Where to eat Baccalà alla Vicentina in Vicenza: the 8 best restaurants chosen by Gambero Rosso

Feb 25 2024, 13:20
At the foothills of the Berici Hills, just over 2 hours from Milan, Vicenza, famous primarily for Palladio's architectural masterpieces, is a true gem—a human-scale city perfect for exploring, even by bicycle

The symbolic dish of Vicentine culinary tradition, Baccalà alla Vicentina, is prepared with high-quality dried cod. The cod is pounded, soaked in running water for three days to soften, meticulously cleaned, and dried. It is then coated with flour, covered in a mixture of milk and oil in equal parts, and slow-cooked in a low-heat terracotta pot for 4-5 hours. Typically, it is served with yellow polenta. The ideal pairing? A fine local wine, such as Tai Rosso or Vespaiolo.

Where to eat Baccalà alla Vicentina in Vicenza

Angolo Palladio

Restaurant. Located just steps away from the splendid Basilica, with outdoor tables under the portico offering a view of the basilica, this comfortable venue has maintained an admirable standard for many years. The cuisine spans from sea to land, with highly satisfying results. Here, you can find whipped baccalà among the appetizers, and the traditional recipe with Marano corn polenta listed among the main courses. Also worth trying are duck ragu bigoli, lamb ribs, and homemade desserts. Alternatively, they offer decent pizzas. A comprehensive selection of wines completes the picture.

Angolo Palladio – piazzetta A. Palladio, 12 – 0444 327790 – www.angolopalladio.it

Da Biasio Monte Berico

Restaurant. Just outside the city center, Biasio is somewhat of an institution, a reliable classic for any convivial occasion. Besides comfortable indoor spaces, there is a panoramic outdoor area with a view of the city, enjoyable even in winter. On the menu, in addition to Baccalà alla Vicentina with Maranello polenta, prepared with the traditional recipe, you'll find creative variations like zucchini flowers with whipped cod in white corn crust, leek velouté, anchovy cream, and lemon thyme oil; or cod-filled tortelli with cauliflower and 'nduja.

Da Biasio Monte Berico – viale 10 Giugno, 152 – 0444 323363 – www.ristorantedabiasio.it

Il Ceppo

Bistrot. Take note of this precious, centrally located address for enjoying "bacalà" in all its forms. On the ground floor is the gastronomy shop, while the bistro is downstairs. Returning to the "bacalà," it comes whipped in three variations (classic, with chives, or with squid ink), in a salad, with polenta, and there's even a dedicated tasting. A sweet ending with the typical "putàna" (polenta-based dessert). The cellar boasts around 500 labels, with very reasonable prices. You can also stop by just for an aperitif.

Il Ceppo – corso A. Palladio, 196 – 0444 544414 – www.ilceppovicenza.it

Osteria Il Cursore

Trattoria. The Rigodanza family has held the reins of this cozy rustic-style venue for several generations, with plenty of wood and the classic counter at the entrance. Although more "modern" dishes have been introduced over time, the connection to tradition remains strong. Thus, whipped baccalà, sardines in saôr, bigoli with baccalà sauce or duck ragu, polenta and baccalà (or with mushrooms, Vezzena, and soppressa) arrive on the table. Fresh pasta and desserts are homemade. House wine and local bottles are available to drink.

Osteria Il Cursore – strada Pozzetto, 10 – 0444 323504 – www.osteriacursore.it

Garibaldi Bistrot

Bistrot. Managed by chef Matteo Grandi and his wife Elena, a pastry chef, this is a reliable stop at any time of the day, not to mention its ideal location for exploring the city. While the breakfast choices are impressive, the delightful kitchen offerings certainly don't disappoint. Among the snacks, whipped baccalà with fried polenta is a constant, and you should try the potato gnocchi with Baccalà alla Vicentina, which also features in the special dish with polenta. The well-stocked and non-trivial wine list includes labels that intrigue even the most discerning oenophiles, with plenty of options for wine by the glass.

Garibaldi Bistrot – piazza dei Signori, 1 – 328 1824572 – www.gaudes.it

Al Pestello

Restaurant. A historic establishment dating back to 1910, recently managed by a passionate young couple, Elena Carta, a talented self-taught chef, and Riccardo Martinelli, a sommelier. Since its inception, Elena has focused on tradition, quality ingredients, and the use of modern cooking techniques to refine flavors for modern palates. The menu features Marano stone-ground corn cloud with whipped baccalà and green sauce, and Baccalà alla Vicentina slow-cooked with Marano stone-ground polenta. The restaurant also offers homemade sourdough bread, pasta, preserves, and desserts.

Al Pestello – contrà Santo Stefano, 3 – 0444 323721-351 9403135 – www.alpestello.it

Ponte delle Bele

Trattoria. Near Porta Castello, a reliable historic sign over time, with well-maintained spaces featuring wooden beams and antique furniture. The cuisine does not disappoint. It starts with the inevitable crostini with whipped baccalà, followed by bigoli with Baccalà alla Vicentina, gargati (fresh pasta) with Fiolaro broccoli and Vezzena shavings, and Baccalà alla Vicentina with Marano polenta. In season, there are dishes with local black truffle. Homemade desserts, tiramisu first and foremost. To accompany everything, house wine and some labels from the Triveneto region. A deserved mention for the rich selection of grappas.

Ponte delle Bele – contrà Ponte delle Bele, 5 – 0444 320647 – www.pontedellebele.it

Remo Villa Cariolato

Restaurant. In the fascinating setting of an elegant late 19th-century mansion once owned by Domenico Cariolato, one of Garibaldi's Thousand, surrounded by a monumental park of remarkable beauty, this restaurant has been a reliable destination for years. Located just minutes from the center, it offers a predominantly seafood-based cuisine, but dishes with a strong territorial imprint are not lacking. Baccalà is featured as an appetizer in the Venetian-style whipped version with Maranello corn polenta or in the traditional recipe of Baccalà alla Vicentina always served with Maranello yellow corn polenta. Comfortable spaces, outdoor seating, and a well-stocked cellar complete the experience.

Remo Villa Cariolato – strada di Bertesina, 313 – 0444 911007 – www.removillacariolato.it

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