Coretta, Paris, 4/13/19

building
building

Coretta is a medium sized restaurant located near Martin Luther King Park, thus the name.  Two sides of the room are large windows to the outside.  The modern room has lots of wood accents and the small tables are of wood based with a metal tops set with leather chairs.  Some of the tables are high top and there is outdoor seating.  It was nice looking but not the most comfortable the way the legs on the table hit your legs.  Modern music plays in the background and an opening on one wall looks into the kitchen.  The menu is a la carte or sold with a 3 course or 2 course price.  Certain picks do have a surcharge for this method.  Some of the food was quite good but none of it great, however it is a very pleasant place for lunch.  Service was friendly, efficient and they spoke great English. Continue reading

Restaurant Alliance (update), Paris, 4/12/19

building
building (you can see chef through the window)

It’s been 2 years since we visited Restaurant Alliance, a small one star Michelin restaurant with Chef Toshitaka Omiya at the helm – someone who seriously knows how to cook.  If you have the opportunity to get there, do.  I give it solid thumbs way up.   The food is wonderful combinations of really flavorful ingredients that will leave you wanting more and then they’ll bring the next course that is just as good or better.  They offer 2 tasting menus, one a 7 course surprise menu selected by the chef or a Harmony Menu of set courses.  They do offer a smaller tasting menu at lunch but go at dinner if you can because you don’t want to miss any of the dishes this chef turns out.  Pacing is good, no lags and portion control great.  There are only around 7 tables in between the windows to the street and the large window looking into the kitchen.  Shades of gray and cream along with lower lighting provide a peaceful, cozy ambiance along with some cool circular overhead light fixtures.  Service is stellar, with welcoming and helpful staff that all spoke great English.  We were warmly greeted by  the chef and manager Shawn Joyeux, who is great at finding you a fun wine at your chosen price point. Continue reading

La Condesa (update), Paris, 4/12/19

building
building

It’s been just over a year since we visited La Condesa and this trip we tried lunch instead of dinner.  It is a really small one star Michelin restaurant that has been open about a year and a half.  There are about 8 closely set small bare wood tables.  The use of mirrors helps make the place seem bigger but it has a cozy atmosphere.  Music is in the background and the chef Indra Carrillo is in the kitchen but makes frequent trips to the dining room to bring food and check on diners.  The menu offers tastings of 3, 4, or 6 courses and wine pairings are available.  We chose the 6 course menu and ordered our own wine.  Portion control and pacing are both good and the staff is all super friendly, helpful and speak great English.   Continue reading

Le Clarence (update), Paris, 4/11/19

entrnace
entrance

We were at Le Clarence last fall for lunch and so this spring we tried their dinner service.  The physical location had not changed but it did feel different without the sunlight streaming in the windows.  The same menus cost more at dinner but they offer the same great and friendly service at both times.  Of the 3 tasting menus we chose the Menu Inspiration.  The meal was presented with groupings of different plates, sometimes presented together and others in succession.  It made for fun combinations.  We ended up at the exact same table, but that was fine because I think it is the prettiest of the rooms.  However with the large, well spaced tables, all the rooms offer a lovely atmosphere for dining.  Chef Christophe Pelé was in house and stopped by to say hello to Frankie, as did restaurant manager Cédric Servain.  Chef’s creativity and flavor intensity make this a place a must when you are next eating in Paris.  It is pure, relaxed elegance. I did take photos of a number of the old photographs in the menu and will place them throughout this post. Continue reading

Restaurant H, Paris, 4/11/19

building
building

Retaurant H is a small place of about 8 well spaced tables.  Soft music plays in the background, one wall has windows to the un-busy street and the back wall has a window into the kitchen.  The bare topped tables are set with lovely large napkins.  The modern room has wallpaper on some walls and others are decorated with arty photographs.  Decorations are minimal.  The menu is tiles in a box where you can pick how many courses you want.  They offer tastings of 3, 5 or 7 courses with wine pairings available.  We chose the 5 course omnivore menu and ordered our wine.  Service was exceptionally friendly and servers spoke great English and were helpful. The chef, Hubert Duchenne came out to visit with diners.  The restaurant currently has a one Michelin star rating. Continue reading

