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Mei Rogers   Trattoria Al Gatto Nero   Photo B Huang

Food markets tell the story of a city and arriving in Venice, the first stop we make is the Rialto.

Soft shelled crabs scramble around the boxes as local fisherman sell their fish caught in the Adriatic—shrimps, swordfish, octopus, sea bass, scallops, clams, oysters and sardines—in all possible shapes, colours, and sizes.

The farmers of the lagoon islands of Torcello and Sant’Erasmo come with their vegetables grown with the breezes from the sea under a warm sun—purple artichokes, wild asparagus, borlotti beans, bitter radicchio, tiny peas.

These fish and vegetables are for the Venetian dishes we love—roasted radicchio, sardines 'in saor,' asparagus tagliorini, shrimp and borlotti, risi e bisi.
Welcome to the Rialto.
Welcome to Venice.

Culatello di Zibello with Melon 

Beef Carpaccio with Harry's Bar Sauce
There are various versions of Beef Carpaccio in The River Cafe. This one with a mustard sauce was created by Giuseppe Cipriani for Harry's Bar in Venice.

Risi e Bisi 
A soupy risotto with a fabulous name. Dada Rogers told us that growing up in Trieste the motto for Risi e Bisi was a pea for every grain of rice. Though we do not go to that extreme, we keep it in our minds when making it in The River Cafe.


Spaghetti alle Vongole

Carlo Moretti Glasses
These glasses come in an infinite series of colours and designs and are blown by mouth on the island of Murano—century-old craft, contemporary design.

Saffron Mezzaluna

Golden half-moon biscuits flavoured with saffron.


Fregolotta
Fregolotta comes from the Venetian word 'fregole,' meaning crumbs. It is a gesture of good luck to break this large crumbly biscuit by dropping it onto the table after dinner.

Mei Rogers   Murano   Photo B Huang

Photography by Matthew Donaldson.

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