Virtuoso Life - November/December 2017 - 100
Trattoria al Gatto Nero owner
Ruggero Bovo cooks pasta
with spider crab, and (left) the
MY EXPLORATION BEGINS ON BURANO,
known for its brightly painted fishermen's
houses, lace-making school, and annual Burano Regatta, a rowing competition
that dates to the thirteenth century. The
event brings out the best Venetian rowers,
who practice a stand-up style invented for
racing and exercise, and onlookers, their
legs slung over docks, drinking wine and
eating fried squid wrapped in paper.
There are no cars on these islands, just
your own two feet - and, of course, boats.
For hundreds of years, islanders have taken
to the lagoon to fish for sustenance and income. Locals will tell you the area's best
seafood is at Burano's fresh-fish market, because the fishermen stop there to sell their
catches before going to Rialto Market. Burano's menus are full of the lagoon's bounty,
including gray mullet, sole, sea bass, and eel,
as well as moeche (soft-shell crabs), canestrelli
(scallops), and schie (shrimp).
The seafood tradition is best executed on
Burano at the family-run Trattoria al Gatto
Nero, aka the Black Cat. In this canalside
space, tables brim with dishes such as pasta
with spider crab and risotto "Burano style" -
made with carnaroli or vialone nano rice.
Nearby, at Riva Rosa, diners make reservations weeks in advance for the sole table
at Altana, the restaurant's private rooftop
terrace, where they're treated to fresh fish,
homemade pasta, and one of the area's most
expansive wine lists.
On Via Galuppi, Burano's main street,
visitors have their pick of pastry shops and
restaurants, such as the Trattoria da Romano, operated by the same family for four
generations, and Carmelina Palmisano,
V I RT U O S O L I F E
The lights of Venice shine in the
distance, but they feel a world away.