Our friends in Venice found this little gem that has only been open 3 months. It has super friendly staff, reasonable prices and 2 small rooms that fill up fast. The owner, Marco, wanted to bring Sicilian cooking to Venice and named the place after the little Sicilian carts, “carretto” that are common there. He stresses cooking with what is fresh and eggplant was our night’s theme.
Our friends ordered with the help of staff and the Italian phrases flew fast and furious, so apologies if I get some words wrong, but I think we tried most things on the menu. We started with a basket of fried appetizers that are all common Sicilian treats. The panella are the things that look like flat fried potatoes but are made with chickpeas and are mild but fun. The fried eggplant was crisp, hot with a nice creamy center. The arancine or rice balls (football shaped) were like a small fried bit of risotto. Two doughy balls were underneath and the large one was stuffed with a meat and cheese combo and was quite savory. Another smaller doughy ball had an anchovy bit inside and was surprisingly tasty. Next was the eggplant parmesan and it was nicely tender but a bit mild in flavor especially in contrast to the delightful caponata served at the same time. It came with a dense seedy bread with a great crust and had a perfect olive-tomato-eggplant taste explosion. We tried 2 pastas, the first with red sauce and eggplant and the most delicious grated ricotta salata which added a smoky-salted taste that was yummy. The other pasta dish had squash, peppers and salami was also good but the cheese gave the first one that special edge. We ended with “soft beef stew” which is long cooked to be fork tender and it was just that. We ended with their cannoli and it was big enough to split for 2, but we each had our own, so believe me I rolled out of there a happy Sicilian in Venice!