Club del Doge & Riva Experience (VE)

by Lavinia Colonna Preti
Club del Doge & Riva Experience (VE) — Veneto Secrets

In Venice, Club del Doge and Riva Lounge, respectively the fine dining restaurant and the cocktail bar of the wonderful 5-star The Gritti Palace, overlook the lagoon landscape most celebrated by artists and writers, the one on the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute along the Grand Canal.

The Club del Doge Restaurant is located inside one of the most exclusive hotels in the world, The Gritti Palace, built in 1475 by the Pisani family and since 1525 the residence of the powerful Doge Andrea Gritti, who embellished it with the most beautiful decorations and works of art of the time, to then, from 1895, be acquired by a large hospitality group.

Finely restored in 2013, The Gritti Terrace, the restaurant’s stunning outdoor space, in addition to the wonderful view on the Grand Canal, offers its guests the best of international hospitality and service, pampered among Limoges porcelain Gallerie Royale Blue Wallis by Bernardaud, unique pieces by Geminiano Cozzi and flower vases in Murano’s glass.

Club del Doge & Riva Experience (VE) — Veneto Secrets
Club del Doge & Riva Experience (VE) — Veneto Secrets

There are few things in life more pleasant than to sit on the terrace of the Gritti when the sun about to set bathes in lovely colour the (Basilica della) Salute.

(Somerset Maugham)

At the helm of the kitchen, chef Alberto Fol bases his culinary philosophy on the enhancement of the lagoon tradition, “combining the raw material without ever covering its flavors”. Thus, a tasting itinerary at the Club del Doge Restaurant becomes an emotional journey through the most representative delicacies of Venice, from violet artichokes to moeche (small soft shell crabs).

Dishes such as castraure and mint risotto or fried castraure with lemon mousse and pesto of pine nuts and mint, in fact, arise from the many projects that Gritti carries out with local realities of the area in the name of sustainability and seasonality of the products. Like the collaboration with a local farmer who, on the island of Mazzorbetto, cultivates an organic private garden for the exclusive consumption of the Club del Doge Restaurant where the artichoke sprouts grow, the precious “castraure”.

Club del Doge & Riva Experience (VE) — Veneto Secrets
Club del Doge & Riva Experience (VE) — Veneto Secrets

Attention to detail and to the history of Venice is also revealed in the Riva Lounge, the elegant cocktail bar just perfect for drinks, lunch and after-dinner cocktails, thanks to the collaboration with the famous motorboat brand, symbol of Made in Italy, was inspired by the Riva Aquarama Lounge of the Yacht Club de Monaco and decorated with innovative materials reminiscent of wooden decks on yachts with details in polished wood and stainless steel.

Here, the bar manager Cristiano Luciani, one of the most acclaimed mixologists in the Lagoon, serves the most famous drinks in Venice, from the Bellini to the Dry Martini that Ernest Hemingway used to drink during his long stays at the Gritti, like a real rite.

Club del Doge & Riva Experience (VE) — Veneto Secrets

To prepare it perfectly, a Martini Trolley was built in order to get the cup, in which gin, vermouth and a lemon peel are mixed, at the perfect temperature (-18 ° C).
Both in summer and in winter, Riva Lounge is one of the most popular spots in the lagoon city, a point of reference also for Venetians because it is open from breakfast until one in the morning.

And for a truly unforgettable experience, you can book the splendid motorboat of The Gritti Palace Aquariva, baptized Il Doge, and enjoy a sunset drink in the North Lagoon before returning, guided by Captain Roberto, to the suggestive water gate on the Grand Canal, a magical place where it is impossible not to feel like in a James Bond film.

The Secret

Designed by Carlo Riva, founder of the homonymous brand in 1950, the Aquarama, “heir” of Aquariva whose name is inspired by the American cineramas, is the “Ferrari” of the seas. Handcrafted every year in only about twenty units, it is a world icon of style, celebrated in many famous films and commercials, from 007 to Ocean Twelve.

Useful Info

Club del Doge
Campo Santa Maria del Giglio
30124 Venezia
Tel. +39 041 794611

Club del Doge restaurant (May-Oct from 19.00, in winter open also for lunch)
First courses: 24 — 34 euro
Second courses: 44 — 52 euro

The Gritti Terrace (May-Oct from 12.00 to 18.00)
Snacks and salads: 22 — 35 euro
First courses: 24 — 34 euro
Second courses: 37 — 43 euro

Bar Longhi & Riva Lounge (11.00 — 1.00, terrace open weather permitting)
Cocktails: from 16 euro

Afternoon tea (15.00 — 18.00 @ Bar Longhi and The Gritti Terrace)
Tea served with a selection of mini sandwiches, pastries and organic jams: 38 euro per person

Riva experience: from 1600 euro half day, up to 6 guests, available weather permitting

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