Venice is expensive, this is true, but there are many ways to get around the tourist and sucker cruise-ship pricing. You don't even need a table (or cutlery).
Around Italy are grocery store chains called "Pam," and of course your local markets. While I found some of the local Pam stores to have molding fruit and rock-hard Italian loaves, I suggest venturing in for their wine on the cheap. 3 Euros can buy you some of the best wine or prosecco you'll ever have, like the Bardolino that I had purchased.
It's safe to buy cheese and brands of crackers you've never heard of at the Pam, but if you want a gourmet meal I suggest purchasing your picnic items at the local markets to ensure a delicious evening.
As for finding a place to sit, there's nothing like dining along the canal but be prepared to sit on stone or bring a blanket. In this area of Dorsoduro, not far from the Don Orione Convent Gust House (where I stayed even though I am not religious but that's another Highlight), there was a college band playing outside, various tables taken up by patrons of a small bar positioned next to the band. I had forgotten my bottle opener, and the owners of the bar were extremely kind and opened our bottle for us. They taught us to say "Grazie Mille!" (thank you very much / 1000 thank yous).
It was a great meal with free entertainment under the stars next to the rising tide.
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Dusk in the Dorsoduro
Despite warnings from the naysayers, the weather on my November trip to Venice was beautiful: bright, sunny, and warm enough to require only a light sweater. As evening, rolled in though, fog came with it, casting a shroud over the church across the water.