So what do you do when you are in Venice and the two restaurants you had on your list are full and you can’t get a table?

You start strolling on the little alleys looking for a decent place to eat. You look at the people eating outside and trying to figure out if they are locals or tourists.

I have some solid rules when picking a restaurant so I kept walking for about 10 minutes (I was really lucky this time) until I turned left on a little alley and spotted an Osteria. A few little tables outside with just a few people that looked like locals, so I stepped inside and decided to take a chance eating there.

Inside the Osteria Al Diavolo E l’acquasanta I was greeted by an overall pleasant atmosphere and a nice lady who showed me towards an empty table in the corner.

When I sat at the wooden table I smiled looking at the paper covering the table as it was really cheap looking but somehow pleasant. I spent around 5 seconds browsing the regular menu until the same lady brought me a little piece of paper with the menu of the day, written by hand.

Covering just 5-7 dishes (primi piati e secondi) I decided upon the gamberini (shrimps) and risotto al nero di sepia (rice with sepia ink) and to this day I am still happy with my choices.

The gamberini were delicious but what really made me happy was the risotto. So happy that I ordered a second portion, that’s how good it was(yes, I know, I can eat a lot). The whole dish was covered in sepia ink and it just tasted like heaven. Coupled with a bottle of the house wine it helped me spend a delightful night in this place. The portion size is decent, a normal size man will be satisfied with it.

risotto al nero di sepia (rice with sepia ink) Osteria Al Diavolo E l’acquasanta

Primi piati (primary course) cost about 10-11 euros and secondi (secondary course) can reach 14 euros/portion which in my opinion is really decent, considering the quality/quantity of the food and also the fact that I ate there during the last weekend of The Carnivale.

The second night I got there I tried again the menu of the day and it didn’t disappoint. Lasagna with gamberini (shrimps) and pesto and a portion of baby shark and rice pudding were served and the food was once again excellent. The lasagna was hot and the mix of flavors between the gamberini and pesto really stood out, enriching the meal. The rice pudding was a bit sweet matching the white sauce that covered the shark.

Matched with some wine, this second meal, along with the beauty of Venice made me regret I couldn’t spend one more day in this nice place.

My verdict: even if it does not appear on many guides or does not have many reviews on TripAdvisor, I found this place lovely. The food I ate, the locals around me, the staff and the house wine, all helped me spend two lovely nights in a busy Venice.

If you ever find yourself in Venice you can pass by this place and see what’s on the menu of the day. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Address: San Polo 561b | Calle della Madonna