Who would think of putting fish inside the ravioli? That’s what we had for dinner at Remer, literally a hole in the wall restaurant in the Campiello del Remer in Cannaregio.
I had first dined there five or six years ago, and also went for drinks with Laura, when the bartenders Jorge and Gustavo made special Bellinis with secret ingredients. Gustavo confided that he was a pirate. He made a good pirate. And at that time, the restaurant didn’t have a menu. The waitress told you the couple of choices for the night and you picked one. But it was delicious, and some guy with wild hair would sit down at the piano, and the candles tucked into the wall alcoves, and the wooden beam ceilings, and the cistern in the middle of the room, and the half-plastered walls all created a warm, cave-like ambience. The Campiello del Remer used to house an oar-maker’s workshop, and it was easy to imagine this room with tools and hunks of wood hanging from nails, oars and forcole stacked against the walls.
But then I returned in subsequent years and Remer was usually closed, or had a private party. I thought that this treasure was lost to us.
However, RJ and I stopped by our first night in Venice last week and it was open. Happy hour, in fact. We had an amazing dinner, one entrée of gnocchi with seafood and the other ravioli stuffed with branzino, sea bass. The sauce was delicate, almost sweet. We had glasses of soave and tai, which I’ve never heard of, but liked. This was followed by a flaming crème brulee.
By the way, the Campiello del Remer is at the end of Walk #5 in Seductive Venice, so if you have trouble finding it—and it is hard to find—just follow the directions for the ancient inn of Silvestro Boncousin.