After the launch of Ryanair’s new routes from Leeds Bradford we decided on a long weekend in northern Italy flying to Treviso. Tony and Pat joined us for the trip taking in Venice and then driving up to the Dolomites for some end of season skiing with some memorable foodie moments along the way. This was our first visit to Treviso and we loved the place. Anybody wanting to visit Venice without the high costs should consider using Treviso as a base and taking the regular trains for the short 25 minute journey into Venice Santa Lucia station.
On Friday night we were recommended the Don Fernando Ristorante in central Treviso and managed to get a table arriving without a reservation. The decor was eclectic with a varied display of musical instruments, Italian dining club plates, local pictures and memorabilia.
There actually was a Don Fernando who came and sat at our table and introduced himself and explained he would be our verbal menu describing the choices. Without the usual written menu the presentation was listened to intently and we opted for a traditional Appetiser, pasta course, main course and dessert in true Italian style as this was our last night in Treviso and we were in no hurry. There was a choice of approximately six dishes per course showcasing local specialties and seasonal produce.
We mainly all chose different dishes from each course and started with a seafood platter, fresh asparagus, eggplant and tiny shrimps as the picture above to be eaten whole. All the dishes were prepared simply but the textures and flavours were excellent.
For the pasta course a half portion of a simple fresh garden pea and wild boar spaghetti a local specialty was both tasty and not too filling.
In the Veneto region Pollenta is just as popular as pasta and found on most menus. Our main course was a suggested regional dish of oven roasted guinea fowl with pollenta and roasted vegetables. The guinea fowl was incredibly salty but again a simple dish with immense flavour. All the courses were washed down with the Vino Rosso della Casa served in a jug and testament to being practically impossible to get a poor local wine in Italy.
Dessert was a shared fruit platter with cream and biscuits. Service was excellent and all the other diners were local with ourselves being the only tourists but every effort was given to make us welcome. Don Fernando revisited our table several times and told us his stories of a singing career in California, hence the musical instrument collection.
For friendly good value dining with regional specialties and a talking menu the Don Fernando Ristorante was a great find.