An Encounter with Paradiso Perduto’s Charming Chef


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Me with Maurizio

On our brief visit to Venice, we went looking for Paradiso Perduto (Paradise Lost), a seafood restaurant on Fondamenta della Misericordia in the Cannaregio district. Jonathan Phang had dined at this restaurant when he was doing his Venice to London train journey on the Venice Simplon Express. Here is a man who knows about food and if you’ve watched his travelog, he leaves you no doubt that he loves eating. Jonathan very much enjoyed his meal at Paradiso Perduto, which was a great endorsement for the restaurant.

Venice Seafood Restaurant

Paradiso Perduto is a seafood restaurant in the Cannaregio district and as we were in the vicinity that afternoon, we went to check its location so that we could come back in the evening for dinner.

On any business day, there’ll be tables along the canal and the communal tables inside will be full of people. The place is one of a few Venetian hotspots in the evenings and buzzes with life especially on nights when there is live music performances.

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A very shut Paradiso Perduto

Paradise Lost!

When we found the restaurant, it was very shut! A sign on the door advised that the restaurant was closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. There was another couple on a same mission as us and they too were very disappointed to find the restaurant closed. While chatting with them, a guy arrived at the restaurant and was unlocking the door. We told him how disappointed we were that the restaurant was closed and he took pity on us and invited us in for a drink. It turned out that this individual was Maurizio Adamo, the owner-chef whom we recognized from the signature colourful pants he wore on Jonathan Phang’s BBC show.

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Maurizio the owner

Maurizio poured us a glass of white wine each and he had a drink with us. He spoke a smattering of English and we understood a smattering of Italian, but that didn’t stop us from having a long conversation. It helped that he and Tony could communicate in German as well. He spoke about the upcoming Festa Redentore and general chit-chat about the problems in Venice. He was particularly concerned about the water levels in the Venetian lagoons and the possible damage that the huge cruise ships could be causing.

A Very Generous Soul

Maurizio seems to be someone who genuinely likes people and although he only met us a few minutes ago, he took a liking to us and he just kept talking.

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Tony and Maurizio

He then showed us his gallery of paintings in the dimly lit dining room and asked me to choose one. I wasn’t sure if he was serious, but he kept insisting that I should take one and even got one of his staff to help me retrieve one off the wall. The picture that I chose above is from a series of paintings by Franceso Sechi who had a exhibition in the restaurant.

Just as we were leaving Maurizio also gave Tony a book by a local poet, signed by the poet himself.

It was disappointing that we never got to enjoy the seafood at Paradiso Perduto and the lively atmosphere that this restaurant is so famous for. Foodwise, it was a “Paradise Lost” for us, but hey we got to meet this wonderful man instead. Next time we’re in Venice we’ll certainly head for Paradiso Perduto again.

Travel is all about creating experiences and memories and this afternoon we had a great experience chatting to a charming and very generous local Venetian personality.

Paradiso Perduto
Fondamenta della Misericordia
Cannaregio 2540

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