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Tonight three of us sallied forth from our place of residence in search of some fishy comestibles; Alle Testiere was a top address for obtaining what we were after.

The menu was short and to the point, it demonstrated that quality seafood was what they were all about. The wine list was also brief and to the point, but it included some interesting wines. We chose some Gewurztraminer from Falkenstein which is a heroically characterful wine as far as Italian white wines go. It was reasonably priced and served us well through the meal.

Our first courses were remarkably good. Steamed mantis shrimps were the freaking cat’s rude bits, packed with rich, sweet flavour even if the steaming made the texture a bit awkward. The locals would have us believe that at this time of year a single mantis shrimp is a better thing to eat than a whole chicken. We are certainly agreed that seven of them are better than a chicken.

[image image_id=”2481″] The other starters were soft shell crabs (see left for what they look like when alive), which were delicious, turned in flour and briefly fried; slightly crunchy little morsels of utter loveliness. Finally there was a selection of raw seafood selected from the market that day. The raw langoustines were truly magical, with a great texture and a mouth-coating richness. The oysters and prawns that came with this were damned good, but not as colourfully delightful as the langoustines.

Daniel was the only one of us to have a pasta course. This was baby squid, tentacles and all, cooked with gnocchi in a squid ink and cinnamon sauce. This was perhaps the least compelling dish of the night, with the cinnamon making it just a bit too weird to be truly satisfying.

The food was certainly back on track with the main courses. Two of us shared a mixture of the day’s fish and crustaceans. This turned out to be langoutines, prawns, sea bass and baby sole. The prawns were a tad on the well-cooked side, but the fish was completely compelling. Daniel had prawns sauteed in a very lemony butter sauce, with juicy capers. The prawns were barely cooked and the freshest and most succulent imaginable. They were further improved by the salty butter and lemon sauce.

This was an ultimately pleasing meal, the food, wine and service were all top bunny. It is well worth making a booking should you be lucky enough to find yourself in Venice; you’ll have a lot of fun.

Contact details: Alle Testiere, Castello 7801, Calle de Mondo Novo (near the Realto fish market). +39 041 522 7220.