It takes a bit of patience and the better part of an afternoon to have lunch on Mazzorbo Island at Gianluca Bisol's, Venissa Ristorante. But the boat ride there from Venice's Fondamenta Nuova is half the fun, and the 45-minute journey across the lagoon's glassy surface is itself a beautiful thing.
Venissa is essentially a working vineyard with the extravagant addition of a Michelin-starred restaurant, a wine tasting room and six cozy guest rooms. The brick walled estate lives on a pointy corner of Mazzorbo Island, with Dorona grape vineyards that recently yielded their award winning, 2011 vintage of Venissa en-primeur.
Now the restaurant.
Chef Antonia Klugmann leads the team here, and her menu, as it should be, draws ingredients directly from the lagoon and the Venissa estate: oysters, soft shell crab, and vegetables like the lagoon's famous tiny artichokes, straight from the garden.
The restaurant is seasonal and is closed through late autumn and winter. And while it is a bit of a splurge, the experience is worth every cent.