Al Covo, Venice, 4/15/17

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exterior

This is a repeat visit to Al Covo and what a wonderful visit we had!  It was even better than I remembered.  It is a medium-sized place of 2 rooms with lovely linens on the nicely spaced tables, lowered lighting supplemented by candlelight and some background music.  The owners just finished a re-do of the front facade and as you can see it looks perfectly inviting.  Speaking of the owners, wife Diane Rankin is a transplanted Texas and gives you a Texas sized greeting – you couldn’t feel more welcome.  She also fills the role of pastry chef and front end manager.  Husband Cesare Benelli is a native Italian and does a splendid job as chef and welcoming host. Together they have run Al Covo since 1987 and it is a must visit if you are in Venice.  They offer a tasting menu as well as a la carte, that changes with the season.   Continue reading

Osteria Enoteca Ai Artisti, Venice, 4/15/17

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exterior

Osteria Enoteca Ai Artisti is a small cozy 2 rooms with some outdoor seating.  Tables are small and close, covered with paper and paper napkins. The entry room contains a good sized bar with a pass through window to the small kitchen.  The second room contains wine storage and a larger table for big groups.  Since it is a wine bar, serving afternoon cicchetti, the wine selection is expectedly nice. For meals it looks like reservations are a must as seating is limited and the food is really good.  Ceilings are low, soft music plays in the background and staff is extremely helpful, speaking good English.  Servings are generous and the place has a great vibe.  The chef is Mashiro Homma who has spent 8 years in Italy with the last 5 being in Venice.   Continue reading

Antiche Carampane, Venice, 4/14/17

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bathroom tile art

Another re-vist to Antiche Carampane, one of our favorite spots in Venice.  However tonight the food seemed to lack the soul it usually has, not enough to keep us from going back but enough to drop it from the automatic reservation it has been.  A fairly small place, it was packed as usual.  There is a fun vibe with the close set tables draped in nice linens and the walls covered with stuff.  Service is efficient and helpful but one server I had not seen before had no specials of the day to tell us about.  We waited for another waiter who was willing to tell us about the fish of the day and that soft shell crabs were available.   Continue reading

Casa Perbellini s. zeno Verona, Verona, 4/14/17

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Entance

Casa Perbellini is a small elegant restaurant in Verona, about an hour and a half train ride from Venice.  It is worth the trip!  They have been in this location for 2 1/2 years moving in from a country location where they had been over 20 years.  There is a smaller second dining room but the main room has a large open kitchen filling the long side of it.  We arrived just as they opened and since they weren’t quite ready we had a glass of champagne on their front patio and then they brought out a tasty cup of parmesan foam topped with tomato and basil to go with it.  Nice touches like this continue throughout the meal.  (Another example: The plating counter is covered with a heavy cloth that dampens all the plate noise on a hard counter). Continue reading

Trattoria Dalla Marisa, Venice, 4/13/17

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entrance

Dalla Marisa is a super tiny place that offers a fun, cozy vibe along with great food.  Reservations are a must if you want to sit inside.  Otherwise there are outside tables but the ambiance is so wonderful inside you shouldn’t miss it.  The walls are covered with family photos and drawings of Venice and tables are set close to one another.  No fancy linens just paper placemats and napkins but it’s all works in this welcoming setting. Most tables are for 4 so go with friends or you may get to make some there.  They don’t appear to turn the tables, it’s one seating.  There is a fixed price per person of 4o euros which covers all your food, wine, bread and water. Continue reading

CoVino, Venice, 4/13/17

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Exterior

This is a second visit to CoVino, a really small place of only 7 tables for 2.  American music of the 60’s plays in the background.  They offer a 2 or 3 course lunch special as well as a la carte options and an interesting selection of wines and beer.  Reservations are a must but not overly hard to obtain.  The menu is small and the service is attentive and friendly with the open kitchen taking up a good part of the room.  Unfortunately I learned that the chef that was there last fall is no longer and the present ones don’t seem to have his touch.  The dishes were fine but not outstanding, however the manager’s personality is so charismatic you really want to like the place.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good place but last time the food just reached a much higher note.  Another problem is the portion sizing.  Choices vary a good bit on size and heaviness and it would seem that some indication of this variation would be helpful in the ordering process.   Continue reading

Osteria Boccadoro, Venice, 4/12/17

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Exterior

After you enter the bar area Boccadoro splits into 2 rooms, one to either side and one really small room separated by a beautiful glass sculpture.   Patio seating is available if weather permits.  The lighting is low with soft jazz music in the background.  An elegant setting, there is lots of art on the walls, exposed beams in the ceiling and pretty tile on the floor.  It is old school with ladies menus having no prices. The staff is friendly and very helpful. Our waiter, Simone, easily suggested what we should order and we were wise to follow his plan.  It turns out he is the son of Chef Luciano Orlandi, so he really had the inside track.   Continue reading