While it would’ve been much cooler to say that I first heard about Harry’s Bar because of Ernest Hemingway’s unabashed devotion (I’d discover later, of course, that it was one of his favorite places to write), I learned about the birthplace of the peach bellini (woah, just typing that makes me want one—now) from a rerun of “Everyday Italian” with Giada DeLaurentiis.

It was an episode about Venice, naturally, and she re-created a few of her favorite dishes, which included a couple from Harry’s Bar. There was a bellini, naturally, and the famed ham and cheese sandwich that’s cut into two skinny rectangles.

Now you probably can’t tell from the photo, but that ham and cheese sandwich was one of the best little bar snacks I’ve ever eaten. Not only does the smooth Gruyére spread totally out of this world, but the sandwich is pan fried in olive oil—meaning it’s totally crispy and flavorful without being all greasy. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a girl who likes her butter. But after having that sandwich, I can’t help wondering if I’ve been making my grilled cheese wrong all these years.

Keeping with the whole “simplicity is bliss” maxim of Italian eating, even the oversized green olives were exceptional. Really my only complaint about Harry’s is that we were done eating in like 10 minutes flat. Whomp, whomp.

We stuck around for a second bellini and a bit of people watching, though, and had so much fun in those snug little quarters. If you’re squeamish about being too close to your neighbor, this isn’t the place for you. It’s probably a good thing that Hem (think he would’ve minded if I called him that?) had his own table because this is a place that’s perpetually busy. I learned that even the locals like it, even if it’s a stone’s throw from the tourist-heavy Piazza San Marco. I guess if it’s good enough for Hemingway, it’s good enough for them. As for Will and me, we already can’t wait for our return trip.