An Hard Rock Venice

A few days before Christmas I had the pleasure of receiving an invitation for a day in Venice, made nice by a lunch a bit 'alternative for what is the Venetian habit.

We arrived by car, because from Vicenza it takes a short time and then I like to travel the last piece of road suspended on the lagoon, already glimpsing the profile of the city: we parked at Tronchetto because it is the cheapest indoor parking in center in Venice and then it is next to the vaporetto stop to get directly to San Marco in a few minutes and in front of the People Mover (an elevated monorail) to easily reach the Maritime Station and the Port of Venice.
We have chosen the People Mover to reach the Piazzale Roma and then start our walk.

Following the ancient directions printed on the walls of the houses, you can reach Rialto first and then Piazza San Marco in about 45 minutes of quiet walk, but I strongly suggest you to get lost in the streets and then suddenly find the road around you. There are many craft shops, but be careful not to run into tourist traps. Always talk to the shopkeeper, you will understand immediately if it is really Murano glass or if they are going to foist the made in China.

Once in Piazza San Marco, we enjoyed for a few minutes the spectacle of the high tide: the square is not perfectly level and the central part was invaded by a few inches of sea water, just enough to make children play and to reflect the Basilica getting beautiful photos.

Leaving the basilica behind you, to the right of Piazza San Marco, is the Bacino Orseolo: there you will always find two or three "parked" gondolas ready to take you for a ride, but I suggest you to enter before it the Hard Rock Cafe, the only one in the world with a view of the gondolas.
The Festive Menu 2018 was a wonderful way to end our walk in the cold: we are loyal visitors to the Hard rock Cafe around the world, but I never thought of celebrating the Christmas holidays and instead it was a pleasant experience.
From December 1 to January 7, the Cafe of Bacino Orseolo is open every day and offers to all the gourmet fans the Festive Menu: dedicated to parties, this menu mixes the traditional Christmas dishes with the great Hard Rock classics and is designed to all the palates, including vegetarians, and for all occasions, from social occasions in the family to the unmissable appointment of the professional life of many workers, the corporate dinner or lunch of Christmas.

We were greeted with courtesy that is usual around the world, accommodated at a table and then helped by Luca, energetic and friendly like all the other guys in the room.

The Menu includes an entrée to choose between Spring Rolls and chicken wings: I took the wings, both fried and grilled, glazed with a delicious barbecue sauce.
As a main dish you can then savor the Original Legendary Burger served with smoked bacon, cheddar cheese and a fried onion ring or grilled salmon served with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables, the Barbecue Combo with smoked bbq chops and glazed frayed pork with barbecue sauce or Herb Grilled Chicken Breast, grilled spicy chicken breast served with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
The vegetarian alternative includes the Black Bean & Quinoa Burger served on a toasted sandwich with fresh guacamole and chipotle aioli sauce, a delight.
We continued with the grilled salmon (for me) and the Barbecue Combo with smoked bbq ribs and frayed pork with barbecue sauce (for Matteo): the salmon was very plentiful and cooked to perfection, with the center still soft and juicy and the outside crunchy... the Combo is for very robust appetites, even if calmly I could eat it me too, so it was inviting.

To end the lunch we chose a slice of Oreo Cheesecake as big as my head. A dose of sugar to face the return walk was needed ...

I suggest you to try an alternative for these Christmas parties and maybe propose it to friends as a New Year's Eve and, why not, as a corporate dinner: the frame of Venice is always magical and in this period even more.
If you need advice to stay or reach Venice, do not hesitate to ask me: if you need advice on where to eat, I recommend Hard Rock Cafè as a different experience, but much more fun and, why not, satisfying for the palate.

Twitter: @hrcvenice

Instagram: @hardrockcafevenice