Cézembre Restaurant, Paris, 4/10/19

exterior
exterior

Cézembre is a small restaurant of about 10 tables that serves only a 5 course set menu at dinner.  For lunch they serve a 3 course menu.   There is no a la carte menu.  The small varnished wood tables are set closely and with paper napkins.  Painted beams in the ceiling, lowered lighting and pop music in the background set the tone.  Mirrored walls make it feel larger than it is.  The staff was super friendly  and spoke good English.   This is a very nice place with good food in a cozy setting in the heart of the tourist district. Continue reading

Restaurant Antoine, Paris, 4/10/19

street
exterior

Antoine is an enclosed patio with about 10 well spaced tables of various sizes.  Those tables nearer the windows to the outside were smaller whereas the ones along the kitchen wall were larger.  However those at the windows could have a view of the Eiffel tower and/or the museum across the street.  There is music in the background and the tables are covered with nice white clothes and set with good sized white napkins.  You are greeted at the table with the champagne cart – a wheeled “figure 8” table with the ice bucket of champagnes on top (later on it carries the cheese selection).  We were there at lunch time and they did have a special lunch menu as well as an a la carte menu and a 4 course lunch surprise tasting.  Wine pairings were available and they are known for their seafood.  We chose their 4 course lunch with our own bottle of wine.  They currently have a one star in the Michelin guide.  Servers spoke good English and were friendly and helpful.   Continue reading

Alcyone, Marseille, 3/23/19

hotel
hotel

Alcyone is a one star Michelin star restaurant in the Intercontinental Hotel.  It is a stylish dining room on the second level of the hotel with large windows overlooking the city.  The good sized room is filled with large well spaced tables draped with white clothes and set with large napkins.  Beige tones are in the chairs, curtains and walls and a stunning overhead fixture gives off muted light while music plays in the background.  There was a soundboard in the ceiling and the chairs were well padded with arms, so noise was not an issue.  Table decorations were different sizes of metal fish.   A modern rug is in the center of the room set off by the dark wood floor. The menu offers a 5 course chef selected tasting menu or a la carte selections. Wine pairings are available.  Pacing  started rapidly and then really slowed down and portion control was okay.   The staff was friendly and spoke good English.   We chose the tasting and a printed menu was offered to be presented at the end of the meal, but when that time came it was not ready or started. Continue reading

La Bonne Mère, Marseille, 3/23/19

exterior
exterior

La Bonne Mère is a tiny place with about 6 tables – very casual. It is mostly a place for excellent pizza run by partners in life, Jérémie Piazza and Mahéva Angelmann.  The walls are pretty much covered with mementos and art, with one wall being formed by a long stainless bar and that holds the register and wine bottles. The tables differ, some being wood and others metal, some clothed and others bare. It is a wonderfully cozy spot but if you want a table, reservations are a must – even at lunch.  The rest of the business is take out.  In the back of the restaurant is the giant pizza oven, where Jérémie makes incredible pies.   The excellent crust is topped with fresh, quality ingredients.   Not much English is spoken by the owners but enough for us to get by (especially with the help of another customer).  However even with a language barrier, we couldn’t have felt more welcome. Wine selection is limited but very adequate.

