Pizza al Volo – Venice, Italy

Pizza al Volo is a bit of a Venice institution.  Some friends told us about it a few years back when we went to Venice but we didn’t manage to find it on that trip.  On this visit, Mrs. NH had it on her itinerary an Little NH and I were happy to be along for the ride.  After a twisting, turning walk through the streets of Venice, we arrived at Campo Santa Margherita.  The campo (or plaza) is really neat in and of itself.  Cafes line the periphery and you get a pretty authentic feel.  It’s definitely not as full of white tennis shoed tourists as much of the rest of Venice and that’s a nice change.

Having arrived, we took a look inside of Al Volo.  About three different pizzas were on display, all were incomplete.  I decided to let Mrs. NH and Little NH go inside and investigate further and I stayed outside to people watch and guard the stroller.  “I’ll be happy with whatever,” I told them.  (I also completely neglected to take any decent pictures of the place which explains the cropped, crummy picture.  Sorry.)

They came back with a couple slices of Margherita pizza and a slice topped with zucchini.  Both were very good.  Was it the best pizza I’ve ever had?  No.  I had probably become jaded on Italian pies by that point in the trip.  That said, it was tasty.  And when Mrs. NH went back inside for another piece, I was glad to see her come out with another one topped with zucchini.

So, would I recommend it?  Sure.  Is it the best pizza ever?  No.  Is it better than most?  Yep.   For Pizza al Volo, two out of three ain’t bad.

La Zucca – Venice, Italy

If I am a seeker of delicious food, Mrs. NH is a “Dog the Bounty Hunter” of it.  She found the best restaurant in Venice, made reservations, and made darn sure we got there on time.  This, on the second-to-last day of our trip, all while dragging an over-caffeinated NH and road-weary Little NH with her.  She rules.

The destination on this outing was La Zucca, a largely, but not totally, vegetarian restaurant in the back streets of one of the least touristy areas in Venice.  She had seen it written up in review after review on the Internet and managed to get a reservation before we left Prague.  It’s an unassuming little corner restaurant, right next to a tiny canal, small bridge and skinny pedestrian street.  It’s just about as cozy as it gets in Venice.  There were about 6 outdoor tables and two ladies taking orders.

Service was friendly, efficient and they even offered to make a half portion of pasta for Little NH.  Since little NH had consumed 1/2 a bag of bagel chips on the way, we took the server up on her offer.  On the other hand, Mrs. NH and I were starving.

We both ordered the Lasagna with Zucchini and Pumpkin Flowers and split an order of the Broccoli Aglio Olio.  The lasagna was rich, gooey and striated by fresh, perfectly cooked pasta.  The pumpkin flowers gave the dish bright highlights of orange amongst the cream and green of the zucchini.  It was earthy and full of good texture.  I could have eaten a whole pan of that stuff.  It was perfection.  The broccoli was simple, straightforward and equally tasty.  That’ll be a dish I’ll try at home very soon.

After all of this and a liter of wine, the caffeine edge was worn away leaving a blissed-out, pleasantly full, food-lover sitting across from a food bounty hunter on a mission.  Next stop, pizza.

Twist my arm.