Sadly, since our glowing review of La Fondamenta in 2007 – when it had transformed itself from a pizza joint into a refined restaurant with highly imaginative modern Italian cooking – our visit this year found it had reverted to type. I didn’t quite dare to ask if the chef had decamped to next-door Rioba…
Actually it’s not all gloom because there is a traditional menu as well, and the cooking isn’t bad; it’s just nothing like as good as it was in its interim phase. It’s not budget prices, either, with antipasto and pasta at €9 – 13. Lasagna con crema di carciofi was good, very light and creamy, and in a sensible portion that meant other courses could be contemplated; spaghetti alle vongole was also good quality and well prepared.
Secondi (€14 – 30) include a decent range of fish and meat, from a whole rombo filleted at the table and served with sliced potatoes to a humbler but very tender scallopina and the ubiquitous fegato alla Veneziana.
Puddings are also better than many I’ve tasted in Italy. A good tiramisù (I do occasionally give in and order it, cliché though it is) and a not-bad torta con frutti di bosco - a sort of strawberry shortcake but with mixed berries (and not, as the waiter – trying to show off his English – called it, “fruit cake”. I dread to think what an Italian would think of the real thing).
The position on the Fondamenta with tables in the sun is still delightful of course, and if you’re after a pizza there’s a vast range (€9 -15). But this is no longer the destination restaurant we were so pleased to have discovered last year.