Sunday, July 27, 2008
The Ca' de Vèn in Ravenna, Italy
I was visiting Ravenna in Italy and while I knew a lot about the amazing history of this beautiful city, I did never expect to encounter a restaurant like that.
The second we walked into this fortress-looking edifice called Ca' de Vèn, we knew we were in for a treat. The entrance is a preserved ancient shop, I think once a pharmaceutical supply or such, but long ago converted to a wine cellar and store – an enoteca, as such a place is called in Italy. The front salon has a massive bar and lovely old cabinetry and a high vaulted ceiling complete with a decaying fresco.
The cavernous back room has plain brick walls that are at least two stories high. Right down the middle of the room runs a massive A-line heavy-timbered rack supporting wine casks up high – and a balcony above that. Within the rack is built a single heavy table upon which is a pair of marble griffin-carved stands supporting fresh flowers. The remainder of the room has long refractory tables set perpendicular to the rack, and a row of doubles along the wall.
The enoteca has another room equally as large as the one mentioned above. This is a garden room culled from an old courtyard with a majestic entrance door (closed for good) used for horses to enter the courtyard.
The enoteca can seat up to 150 guests and offers traditional but amazing food with wines you can expect at such a place. Try it out, and enjoy!