Birraria La Corte – A Venice Restaurant in the Heart of Campo San Polo:
Traditional cucinas, trattorias and ristorantes are a dime a dozen in Venice and you don’t have to look very far to find one of these eateries promising traditional Venetian cuisine wherever you go in the city. For a change and for something more contemporary we ventured to the Birraria la Corte (The Beer Court), a modern ristorante e pizzeria in Campo San Polo. Birraria la Corte is housed in a building that was once home to the first local brewery in Italy. When the Zambon brothers got possession of the building, they brought a touch of history back to life with their trendy restaurant and pizzeria offering a wide selection of beers. Beer also features in some of their recipes.
Birraria’s Interesting Building History
The Birraria la Corte building has an interesting history. In the 16th century, when bullfights were a common scene in Campo San Polo, the restaurant building was used to house the bulls. The converted warehouse is extensive and has plenty of tables inside which spill out onto Campo San Polo, the largest campo in Venice.
As it was warm enough for al fresco dining, we chose to dine in the courtyard, under the shade of a plane tree. The atmosphere in the courtyard is quite romantic, that is if you don’t find yourself next to a table with hyperactive Italian kids. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before the large family group next to us were finished with their meals and peace and quiet was restored.
Food at Birraria La Corte
The pizzas at Biraria La Corte are quite cheap (€9), but if you choose from the à la carte menu, the prices get more expensive. The restaurant prides itself of using only locally grown fresh ingredients – processed foods, preservatives, monosodium glutamate and any other food enhancers are ‘absolutely banned’ in their kitchen. We had an octopus salad to start with and I followed this with a spaghetti vongole, my favourite pasta dish. Tony had a pizza accompanied with a beer, which after weeks of travelling in Italy, he quite missed the taste of. Overall, we thought that the food at Birraria was tasty, but not rave-worthy. The service was a bit lacking and you have to wave down the waiter if you wanted anything. If they’re charging top price for their à la carte menu, the service needs to be sharper.
Campo San Polo is one of the popular Carnivale venues and open-air screenings during the Venice Film Festival so Birraria La Corte is a convenient eatery to have a pizza and watch the happenings in the Campo. Also, if you’re longing for a taste of beer, this is the place to be.
Birraria La Corte
Campo San Polo