Restaurant Review: Osteria Al Squero in Venezia, Italia!

In light of the Thanksgiving holiday coming up in the United States, I am writing about a fun restaurant that I have been to on two separate US Thanksgivings in Venice – Osteria al Squero!  While I love this place, I will disclose that Osteria al Squero is by no means a secret or even “off the beaten path.”  In fact, Osteria al Squero is listed in many a guidebook, including Rick Steves (with whom I have a love/hate relationship, LOL), and it definitely falls into the “touristy” category. All of that said, Osteria al Squero is still a fantastic spot for tourists to try cicchetti, or “Venetian tapas” for those not in the know. This article details how to enjoy cicchetti at Osteria al Squero.

Osteria al Squero!

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Drinking Our Way Through The Barolo Region In The Rain!

Dan and my families’ Italian Thanksgiving trip last year started in Piedmont for the Alba International White Truffle Festival. The town of Alba also happens to be right in the middle of the world famous Barolo wine region. So, while in the area, we took a day to explore the Barolo countryside and try some of its well regarded and pricey wines.

A map of the Barolo wine region. Lots of specific little areas in Barolo!

STOP 1 – BAROLO TOWN.

We left our hotel in Alba at 9:00 AM to start our Barolo tour. It was unfortunately raining, but we made it to the, very, very hilly and twisty Barolo countryside pretty quick without any issues. People with carsickness beware. The first stop of the day was in the town of Barolo, which is an adorable little wine village that reminded me of a fairy tale city. The rain luckily stopped for a few minutes and we were able to walk around the town.

All 8 made it to Barolo village.

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A Lovely Food Tour Through Trastevere, Roma!

As part of our big family trip to Italy in November 2021, Dan and I signed everyone up for an evening food tour through Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood. We did this for three reasons: (1) several of us on this tour love a good food tour, (2) Dan and I lived in Trastevere when we studied in Rome wayyyy back in 2008 and we wanted our families to see the area, and (3) we previously did a food tour through Testaccio and really loved it!  We booked our tour with Eating Italy Food Tours for our first evening in Rome, meeting on Tiber Island around 5:00 PM. Unfortunately, we got hit with an insane rain storm en route to the meeting point and we all got soaked… In any case, the tour went on! Due to the rain, we quickly moved to our first location in Trastevere, which I was verrrrry excited about!

En route back from our food tour, without rain!

Stop 1: Trattoria Da Enzo al 29

Yes, you read that correctly. Our first stop was at the famous Trattoria Da Enzo al 29. Da Enzo is a well known Roman trattoria that is very, very popular. You will frequently find it on “best food in Rome” lists. Da Enzo does not take reservations and there is almost always a wait. As such, our group actually got in before the restaurant opened to the public, something we never could have pulled off on our own! Our group and another couple on the tour were seated between two tables dressed in red checkered tablecloths. Classic southern Italy. Our guide poured everyone a glass of Prosecco and out came the food. First, the famous carciofi alla giudìa (or Jewish fried artichokes). These artichokes are  famous Rome and not difficult to find when in season, but tough to find elsewhere in Italy. Basically, this is a deep fried artichoke topped with quality sea salt. Very simple, yet incredibly good. On the table was also Italian bread, burrata, tomatoes, and olive oil, which were suggested together as a type of little bruschetta. I loved the burrata and actually preferred it to the artichoke. Stop 1 was off to a good start.

The famous Carciofi alla Giudìa.

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A Roman Treat: Wine & Food Pairing Dinner at Rimessa Roscioli

On my big family vacation to Italy last November, we ended with a bang by having a grand wine and food pairing dinner at the famous Roscioli on our last night! For those unfamiliar, Roscioli is a Roman restaurant group that is very, very popular.  Roscioli has several spots in central Rome, including the famous Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina, Antico Forno, and Rimessa Roscioli, which is where we had our wine dinner. Rimessa Roscioli is the “food and wine experience” branch of the Roscioli family. Its located not far from Campo de’ Fiori and offers a la carte dining as well as a number of wine and food tasting experiences. We opted for their Wine and Food Pairing dinner, which is held daily at 17:00 and 20:00 daily. We made reservations online easily in advance and were pretty excited for our big last night out!

The set up for our Wine & Food Pairing Dinner at Rimessa Roscioli.

Since we were a group of eight, we dined in Rimessa’s basement wine cellar, which is a sizeable private wine cellar with a large table right in the middle. It was totally private. We were promptly seated on arrival and the table was all set for our tasting.

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La Zanzara Restaurant Review: A Solid Spot Near The Vatican.

If you’ve ever planned a day at the Vatican, I’m sure you are very familiar with the mediocre food options in the area. Why the mediocre food? The Vatican is full of tourists, not locals returning for meals in the area, so, similar to Venice, there is not much incentive to produce excellent food. In other words, quantity over quality, and high prices to boot. I paid 5 euro for a Coke Light in 2008 … In any case, when for my family’s lunch break between visiting Vatican City and the Colosseum (yes, HUGE day, read about it here), I was determined to find a good, sit down restaurant for a break.

Yep, big day. Two hard hitters in 12 hours.

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