Local restaurant, global quality

At last in Venice we have some young and talented Venetians like the Fullin brothers. Excellent seafood cuisine with a cosmopolitan touch

01-02-2018

In Venice, siblings Benedetta and Luca Fullin run Local and both work in the dining room – which is something unique, given neither works in the kitchen. When you sit there, you immediately realise that it’s hard to find a more local restaurant even though the ideal name would in fact be Glocal, when global turns into local and vice versa.

There are two separate elements to consider: those who work here, and the menu. In the first case, there’s basically nobody who’s not from Venice, either the town itself (most people are) or the province. In the second, the raw materials and the Venetian recipes have a global influence. This is after all inevitable, in a town that through tis trades, over the centuries, has brought spices home and around the world. Why should one deny the use of nori seaweeds or katsuobushi in risotto di gò?

Benedetta and Luca Fullin in the main dining room inside their restaurant Local in Venice

Benedetta and Luca Fullin in the main dining room inside their restaurant Local in Venice

What one should fight, are the countless authorisations given to people coming from afar, with no training and no scruples, ready to offer very bad menus and fake-Italian dishes to tourists, often at staggering prices. Then when a scam is broadcasted everywhere, online and offline, all the people in Venice get upset. But what do they do to safeguard high quality restaurants in the first place?

The Fullins were born and raised following the example of their parents, who successfully run hotel and restaurant Wildner on Riva degli Schiavoni. Local is basically behind it, on Rio de la Pietà, where there once was a shop selling electric appliances. They opened the restaurant on the 24th June 2015, on Saint John’s. They should nominate them ambassadors of the Venetian civilization: indeed in a town that is suffocated by mass tourism, they stand out thanks to their entrepreneurial spirit and their successful interpretation of the dining room service, the kitchen and cellar.

Cauliflower, pistachio and balsamic vinegar, a starter at Local in Venice, in January 2018

Cauliflower, pistachio and balsamic vinegar, a starter at Local in Venice, in January 2018

They are Venetians, like Jacopo Rosa, who takes care of the wines. Chef Matteo Tagliapietra and his sous Marco Vallaro come from Burano, pastry chef Giuseppe Locatello is from Mira. Davide Albertini, maître, from Lido. Angelica Schiliro comes from Spinea, from the dry land, and works in the dining room. They’re all talented, all in their twenties and thirties. They’re young professionals who work with commitment in a town that is both unique and very difficult.

Two excellent first courses by chef Matteo Tagliapietra at Local: Linguine alla busara di canoce (above) and Paccheri with lamb, red chili, yogurt and mint (below)

Two excellent first courses by chef Matteo Tagliapietra at LocalLinguine alla busara di canoce (above) and Paccheri with lamb, red chili, yogurt and mint (below)

Last Sunday, at lunchtime, a natural light was shining in the main dining room and I would have never left. I love waiting for the evening to arrive, the slow transition from light to darkness. When you’re having a good time, you’d like that moment never to end. How “bad” our parents, uncles and aunties and grandparents were, when they said that all good things come to an end. No, they should not.

Local is an excellent, current and brilliant place for seafood. Luigi Divari, who is the author, for instance, of the essential Belpesse published by Libreria editrice, is Luca Fullin’s North Star. They both suffer when they see how the sea is dying and men are doing so little to avoid it. «If it goes on like this, in ten years’ time there will be no more fish in the north Adriatic sea and in the lagoon», said a desolate Luca.

Eel, mango, miso and puntarelle, a main course in the menu at Local in Venice, in January 2018

Eel, mango, miso and puntarelle, a main course in the menu at Local in Venice, in January 2018

They offer everything with strong, remarkable notes, in combinations that escape the usual pairings, part of a characterful menu. This also applies to the wine list, which includes many wines that the patron himself sells online. Given I had recently enjoyed a sole very much, even when at Local I started with this fish I don’t particularly love as it doesn’t have a special character. It was a mistake, because they presented it in a way suitable to those who prefer milder notes, and has little interest in a lively cuisine.

Benedetta Fullin’s favourite dessert from the menu at her restaurant: Sedano 3D

Benedetta Fullin’s favourite dessert from the menu at her restaurant: Sedano 3D

Everything else was worth praising: Scampi, borlotti beans, duck and cocoa crué; Cauliflower, pistachio and balsamic vinegar; Linguine alla busara di canoce; Paccheri with lamb, red chilli, yogurt and mint; Eel, mango, miso and puntarelle; Chicken alla diavola and the dessert, Sedano 3D, a celery-based not too sweet dessert, contrary to the more classic Tiramisù. A final mention goes to the bread: don’t miss it.
Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


Local
Salizzada dei Greci, Castello 3303
30122 Venice
Tel.: +39.041.2411128
Mail: info@ristorantelocal.com
Closed on Tuesdays
Average prices: starters 25 euros, first courses 26; main courses 32 and desserts 13.
Tasting menu: creativo 95, tradizionale 75.


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