Eating out at
Ristorante Agli Schioppi in Vicenza
Ristorante Agli Schioppi in Vicenza is a charming family run trattoria specialising in the local version of bacalà.
For a real taste of Vicenza, I can’t think of a better place than the Ristorante Agli Schioppi on Piazza al Castello. We managed to get the last table outside and could sit down under a full moon to sample some of the local specialities.
The menu of 5-7 courses in each category is heavily based on bacalà, which in this part of Italy means stoccafisso. According to the owner, the dried cod had come to Vicenza in 1431 with the captain of a merchant ship. He returned home to Vicenza after having been shipwrecked on a snow covered island off the Norwegian coast, where the local population taught him how to survive the winter on a diet of dried fish. The cheap alternative to fresh fish soon became extremely popular, and it still rivals Palladio as the symbol of the city.
For starters we had millefoglie with aubergine cream, mozzarella and tomato confit and a very creamy bacalà mantecato with grilled white polenta. I missed a touch of garlic in the fish, but that’s probably my mistake. Italians are generally very dogmatic in their interpretation of old local recipes, and garlic may not figure on the permissible list.