How nice, the other day I received straight in my inbox a lovely invitation to the launch of the Sunday Brunch with music, champagne and delicious food at Palazzina, an elegant and modernly furnished 5 star hotel just behind Palazzo Grassi. Miraculously Vito wasn't working, so we seized the occasion and went and today I'm going to tell you all about it.
First of all, although it may sound strange to my Venetian friends, I had never been to Palazzina and I must say I really liked the design. Brunch was served in the restaurant lounge on the ground floor, with two side bars, a dj set in the corner and all the tables set asymmetrically in the centre of the room, covered with white tablecloths and linens. At a first glance I recognised all the designer pieces I studied at university, Frau sofas, Piero Fornasetti chairs, Venini chandeliers, Murano glass pieces by Aristid Nejan and so on. A feast for my eyes...
The lighting too was just right, soft and smooth, very warm.
After all the chatting, we were seated on a corner table with another very nice couple we met the same day. The boys were a little bit younger than me, but we got on immediately and started talking about life, pictures, Venice and, mostly, about the food that was about to come. I confess I was starving... I know it's very posh to sleep late on Sundays and to always arrive 5 minutes later than the foreseen time, but if you know me (and some of you should by now) you are aware that I get up very very early in the morning and jog for about an hour... and with all that Moet & Chandon champagne they were pouring us, I was in great need of food.
Let's begin by saying that the menu was carefully crafted by the chef Fabio Manni, who masters his art with precision and lots of passion. To this, I must add that everything was prepared in relation to the Damien Hirst exhibition "Treasures from the wreck of the unbelievable" (remember I brought you to Punta della Dogana once? Click HERE to see post), so the presentation recalled creatures from the sea, corals, algae and more. Beautiful. Not just the food, along the counters of the bars even the small design objects had been made to celebrate Mr Hirst; wonderful shells and pumice stones, just so refined.
When they started bringing the food, I realised that more than a brunch it was something like a wedding banquet, so many things that were coming out from the kitchen... we began with an assortment of cured meats, cheese and mustard and with a delicious egg benedict with smoked salmon, spinach and Hollandaise sauce on toast. Now that was nice! The yolk just melted all over the toasted bread, and combined with the sauce and the fish...well,it tasted so good! I even appreciated the selection of bread at the table, I recognised the filone integrale I buy everyday at the Fratelli Crosera bakery! How funny!
I didn't know that was just the start. The brunch continued with a small roll of oat bread stuffed with fresh tuna, mozzarella, black olives and tomatoes... do I need to add more? This was my husband's favourite, then we were brought a refreshing salad with local radicchio (not the purple one, but green leaves that look like baby spinach) and a baked piece of goat cheese. Hummmm....yum! Then, the salad was followed by a pumpkin soup served with grey shrimps and raw radicchio from Treviso. Wow! I was already satisfied. After the soup I took a little break, left my husband with his new friends drinking champagne and went around the room to take some pictures of the ambience. My mother had already asked me to show her everything!
The staff was very nice and professional, I had a chit chat with the barman, I was admiring their assortment of gin and very high quality spirits and I told him about the new Irish organic Gunpowder Gin produced by a relation of mine (incredibly good and dry, try it!). When I returned to the table, the waiter had just served a club sandwich to share, classic (with turkey, lettuce, bacon, eggs, tomatoes and pink sauce), and a mini roast beef burger, maybe small looking but quite filling and delicious. Whenever I glanced at Vito I could see a smile... I suppose he was enjoying the fact that as soon as he emptied his glass, a waiter would arrive to fill it again: in other words, he was merrily happy! Cheers guys!
There was one last dish before the desserts and it was crespelle stuffed with cheese, free-range sausage, radicchio and a pumpkin cream... oh my... so tasty, with a nice contrast between the crunchiness of the pastry dough and the softness of the filling. I thought I couldn't eat anything else, but then ... I had to find space for the desserts! The first one was a pistachio ice-cream -very very very good!-, while the second was a composed cheesecake with a soft and incredibly thin cereal bar, chocolate and blueberries. The perfect ending!
Thank goodness we live close by, in fact after all this food and alcohol, well we wanted to sleep a little bit and recover! Everything had been very pleasant and the event organiser, Giovanna, so kind and attentive that I will probably ask her about the everyday menu too (want to have a look? click HERE). The brunch, in fact, will open to the public next Sunday and guests can order à la carte, which means people can have whatever they want and in the quantity they want. The prices are quite affordable and I will definitely take my best friend (See brunch menu HERE).
Anyway, if you think that it is only the foreigners that go to hotels, you are far from reality. There are many Venetians that go to certain hotels either for a cocktail or for a high quality meal and Palazzina is definitely one of these places. Most locals would pay to be invited to the Palazzina parties, especially during the period of the openings of the Biennale, the Film Festival and Carnival and I am very happy I had the chance to try their wonderful brunch. Personally, I liked it and now I am curious to try their bar and restaurant. Consider that with 25 euros you can drink a good glass of wine and enjoy a -good- burger, which isn't cheap but I think it's more than considerable for a 5 star hotel, especially if I think of the design, the ambience and the atmosphere... so, stay tuned 'cause I'm too curious and -quite likely- I will write more soon...
Enjoy and Happy Brunching friends!
Address: San Marco 3247, 30124 Venezia
Phone: (+39) 327 1461572