Venice, past and present, is tied to the life of the sea. Here, earth and sea meet and mix in history as well as in on the table.

Through the ancient port of Venice came new foods and flavors that influenced and revolutionized eating habits throughout Europe. The East, with which the island city traded, brought spices and exotic fruits, such as raisins, to Venetian cuisine. Meanwhile, the lagoon put fish and game on the menu.

Examples of our beguiling Venetian cuisine: Risi e bisi (fresh pea risotto) in season, and risi col nero di seppia (squid ink risotto). The delicious sarde in saor (sweet-and-sour fresh sardines) harks back to olden days when fish prepared in this manner kept for a long time thanks to the onion and vinegar marinade, keeping the dreaded scabies at bay during long sea voyages. Other specialties are a delcious broth made with gò, a delicate fish of the lagoon; “granceola alla veneziana,” tasty stuffed crabs with their meaty claws; and caparosoi, local clams that used to be dug by hand from the sandy lagoon bed. Local meat dishes include delicate sauteed Venetian calf liver with caramelized onions and raisins, or fresh egg pasta and game sauce. Then there is radicchio, the emblematic vegetable of the Veneto that is found in many delicious recipes from Chioggia and Treviso.