Imagine dining like a royalty in a palace, the seven-star Aman Venice might make your royal fantasy dream comes true. Arriving by private boat, all we can see is art everywhere from the glorious Venetian history. I felt like a queen arriving at her castle (haha…) Built in 1550, the palazzo was used to be the home to the Italian nobles (a proper royal residence!) and now transformed into a hotel. Yet the museum quality art and architectural features are still well-maintained. No wonder this Venetian Palazzo made the cut to be the wedding destination where George Clooney married the gorgeous human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin!
This time, we are dined in their Baroque decorated restaurant – Arva. The frescoed ceilings and elegant furnishing offers a perfect royalty setting. The kind of dining experience in that convivial ambience is one not to forget.
The name ‘Arva’ (Latin word meaning ‘harvest’) says it all. Sourcing only seasonal, fresh ingredients, Arva gives us a taste of the freshest Adriatic fish, olive oil from Tuscany and artisanal pasta from the Venice Rialto market. Davide Oldani, a celebrated Michelin Star Chef and owner of Michelin-starred D’O restaurant in Milan, is the mastermind behind Aman Venice. As a designer, Oldani forged a relationship with the finest local ingredients and signed some elegantly picturesque dishes on their Grand Carte.
Originally from Turin Italy, Aman Venice’s Executive Chef – Dario Ossola spent 5 years working at Soho House in London as well as 2 years at Zafferano, a Michelin Italian restaurant in Knightsbridge London. He brought back the culture of London’s most celebrated restaurants to Arva, with an addition of gastronomic element.
To start with, antipasti include a delightful white crab meat wrapped with cucumber, and one of the juciest burrata cheese I’ve had, accompanied with figs and honeycomb. Cheese is always my favorite, especially when I’m in Italy I felt the need to order in every meal.
For the main courses, there is an exquisite dish of spaghetti with pecorino (for the cheese lover – me), featuring different kinds of black pepper and horseradish. Sounds simplistic but one with nostalgic charm. We also had the monkfish, cooked with braised fennel and a rich ‘Salmoriglio’ sauce, making it thoroughly delicious. These are both Oldani’s creations, which play out his exclusive stylish culinary technique.
Pairing with some Tuscany wines, we selected a richly flavored cardamom chocolate dessert, serving with chestnuts and liquorice and Italian cheese platter as a sweet finish (yes… cheese again!).
Then, after dark, we lazed with our unfinished bottle of wine in the beautiful garden bar continue to enjoy Venice’s mesmerizing canal view. There are gondolas passing by accompanied by some ‘opera-level’ singing. You might realize most gondoliers in Venice are an amateur opera singer as well! With such unbeatable view from the palazzo, this is worth coming for alone.
The Arva brand has now extended to the far-east Asia – Aman Tokyo and Amanyangyun Shanghai.