Dinner here was an excellent experience all around. I'd heard that risotto is a Venetian specialty, so I tried the risotto funghi and it was far better than any other risotto I've ever had! Something about the texture of the rice...
In addition, they brought two little appetizer items we didn't order - it looked like they just include them with every meal, like the bread. One was a jar of yummy marinated red peppers, carrots, & other veggies. The other item came in shot glasses and completely confounded us at first as to what it was or how to eat it. Our best guess at this point is that it's an amazingly good potato soup, served cold, green in color, one shot glass per person. Plus there's one shot glass of croutons for anyone who wants to add them to their soup. (Aha! A year later and I think I've finally figured out that this was vichyssoise! It was superb!)
Finally, the service was very friendly. The menu is in Italian only, and while I could figure out a few items, they were very happy to help translate into English.
Favorite Dish: the risotto funghi!
Ai Gondolieri is one of Venice's most renowned restaurants. It has been around since the '40s, but it was only in 1987 that it became the restaurant it is now with fine cuisine. The menu contains typical Venetian specialties and is best known for its delicious risotto. Ai Gondolieri is located very close to the Guggenheim Museum in Dorsoduro, so consider eating here on the day you decide to visit the museum.
Note: the restaurant is closed on Tuesdays.
Located on a small side street /canal between Academia and Saint Maria Del Salute in Dorsoduro, near the Peggy Guggenheim [ Frommers Venice Day by Day shows the wrong location for this restaurant]. This is a lovely quietly sophisticated area.
The restaurant unusually for Venice does not serve fish but specialises in meat and fungi with a number of vegetarian options. Good wine list sensibly priced.
Meal comes complete with free glass of prosecco, taster starter and choclates at the end. My main course veal was meltingly tender with the lightest, fluffiest, creamiest potatoe I've ever tasted.
Menu in italian only which can be read to you in any language !
Good food in Venice is not always easy to find, and good meat dishes are even rarer still.
Ai Gondolieri is an expensive splurge, but sooner or later I get tired of fish, pasta and cicchetti in the bars.
Great location on a little canal in Dorsoduro.
They cater / serve delicious and affordable lunch at the Guggenheim if you want save some money. That's how I found out about it.
Again, very expensive to eat dinner in the restaurant, but the way the dollar is crashing, chances are you're not even going to Venice these days unless:
Venice is your passion and you're going no matter what it costs.
Supposedly Ai Gondolieri is closed on Tuesdays
Favorite Dish: Meat, meat, meat.
Lasagne, pork, lamb and veal dishes.
Argentine angus steaks are great also.