Fancy lunch at Bancogiro in Rialto
Lately I've been spending quite a lot of time around the Rialto area. I hadn't frequented it much over the last years, but now it seems as if I'm trying to make up for all that "lost" time. As some of you may know, Bancogiro is one of the places I go to more often to drink a glass of quality wine and, since Vito and I had never eaten there, we decided to book a table and try out the restaurant too!
I worked at Bancogiro in 2006 with the old management, this is the place where I was first introduced to the culture of wine and good -slow- food and, also, where I met my husband, so I may not be too objective because the truth is that I just love the place. I remember the first time I went there, I was about 18 and was looking for a summer job, and it was actually Vito the person I gave my curriculum to. Well, I don't know exactly what it was, but the feel and atmosphere of that wine-bar made me immediately fall in love with it.
Located between campo San Giacometto and the area of the Erbaria, Bancogiro was -like all the other wine-bars under the porticos- a warehouse. Until the late 90s, in fact, the wholesale vegetable market occupied the area from the Camerlenghi Palace until campo Bella Vienna and it was not accessible to the public. Then, for commodity reasons, it was moved to Trochetto and all the warehouses started gradually being transformed into beautiful restaurants, wine-bars and cafeterias. When I worked there in 2006/2007 it was the period of what was nicknamed Venetian movida (although I have to say that by 2 am everything was finished...) and things haven't changed much in these years: if one wants to meet people, Erbaria is the place!
When we go just for drinks and nibbles, we like to stay outside and catch up with friends. The selection of wine offered by the glass is very good and rotates every week, which is something I particularly appreciate! With regard to the nibbles, the boys prepare an assortment of crostini with a variety of cured meats, cheese and veg, delicious sarde in saor, small squares of polenta and baccalà mantecato and stuffed baby peppers. At the weekend they also offer French oysters, perfect paired with Italian bubbles, possibly Franciacorta!
The restaurant has outdoor and indoor seating overlooking the Grand Canal, but it's still too cold, so we sat upstairs. The small room is warm and unique, with a parquet floor, vaulted ceilings and soft lighting. The menu changes with the season and is very inviting, the combinations quite creative and definitely rich in flavour. We drank a glass of Superior Red Cantine Mosole and ordered a starter each.
Vito had a beautifully presented foie grass served on a slice of cocoa and walnut bread, garnished with pear mustard and crunchy nuts with curry. According to him, it was delicious and the bread surprising. The brown shades of the dish looked very elegant and, as always, the service was great. My starter, instead, was all veggies: fondi di carciofo, radicchio in saor and roasted pumpkin. Really good, especially the pumpkin, which was salted perfectly and nice and crunchy.
As a main Vito had Ossobuco (braised veal) with curcuma sauce served with spinach and soya sauce. Obviously he chewed the marrow until the bone was dry, which means he liked it. I had another starter, precisely baby octopus marinated with tangerine on a lentil and horseradish sauce. The combination was brave, definitely intriguing. When I ate the first bite, the contrast between the sweetness of the tangerine juice and the strong taste of horseradish was notable, but in only a few seconds everything seemed to have amalgamated perfectly, giving a unique and curious flavour to the dish. In general, the chef's touch can be seen in every dish. If you look at their online menu, you'll understand what I mean.
For the perfect conclusion, Vito asked for a Scotch whiskey and while we were savouring the last moments of relaxation, two couples from Turin started chatting with us, telling us how much they had enjoyed their stay in Venice (where, I understood, they come quite often).
Everything had been lovely and I am happy to have finally tried the full experience! About the bill, we spent a little bit more than 40 each, which I consider good value for money. Not a budget eat, but a wonderful and doable treat. The location alone is worth a visit, the service is very attentive and the food yummy. I would recommend Bancogiro to anyone into quality wine looking for a fancy and refined location and, if you ask me, it's really ideal for couples! Oh, and yes... booking recommended!
As previously mentioned, I love this location and I think that even just sitting under those low vaults is a treat we should all allow us to at least once. So, when in Rialto do as we do: enjoy some drinks standing, moving between Erbaria and campo Bella Vienna and then spoil yourself with a delicious meal in a wonderful location.
Address: San Polo 122, Campo San Giacometto, 30125 Rialto, Venezia VE
Phone: +39 041 523 2061