I went to this place because the other restaurant I normally go to in Venice was closed. A gondolier gave me the advice to go to L'aciugheta. The restaurant has a nice dining room with antiques hanging on the wall. The waiters are kind and they speak some English. They also own a pizzeria next door.
WARNING: I can't find their website anymore, it might be possible the management changed.
Favorite Dish: I had a fish soup that was delicious and a portion of fried fish really big and very good.
UPDATE - I've just been informed that this place has possibly closed/ been re-opened as a different restaurant! If this is so PLEASE DON'T RATE THIS TIP. I'M LEAVING THIS TIP FOR ANYONE WHO MIGHT BE PLANNING ON VISITING, AFTER SEEING IT IN GUIDE BOOKS ETC.
Aciugheta means Little Anchovy, and unsurprisingly anchovies feature in some of the meals and snacks on offer here.
I chose to eat here on my first night (Christmas Eve) as my hotels (Albergo Al Tiepolo)management owned this restaurant and offered 10% discount on drinks and food. It was only a few metres from the hotel too. I've since seen it mentioned in guide books and on web sites, with good reviews.
Aciugheta is divided into 2 parts- The left is a tratorria/pizzeria, whilst the right is an authentic osteria with a wide selection of wines and cicheti. Seating outside on the campo too.
I visited twice, both times I enjoyed my food and the atmosphere. It was mainly locals dining here. Apparently it's popular with Gondoliers, which is a sign of approval in Venice, as there is sure to be good food with Venetian recipes.
The trattoria has wooden tables and scrubbed wooden floors, with bare brick walls. Small rooms/alcoves make for a more intimate feel. Photos and paintings of gondoliers, local scenes.
The staff were very busy, but were efficient and fairly friendly. The head waiter was very patient as he took my order, and again when a customer tried to get away with paying his bill- Quite entertaining!
I returned later for a glass of beer (Pedovena 400mls 5 euros) while deciding whether to turn in for the night or head back to San Marco for midnight Mass (it was Christmas Eve)
The next night I decided to eat here again, I enjoyed my meal but there was a group of local men sat behind me, who were winding up one of the waitresses, one had a really annoying high pitched laugh too, so I didn't hang around too long after my meal.
UPDATE - I returned for a meal during my Christmas 07 visit. This time I was seated in the newer pizzeria area. I really enjoyed my meal, but the room was quite stark, and lacking in the atmosphere that I'd previously enjoyed, despite being nearly full and being Christmas - perhaps because we were all tourists eating in here.
Christmas 09 - Again I was directed to this 'tourist room' The room was cold, and service was quite slow- people who arrived later were served before me etc. My pizza was good, but I was disappointed with my experience here again. I was planning eating here with my 9 friends in January, but have decided to look elsewhere now
Favorite Dish: Dec. 2006
Pizza Capricciosa (tomato, mozarella, ricotta, mushroom and prosciutta) and a glass of Chardonnay Reserve
Mussels and clams in a sauce (which was a bit salty for me)- 9 euros
Grilled duck and mashed potatoes - 18 euros
2 x Glasses of prosecco 6 euros each
Pedovena beer 5 euros (400mls)
1 glass of wine 5 euros
Small bottle of water 2.20 euros
Squid 16 euros
salad 5 euros
dessert 6 euros
Service@12% 4.10 euros
Total 38 .30 euros
I stood at the bar and had something like 15 cicheti. I especially like the tuna wrapped in pancetta. Also good were (I think) cigale - looks like a small lobster without claws, the flesh was white with almost a blush of lavender, very sweet meat. I was surprised that a majority of the cicheti were served slightly warmed. I had 3 glasses of wine - tried a Veneto, Fruili and Tokay white - all pleasent and quaffable. An espresso and a grappa to finish off my meal. The bill came to 25 E. (I was the only one standing at the bar - I think I was hoping for a Seville tapas bar type experience but that scene seems to happen later and not as close to San Marco)