Dama, Venice, 12/14/22


Dama opened in Feb. 2022 in a hotel that opened in 2019.  Both are lovely and elegant additions to the city.  The restaurant has 3 long tables, placed end to end, made from boards recovered from the “briccole” (mooring posts) in the Lagoon.  The table ends at the glassed-in kitchen.  The walls have black wood and curtains with brick archways lit by dampened overhead fixtures, that light the food well but not overly so.  Plants in the middle provide a soft touch as do the plates and glasses made by Venice artisans.  Hard to describe but it comes off as elegant yet comfortable.  Chef Lorenzo Cogo uses many products from the area, especially those of the lagoon.  They offer a la carte ordering as well as 5 or 8 course tasting menus with optional wine pairings.  The food incorporates some more unusual ingredients but re-inventing uses for what had been discarded is one of the joys for this chef.  This is sustainability in action.  Service was professional, efficient, and also warm.  We enjoyed the longer tasting and would highly recommend this place to anyone who has the opportunity to go.  It is a voyage of discovery for the tastebuds and a delightful evening.

Set up

sign out front
interior – looking toward the entrance
interior – looking toward the kitchen
menu cover
menu 1 – cover page
menu 2
menu 3
menu 4
menu 5
menu 6
menu 7
Frankie found flowers on the tables
Venetian plates



We were immediately given a moist towel and a cup of broth to ready the palate and hands for the food to come.  We enjoyed a glass of sparkler to start the evening and enjoy with the first bites.

moist cloth and broth
sparkler to start


The amuse-bouche had 5 items.  It was suggested to eat from right to left.  Creamed cod cannolo was in a raspberry roll.  It was more chewy than crisp and a really good combination of flavors.  A date was stuffed with anchovies and topped with wild garlic.  It was sweet and flavorful.  A Nori seaweed ravioli was filled with sea snails and topped with salted lemon.  It was good, crisp and warm and filled with fun textures.  Bacio di Dama, coffee, and cauliflower was 2 thick coffee-flavored cookies stuffed with sliced cauliflower.  This one was too dry for me and the least of the offerings.  A lollipop with sardines in saor (marinated in vinegar and onion) and pistachio was topped with dried tuna.  The garlic and onion flavors here were wonderful.

amuse bouche
date, anchovies and wild garlic / creamed cod cannolo and raspberries
Nori seaweed ravioli, sea snails and salted lemon
Bacio di Dama, coffee and cauliflower


Lollipop with sardines in saor and pistachio


The bread service included everything from breadsticks to white and wheat bread.  Some small fish-shaped crackers were infused with pepper and some of the middle crackers seemed fried and had rosemary.  All were wonderful and offered the diner options of texture and taste to pair with the foods.  A butter of sea asparagus was on the side.  It was fine but none of the bread needed any spread.

bread choices


Baby trout appeared to be swimming across your plate in the next course.  They were covered with smoked parsley purée and the juice of green figs.  These were the only fish not from the local lagoon but instead from Vicenza, the chef’s hometown.  The little fish were perfectly cooked with a strong flavor that was sweetened by the figs.

Baby trout
Frankie went fishing


Mantis shrimp were paired with endive, orange, and water pepper.  The head portion of the shrimp was cleaned out and filled with delicious shrimp tartar and a gel of Japanese water pepper.  On a separate plate was the endive with a sauce of Grand Marnier and burnt orange mixed with a caramel of mantis shrimp stock.  This was a marvelous combination of great flavors and textures.

Mantis shrimp, endive
closer endive
closer shrimp


Fasolari (smooth Venus Clams) dumplings were on top of melted cannellino beans, Grana Padana cheese, and mugwort.   The perfect pasta held some really tasty stuffing in a most flavorful broth.  If only you could get these at dim sum – they’re totally yummy.

Fasolari dumplings, cannellino bean, grana padano and mugwort
Wonderful server Andrea and Frankie


Black macaroni was mixed with baby cuttlefish, the root of ginseng, and buffalo stracciatella.  Again, perfectly cooked pasta paired well with the tender bits of cuttlefish.  This one had milder flavors but still had really good and great textures.

Black macaroni, baby cuttlefish, ginseng


“Barena” cuttlefish with green curry was topped with nasturtium leaves. The curry sauce was thicker and seasoned with salt, pepper, oil, and the liquid of the cuttlefish.  Again the cuttlefish was very tender and savory in the sauce.  It did not at all seem like the same mollusk as in the last dish.

“Barena”cuttlefish with green curry


Octopus was cooked in homemade red wine and mixed with leeks, olives, and kombu seaweed.  The olives had a strong portion of the flavor but there were also flavors of grape and chicory with the smooth octopus.  It was almost like it was barbecued – good down to the tip of it.  A bit of sweetness in this one but not too much.  It was a favorite.

octopus cooked in red wine
Frankie inspected


Eggplant was combined with angostura, pumpkin seeds, and elderberries in several ways.  The elderberries were in an ice cream topped with sesame seeds and presented with a pitcher of syrup made with orange, lemon, and the broth of the eggplant skin.  A foam of eggplant was mixed with creamy cheese in the bowl and that same cheese was on the rectangle of eggplant.  That one was a tad sweet but all variations had different tastes and textures that blended well.

eggplant, angostura, pumpkin seeds and elderberries



The first dessert was a seabed made with sage cream, cucumber, a gel of green pepper, cucumber, and seaweed.  This one had a salty overtone with fun textures.

seabed sage, cucumber, green pepper and seaweed
Friendly staff member Alessandro and Frankie


Rum panna cotta topped with bottarga was plated with pear ice cream seasoned with cloves.  The bottarga made a great crisp on the totally smooth custard and a fun flavor contrast. The also smooth ice cream was on some kind of crumbs and while both halves of this plate were good they were best when combined.  Not an overwhelmingly sweet dessert but totally satisfying.

rum, bottarga and pear


Petit fours were 4 different bites.  From the left was a candied orange peel with anchovy and chocolate.  Good sweet and salty as well as texture contrast.  A taco of sesame seed topped with sesame seeds and filled with white chocolate, wasabi, and pistachio.  Not a favorite here.  Milk chocolate was filled with liquid olive cream.  It was excellent.   Last was white chocolate with capers and celery.  Another liquid center with a strong caper essence yet sweet.  All very fun and interesting treats to end a fabulous meal.

petit fours
Frankie posed with the bill box


They were nice enough to provide a printed and signed menu for me to take at the end of the meal.

menu for the evening


Chef Lorenzo Cogo and Frankie

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