I’ve had my eye on this place for years. It’s at the end of Via Garibaldi, up by the gardens in Venice. Just outside the restaurant is a fruit and vegetable stand, actually a floating market with their goods displayed on the deck of a boat. I would guess that’s the rampa. You naturally think, inside the trattoria, fresh is a virtual certainty.
We were able to get a reservation for lunch at 1:00 p.m. This was midweek, in November, last weeks of the Biennalle. I was surprised. We arrived at 12:30, thinking we would eat early and get to garden exhibits. When we got there, the place was packed. Old local men standing in the front of the restaurant drinking their mid-day glasses of white wine. In the back, diners. No way I can seat you until 1:00, the proprietor said. We went across the street and had our own glass of mid-day white wine.
At 1:00 the restaurant was even fuller, people crushed together, wanting their table, people in back finishing their lunch, trying to get to the front to pay.
So: you see a crowd. Good. You see locals, even better.
We ate well, two primi, the spaghetti neri and spaghetti with tuna and peas. First rate grub. That’s what I want and like. Polenta with baccalà and a scallopine Veneziane. Both terrific. House wine. No dessert.
A criticism. One dish came out. A few minutes later, the second. A few minutes later, the third. Finally the fourth. That was bad. The first dish was done by the time the fourth arrived.
Everything took forever.
It’s a wild place. There’s lots of yelling and commotion on the part of the servers and cooks. Frenetic lunch. If that’s your thing and you’re not in a hurry, you’ll be really happy.
I was happy. The people I was with were not. So: don’t go to lunch with those three if you have your sights set on Trattoria alla Rampa. Go and enjoy the noise, the sound and the fury, and the really good food. And be prepared for chaos.