Home Food & DrinkRestaurants L’Alcova at Ca’Sagredo Hotel: Decadent Fine Dining in Venice

L’Alcova at Ca’Sagredo Hotel: Decadent Fine Dining in Venice

by Rachel Blackmore

It’s a wonder that the building housing L’Alcova, which is so easily accessible, historical and gorgeous, isn’t the first port of call for thousands of passing tourists, especially in a place as bustling with foreign visitors as Venice. Ca’Sagredo is a 15th century palazzo right on the grand canal, steps away from some of Venice’s most bustling tourist thoroughfares, however, those that do make it here must tread lightly – the capacious and antique-adorned public hallways, the staircase with angelic statues and the breath-taking Music Ballroom, popular for opulent weddings, seem to belong to a bygone age. On this occasion, we were only here to sample the food; restaurant L’Alcova.


With a dining room that faces the Grand Canal, L’Alcova is a restaurant celebrating the union of creativity and tradition, where Chef Remo Marchiori uses seasonal and often plant-based ingredients to create innovative, modern Italian food. We were seated in a charming, classically decorated dining room and immediately served a glass of lovely bubbles – a Barone Pizzini Franciacorta –  while we looked at the menu. Restaurant manager Remo (another gentleman, not the chef moonlighting as his own FOH) was funny and charming, introducing each dish and explaining the wines when he found out we were fascinated.

We opted to share a starter, which was very wise as all the portion sizes at L’Alcova are substantial and one must bear in mind that an Italian menu has a pasta course then a main… The menu identified some dishes as particularly traditional to the Venice region and the creamed codfish with grilled polenta was one of these. Remo told us that the salted cod used in this dish was first brought to Venice by merchants who were shipwrecked in Scandinavia! The texture was very creamy, as one would expect, and the dish was served just cooler than room temperature. A circle of set polenta sat on top of a larger circle of cod and the tangy sauce and subtle fishy flavour went really well with the accompanying Soave Classico Villabella 2022, which was delicate with a marine note through it.

LAlcova cod
LAlcova duck

The primi dishes were the highlight for me. The meaty and rich duck ragout was served with slices of orange and rolls of raw courgette nestled between ample whorls of just-done tagliatelle. The presentation was remarkably simplistic for a fine dining restaurant, but the dish was delicious. The other primi dish was purple potato gnocchi, which had a really deep aubergine colour and were served with a Sardinian Pecorino cheese and pepper sauce.

The star of this particular show is the enormous pecorino crisp on top of the pile of gnocchi – the saltiness and creaminess were perfectly balanced and the sauce created a decadent coating for the soft pillowy gnocchi. A Gavi di Gavi La Scolca was served alongside both dishes. Initially it seemed as though it was rather too full of honey and flowers for a primi course, but a good wine choice will often surprise you; once it was drunk with the food, the flavours became invigorated while the sweetness reduced considerably.

dining LAlcova
LAlcova John Dory 1 e1685963504675

For the main courses, or secondi, we both chose fish and both dishes were accompanied by a Peter Zemmer Gewürtztraminer from the Südtirol, which had a light fragrance of lychee and white flowers. My main course was John Dory, lightly grilled and served on a bed delightful fresh vegetables, namely spinach, white asparagus, red radicchio and, unusually, a tart sprinkling of pomegranate seeds. The other main course arrived in a cellophane-style wrapper, having been freshly steamed. Upon opening, the fragrance was delightful and the seabass fillet inside was perfectly tender. Sometimes eating out in Italy seems a little light on vegetables, but there was a whole rainbow ready for the eating on this dish!

The desserts at L’Alcova did not disappoint, being similarly ample in size to the previous dishes and just as delicious. The miglefoglie di pistacchio had light crisp pastry, silky pistachio cream and raspberries to create a classic combination of flavours in a luxurious and opulent dish. Being somewhat replete, I opted for the Pud of the Defeated Diner, the scoop of ice cream, and was (un)surprised to find that almond ice cream was dotted with candied nuts topped with crunchy sable biscuit and served in a proportion that might have, had it been a few degrees colder, sunk the Titanic.

Remo’s choice of wine was immaculate, a Recioto di Soave which was harvested in October and allowed to partially dry before pressing in January. We finished the meal with another local ingredient, combined with a tradition of our own, namely an amaro digestif. This one, Amaro Venisian, is unique to the area, made with lagoon herbs and artichoke – it tasted like Christmas and I have been trying to hunt down a bottle ever since!

LAlcova dessert 1
LAlcova ice cream 1

There are hundreds of restaurants in Venice and many of the high end ones cater to the diner who wants to push pea caviar and truffle pebbles around a gilded plate. Here, there is still luxury in the flavours, but the cooking is honest and heartfelt, with an emphasis on local ingredients and dishes. What’s more this is the most Venetian of settings, the palazzo perched on the Grand Canal, with a maze of 15th century architecture bedecked with cherubs on the upper floors just waiting to host your events. L’Alcova restaurant at Ca’Sagredo is a meal you are very unlikely to forget in a hurry, so it’s definitely one to add to the list if you’re in Venice.

Ca’Sagredo Hotel
Campo Santa Sofia 4198/99
Ca’ D’Oro
30121 Venezia

Related Posts