Thursday's Child: Dinner at Taverna San Trovaso

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  It's one of the most visually stunning, and romantic, places on earth.

Also, in the middle of August, it is one of the hottest.

We visited Venice two years ago in a summertime heat wave.  Generally on holidays, I carry on despite the weather.  If it’s raining or snowing, if it’s hot or cold, I know I’m still unbelievably blessed to be travelling.  I’m not interested in hearing complaints from myself or from others about the weather. 

But this was the kind of day that could make you forget that notion.  The heat was overbearing, and we had spent a long time that afternoon shopping at the Rialto Bridge.  My oldest daughter wanted to buy a mask, and the final decision was a while in coming.  The Patient Mother in me battled it out with the Prickly Non-Shopper, and barely held on to win.  By the time the purchase was finally made and we were plodding back to the hotel, both sides were soundly defeated by the Sweltering Globetrotter.  The heat of the sun struck like a hammer and every step I took seemed like a scientific experiment in inertia. 

By the time we reached our hotel, I never wanted to leave again.  But, as usual, the rest of my family was hungry.  I knew that the Taverna San Trovaso was a half-minute walk from our hotel, and had been well-reviewed.  Frankly, I’d have eaten in a silo if it was a half-minute walk from the hotel, so we decided to give it a try.

I was so hot that I literally didn’t care what I ate.  (Note: That hardly ever happens.)  I asked the waiter what he recommended, and he urged me to try the beef with arugula and parmesan.  Roast beef when my overheated body could barely sit up at the table?  It didn’t sound promising, but I didn’t see an alternative that interested me.  Roast beef it was.

I nearly wept with joy when he brought me a plate with a cool roast beef salad, served in the way that only the Italians could.  Three simple ingredients of the highest quality made this salad perfectly refreshing.  Suddenly I could eat again.  In fact, I was so restored that I had a bite of the meringue my youngest daughter later ordered, and actually considered ordering a second one for myself.

We returned to Taverna San Trovaso three times on that trip, and I ordered the same meal every time.  I’ve tried to duplicate this salad at home and, although I’ve had great results, nothing has ever been as perfect as the roast beef salad served in a Venetian tavern in a heat wave.


33 comments:

Gloria said...

Beth your pictures allways look georgeous and beauty! gloria

Nisa said...

What a wonderful experience! I would love to get back to Italy. We weren't able to visit Venice on our first trip.

Your photos are beautiful and I'm loving that mask!

Jess said...

Sounds like a delicious relief, especially with the build-up of that hot, hot day. I always love hearing about your adventures, especially when they involve food :)

Barbara said...

Venice is one of my favorite cities too, Beth. I took my granddaughter a couple years ago. We've always gone in the spring and I miss the floods and the heat. :)
I did a travel post on it, but have never eaten at Taverna San Trovaso. Will put it on our list of restaurants to try!

Tasha said...

I love your travel stories. And what a great picture with the mask.

Mary said...

Your pictures are gorgeous! The salad sounds delicious as well. I've never had any luck at all with serving cold beef dishes. There must be a magical restaurant step that I am missing!

Susan said...

Stunning post! I grew up in Italy and my mother's cousin was stationed at Vicenza Air Force Base - which is very close to Venice, so we went there a few times a year. I agree - beautiful & romantic! Have you read "The City of Falling Angels" by John Berendt? I loved it.

allieksmith said...

Awesome post! Venice looks so beautiful :) The pictures are so vivid!

Joanne said...

I think the only way to replicate that delicious meal completely is to return to Venice! And that mask is gorgeous with detail, so worth the wait.

Bonnie said...

Beth, I have never been to Italy. It is one of my dreams. Thanks for sharing a lovely experience. Your daughter's mask is fabulous. I will have to remember this salad next summer when the temps are rising and appetites are disappearing. Thanks for joining me over at Living Life. Bonnie

Valerie said...

Beth, I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who weeps for joy over food! :D

What an enchanting place, Venice. I've always wanted to go there.

That mask is gorgeous btw!

Beth said...

Susan, I don't know that book, but I'll look it up.
And Joanne, I couldn't agree more. A return trip to Venice to recreate that meal would be divine!

jillbert said...

My husband keeps telling me how wonderful Venice is, and I keep telling him that we need to go together!

Carol said...

Gorgeous pictures! Venice sounds fabulous, so does your meal. The heat I could live without, too :) Cool mask!

Belinda said...

That plate must have been just perfect - gorgeous photos!

Miriam said...

How beautiful!!! I'm jealous :). I used to live in Italy, the heat is staggering. Good thing there is gelato in every corner!!! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Rita said...

That was always my dream to got to Venice; I think it is too late for me now. I really enjoyed this visit with you today.
Rita

Emily Malloy said...

Oh, how beautiful. I would love to visit some day!

My 2 Pesos said...

I like the pictures. (:

Angie's Recipes said...

So beautiful! And is there any place that you haven't been to? ;-)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I was in Venice when I was 9 or 10 years old. I still remember it. It's a beautiful place and the food is amazing. (I'm assuming both are still true).

Lizzy said...

What a lovely food memory...it surely makes up for the sweltering shopping spree! Your photos are marvelous...love your daughter's mask :)

Pachecopatty said...

Venice is a treasure and for me a favorite place to visit in Italy. This trip we won't be visiting Venice but will be spending a fair amount of time in Italy where I will be looking forward to the most wonderful meals and lovely people. I appreciate your shopping spirit even in the hottest weather;-)

Dulce Dough said...

Who would think that roast beef could be refreshing? Great story, and I LOVE that mask! Such beautiful pictures!

laurie said...

Great story! I love hearing about your travels.

Ruth said...

My favourite food in Venice is always tea (overpriced) and cookies in San Marco square. Such an experience!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Beth, you won The White Assassin at Literary Rambles. E-mail me your address so I can send you your book.

Natalie
rmarma2@yahoo.com

Rachel said...

Lovely photos and a great story! I stopped by to thank you for visiting my blog, and I've been completely drawn in! I might have to stay here and explore for a while :)

My husband and I were in Venice in July last year. It was meltingly hot and you've captured the experience perfectly. I'd love to go back - in somewhat cooler weather!

Claudia said...

Gorgeous photos - oh that mask. Oh those canals. And I would love a cold roast beef salad if all was fresh.

Elaine said...

Even with your description of the sweltering heat, I long to visit Venice some day. Your meal sounds fabulous and your photos from your trip are gorgeous.

Kayte said...

Gorgeous photos...Matt and Mark ate their way through Venice a couple of years ago while touring with Matt's choir. They said so many of the high schoolers would not try anything new, they wanted to eat familiar foods all the time but both Matt and Mark were adventurous, and like you, were happier for it! Love these travel bits you post.

comfortablydomestic.com said...

Venice looks absolutely breath-taking--heatwave or not. The heat does zap the energy right out of you. Although that beef salad sounds like a pretty good reason to rally!

Amie Kaufman said...

Oh, that sounds heavenly -- your waiter clearly knew what he was about! (And I adore that mask.)

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