My meal began with a chicory-heart salad with spider crabs, an Adriatic delicacy. A dish of homemade ravioli was served with artichokes and clams. Foie gras was prepared like crème brulée, caramelized on top and with a side of gelée made from torcolato white. The sautéed scampi tails with tomatoes and mild capers were tender and robustly flavorful.
The property’s wine list is long, and predominantly regional, Italian, and French. I drank a superb Merlot/Sangiovese blend called 50&50 that hails from a vineyard in Chianti belonging to James B. Sherwood, founder of Orient-Express Hotels, which now owns the Cipriani.
There are also a few dozen vines on the grounds, which eventually return to the Cipriani in bottles called “Casanova Salso,” named for two of Giudecca’s former mainstays: the famous bachelor, and vin salso, a wine previously produced on the island. Herbs and various vegetables are also grown on site.
The stylish and casual Cip’s Club, on the north side of the island with a view of San Marco, is the hipper of the other dining options, which also includes a poolside restaurant. Cip’s is popular with both guests and locals. Score a seat on the terrace/dock jutting out onto the water. The menu focuses on seasonal, local fare, and might include fried soft shell crabs, cuttlefish, and beef carpaccio.