Disappointed in RS recommended restaurant in Venice

Recently in Venice and doing RS Rialto to Frari Church walk. Wonderful walk and sites/descriptions...stopped in to RS recommended Antica Birraria la Corte restaurant on the Campo San Paolo, described as "a fine family-friendly pizzeria/ristorante." What a mistake! It seemed like the restaurant got a good review in the guidebook and then stopped trying.
Family friendly it was not. The table next to us was charged a cover charge for their child (looked to be about 1 year old.) She had eaten nothing and sat on Mom's lap almost the entire time yet was charged a cover charge that was the most expensive we had found in Italy (2.50€)
The waiter was terrible and not just the typical Venitian "you are a stupid tourist" (with or without the eye roll) attitude we got so much in Venice - you get kind of used to that.... (We are from a resort town and can kind of understand the sentiment so don't really take much offense to it) but just a general "I am so much better than you and you are completely wasting my time" attitude. So therefore any problems we had with our meal, we did not feel that they would be dealt with satisfactorily.

The house wine was terrible. It tasted like it was off, almost like it was moldy. The food was mediocre as well as expensive, with small portions and of course that big cover charge. Not at all worth it!
All in all, we had been in Venice for four days and this was the most terribly disappointing meal we had had. I would recommend you avoid the Antica Birraria and find somewhere else to eat.

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
8025 posts

Thanks for providing specifics in your review. I happened to see it this morning and also brought it to the attention of our book editors.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8721 posts

I have been to Venice twice.. and frankly , never had more then mediocre food at best. I agree service in many places made Parisian waiters look charming..

I don't trust recommendations in guides.. I think a lot of places get that boost to their business then stop trying.. and it has shown.

Posted by Robert
Bordentown, NJ, USA
165 posts

My rule especially in Venice and Rome: the place must be crowded, loud with laughter or at least smiling faces (especially as they fill their mouths), no tourist menu, and great looking dishes hurriedly coming from the kitchen. If it meets those standards I look at the menu and see what I can't resist. After the first bite I know if I want to come back . . . and usually do year after year. Only once in Rome didn i walk out. Once in Venice I refused to stay after the specific table in reserved was given to someone else as we were being taken there by another waiter. Sorry, the Venice restaurant was one of Rick's favorite recommendations.

Have had some wonderful dining experiences in Venice that didn't destroy my budget!