Venice. Trattoria alla Madonna, 75 years of history and the recipe of the famous “Risotto with seafood”

Un ritrovo all’antica, dall’arredamento tradizionale e quadri d’autori contemporanei alle pareti

Venice. Trattoria alla Madonna,  a classic Venetian restaurant for 75 years.
You can’t go wrong here: abundant dishes, accurate service, family atmosphere, and above all… no music! An old-fashioned meeting place. Traditional furniture and paintings by contemporary artists on the walls.

The menu is a dip in the past with the delights of the present with lots of fish processed in a natural way so as not to affect the typical flavors of each dish. Among the many proposals I point out the rich mixed fish appetizer (canoce, shrimp, octopus, garusoli, dairy products) the traditional “sarde in saor”, crab, vermicelli with cuttlefish ink, spider crabs in the shell, fried or grilled fish and, of course, the Venetian-style liver with polenta.

Le vongole veraci, valide ‘eredi’ delle antiche va

This Trattoria is a true Venetian institution, whose management has passed from generation to generation, Today we find the Patron Lucio Rado and the Chef Enrico Liberalesso who has been at the helm of this iconic restaurant for 42 years. Good morning Enrico. Where do you like to spend a free weekend? I like to discover the Venetian hinterland, both by mountain bike and by car.
What car do you drive?
A Volvo, gives me security. Any destination abroad?
The Canaries, Sharm el-Sheikh, Barcelona and a little all of Spain, although in Spanish cuisine I have not found an interesting use of single fish, but almost always mixed, in fried food or paella.

Il meraviglioso antipasto di pesce della Trattoria alla Madonna

 Unlike Venetian cuisine …
Exactly. In Venice, fish has always been a precious element for a cuisine born ‘poor’ and developed over the centuries. Never throw anything away, the “no waste” philosophy can even be found in ancient eighteenth-century recipes, such as the ‘brodetto that is a restricted fish broth made with the leftovers.
 Your first memory in the kitchen?
A great fright … my mother Carla who had come back from the market with a basket full of live and trampling moeche … they had terrified me.

Enrico Liberalesso

You have been at the helm of this restaurant for 42 years. What are the dishes of then and those of today?
The ‘petite marmite’ is gone. It was a dish much loved by the French, with chicken livers and offal; even the ‘peverasse’ have given way to clams. Always current are the cuttlefish spaghetti in black, the sardines n saor, the timeless Venetian liver and our main dish, the “Risotto with seafood alla Madonna” (smiles) It is said that it is the best in town around the world. ..


Il famoso risotto ai frutti di mare della Trattoria alla Madonna, Venezia

Ingredients for 4 people 1/2 kg of mussels 1/2 kg of clams 1/2 kg of scampi 300 g of rice 2 celery sticks 1 onion 1 carrot 2 bay leaves 1 sprig of thyme 1 clove of garlic 1/2 glass of brandy 2 glasses of white wine salt, pepper and chilli to taste The broth Lightly fry the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Deglaze with the white wine and let it evaporate, then add the tomato sauce, the scampi shells, the monkfish heads and tails and the water. Boil for an hour and a half, strain and keep only the liquid. The risotto Sauté clams, mussels and scampi, then peel them. Saute celery, chopped garlic onion with a bay leaf. Add the scampi, mussels and clams and pour in the white wine. Add the rice and cook pouring the broth a little at a time and stirring constantly, remembering to add a glass of brandy about 3 minutes before the dish is ready.

Trattoria Alla Madonna

Cesare Zucca Travel, food & lifestyle.
Born in Milan, he lives between New York, Milan and the rest of the world.For WEEKEND PREMIUM he photographs and talks about cities, cultures, lifestyles and discovers both traditional and innovative gastronomic delights. Cesare meets and interviews top chefs from all over the world, ‘steals’ their recipes and tells you everything in his blog, in the style of ‘A Tourist not soo… Tourist’

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