The Bottom Line
Chow! Venice isn't one of those boring lists of all Venice restaurants followed by a meaningless number of stars, it's a delicious personal glimpse at the culture of eating in Venice, starting with the morning's first Caffè corretto in a Venetian bar to the last digestivo before going to bed, with food and those little Venetian nibbles called cichetti in between. Chow! Venice isn't the bible of Venetian cuisine, it's better than that, it's your best friend's notes on the wonders of eating in Venice.
- Chow! Venice is a great guide to the eating out experience in Venice
- You'll find out when to sit down and eat, and when to head to the bar for cichetti
- If only you could load the contents of Chow! Venice right into your memory!
- Shannon Essa and Ruth Edenbaum have created a book on Venice eats that's both fun to read and useful to the traveller.
- Chow! Venice is a must for first time travelers to Venice wanting to blend in with the dwindling number of locals.
- Experienced travellers will appreciate the attention to detail and the walking instructions to each venue.
- Chow! Venice introduces the reader to the bar culture in Venice, which is way different than the bar culture in the US.
- This review of Chow! Venice is for the recently introduced second edition.
Guide Review - Chow! Venice Book Review - Guide to Eating and Drinking in Venice
When I think of the best eating experiences I've had in the world, I seldom think of the immaculate plates of carefully stacked food ceremoniously offered me at the palaces of fine cuisine. I think of the lively places, places where people are indulging themselves openly, places where the owners have made a committment not only to excellence in cuisine, but to making sure that each diner is enjoying the evening to the max. It's dinner as theater, or maybe...as orgy of indulgence.
These are the sorts of places that end up in Chow! Venice.
Chow! Venice has a bit of the feel of a personal memoir of authors Shannon Essa and Ruth Edenbaum as they eat their way through Venice. Unlike many memoirs that are fun to read but short on usable facts for the traveler, Chow! Venice brackets these fun-to-read bits of experience with numerous facts about eating in Italy and about how Venice differs from the rest of the country in eating and drinking habits.
The first-time visitor to Venice who has read Chow! Venice will be saved a whole lot of teeth-gnashing by knowing the answers to questions like "what's this "coperto" charge on my bill?" or "why do they think I'm an idiot for asking for a doggie bag?"
Having this book in your hand while you ply the little streets and alleyways of Venice is like having notes from friends whose taste you respect and who've checked out lots of places to eat--except Chow! Venice is much better organized. You get walking instructions and vaporetto stops for each restaurant or bar, you get the all important opening times and seasonal closures, you get maps of Venice and they'll even tell you where to go for gelato.
Chow! Venice was a fun read. It will be very useful guide to eating in a city with a reputation for serving up boring food at best---a reputation that is undeserved, as readers of Chow! Venice will understand.