nearly as fancy, I have to say that the kindness of the staff definitely made feel at ease and in a friendly place.
I found that the value for money was very good too, finally a nice place where it's possible to have a gourmet experience at an affordable price! I spent 15 euros in total and the other dishes on the menu ranged between 8 and 22 euros (for the Angus fillet). Anyway, what I appreciated most was the variety of vegetables and salads, I think I have already mentioned that in Venice there aren't many eateries like this that prepare gourmet sslads and I am glad I can add Shiraz to my to-go-places list, (I have to take Vito asap, he will surely try the cocktails!).
The crystal glasses are really elegant, especially the tumblers, while for the Italian Mule they use copper cups designed for Roby Marton Gin, a distillery in Treviso, pop and colourful. Moscow Mule seems to have become the cocktail of the moment, made with vodka, ginger beer and lime juice it's fresh and spiced and I suppose that they re-named it Italian Mule replacing vodka with gin. Anyway, try it!
My break was lovely and I suggest stopping at Shiraz if what you are looking for is a modern and gourmet wine bar at more than doable prices. The menu is the same at lunch and dinner, the food delicious and the wine list well selected, for me it's a yes, now let me know what you think.
Opening times: 11:30am-3:30pm / 6pm-12/1am; closed on Mondays
Address: Santa Croce, Calle della Regina 2259A, 30135 Venezia VE
Phone: +39 041 5243858
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