Al Covo, Venice, 10/24/15

Exterior
Exterior

Another repeat visit to this wonderful place but this time there were a few issues. We were greeted so warmly by Diane, a former Texan, that the evening had great promise.  After talking with the waiter and getting the rundown of what was on the tasting menu that night, we knew that was the way we wanted to go.  The first miscue was when they brought sparkling water instead of the ordered still.

Menu
Menu

The waiter apologized remembering our order and no big deal, it was changed. Then the amuse bouche of creamy polenta and schie arrived and it was delightful as were the first two appetizers, sea bream tartar and sea bass ceviche. Both of the fish were mild but nicely fresh and they offered a fragrant olive oil to season both. The boiled female soft shells had the main shell pulled off and were slightly crispy but their consistency and flavor was a bit liver-like as opposed to the sweet taste of crab. They were also served on polenta which seemed to be a bad choice knowing the amuse had featured the same. The pasta was quite tasty but not the taste explosion I expect from this place. The swordfish was cooked perfectly and the dish offered a nice taste but the texture of the sauce seemed wrong somehow. Then came fried sardines which were supposed to be fried male soft shell crabs and that was a problem in that I’m not much of a fan of sardines. The waiter was kind enough to bring what he had promised us but the taste was a let down. Meanwhile, the fried fennel and potatoes were divine, so all was not lost.  Finish strong and they did that with the hazelnut dessert – a lot of nice tastes here. The chocolate didn’t seem spicy to me and the cake was a bit dry but it had lots of frosting to make up for that.

table set up
table set up
purse stool
purse stool
table candle
table candle
bread selection
bread selection
White polenta with schie
White polenta with schie
Sea bream tartar
Sea bream tartar
olive oil for seasoning
olive oil for seasoning
Ceviche of sea bass with fresh vegetables
Ceviche of sea bass with fresh vegetables
wine front
wine front
wine back
wine back
owners, Cesare and Diane
owners, Cesare and Diane
Frankie chilling with the wine
Frankie chilling with the wine
Boiled female soft shell crabs on white polenta
Boiled female soft shell crabs on white polenta
Pasta with two types of clams, one from the Lagoon and one from the sea, with squash blossoms and sun-dried tomatoes
Pasta with two types of clams, one from the Lagoon and one from the sea, with squash blossoms and sun-dried tomatoes
Swordfish slice with eggplant, olive, tomato and basil
Swordfish slice with eggplant, olive, tomato and basil
close up
close up
Fried sardines, fennel and potatoes
Fried sardines, fennel and potatoes
Fried soft shell crab, polenta and potatoes
Fried soft shell crab, polenta and potatoes
Frankie thought she'd help me out with the sardines
Frankie thought she’d help me out with the sardines
dessert menu 1
dessert menu 1
dessert menu 2
dessert menu 2
Hazelnut ice cream and chocolate sauce with hazelnut-orange shortbread cookies
Hazelnut ice cream and chocolate sauce with hazelnut-orange shortbread cookies
Spicy chocolate cake
Spicy chocolate cake
Frankie made friends with a duck
Frankie made friends with a duck
Chef owner Cesare Benelli
Chef owner Cesare Benelli
Exterior
Exterior

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