Continue reading

Restaurant AM, Marseille, 3/22/19

exterior
exterior

Restaurant AM is a small place that offers 3 tasting menus based on the number of courses (10, 15-20, 20-30) with the courses sometimes just being one bite.  The night we were there they did offer a supplemental courses with truffles (some were under a dome on the table to temp you) for 55 euros and a comté cheese with caviar for 35 euros.  We chose the longest tasting and the cheese course.  It sounds like a lot more food than it was;  it is easily manageable because of great portion control and a fairly rapid pacing.   The rustic bare wood tables with metal legs are set nicely a part and with comfortable ‘plastic string chairs’.  The open kitchen is one corner of the place and music plays in the background but sound panels in the ceiling control noise levels.  A few seats are available at the bar where you could interact more with the chefs.  A couple windows are open to the street and the light fixtures are set to give a warm glow to the room.  Servers spoke good English and were really helpful and friendly.  Chef Alexandre Mazzia was in the kitchen, as he has been for 5 years, and was awarded 2 Michelin stars last February, which are a good indication of the quality of the food you’ll find here.  The dishes are innovative and loaded with flavor.  You’ll want to lick the plate clean in many instances.  They were nice enough to give me a listing of the courses before we left but it is a surprise as you dine.  If you have the opportunity to go, I would suggest you take it! Continue reading

Une Table, Au Sud, Marseille, 3/22/19

exterior
exterior

Une Table, au Sud is located on the second story of a tourist souvenir shop along a busy strip of outdoor dining areas across from the water where many boats are docked.  It was good sized with rock music in the background, a lowered ceiling, wood floor, white tableclothes and a great view.  They offered a couple tasting menu options, a la carte and a lunch special.  Wine pairings were available.  Pacing was good and portions were fairly large.   We had the 3-course lunch menu with wine pairings.  Even though it has one Michelin star there were some service issues, like tardy delivery of the wine to go with the course and not very friendly servers. Continue reading

Le Petit Nice, Marseille, 3/21/19

exterior
exterior

Le Petit Nice is the only restaurant in Marseille to receive a 3 Michelin star rating.   It is in a luxury hotel that overlooks the water with Gérald Passedat as the chef.  The dining room has windows on 3 sides of its hexagon shape that overlook the water and lights of the city.  It was a lovely view even in the dark when you could’t see as much.  It was a bit hard to find the entry as we were walking to it.  A taxi would know to call at the gate to the parking lot but in the meantime we got to look into the kitchen from the passage way alongside the building.  The well spaced cloth covered tables are good sized and set with comfortable swivel chairs.  No music plays in the background, candles are on the tables and lights are slightly dimmed.  It is old school enough that the ladies menus don’t have prices.  They offer several tasting menus and an a la carte menu which is mostly seafood and vegetables. Service was good as was portion control of the tasting menu. Continue reading

Restaurant Saisons, Marseille, 3/21/19

exterior
exterior

Restaurant Saisons has about 8 tables in the main dining room, 2 seats in front of the kitchen window and a party room upstairs.  In the dining room there is a large window to the kitchen and a good-sized bar which is just for service not seating.  The front room or entry has some seats for waiting and a reception station along with the window to the street.  Modern music plays in the background but a number of sound dampening panels on the ceiling keep the noise level down.  The room has a modern look reinforced with the small tables of polished light wood and the concrete floor.   The menu offered 2 surprise tasting options and a small a la carte menu.  We chose the smaller 5 course menu.  For a one star Michelin restaurant the meal’s pacing was not even, with a slow down after the first two courses, like the kitchen wanted the whole room to catch up and be on the same course.  Service was friendly and helpful.   Continue reading

L’Epuisette, Marseille, 3/20/19

entrance
entrance

L’Epuisette is on top of a rock overlooking the cove of Marseille and the Mediterranean Sea.  Chef Guillaume Sourrieu, who started here in the 1980’s,  prepares local and Mediterranean cuisine that is created around what he can obtain from his local fish and vegetable suppliers.  It is a medium-sized place and received one Michelin star in 2001.  The dining room is striking with windows on two sides that look out to the water and the stone cliffs, however visibility is limited at night, but you could see boats and late night fisherman.  There are some lights hanging from the ceiling that looked almost like jelly fish.  Hanging fish, paintings, mirrors decorate the room with well spaced white cloth-covered tables.  Music is in the background (it was turned down when more people arrived) and the lighting is lowered at night.   Sound dampening panels are on the ceiling The menu offered tasting  of 7 or 9 courses (a cheese course supplement is offered for 12 euros), a bouillabaisse menu and a la carte dishes. Continue reading

Chez Fanny, Marseille, 3/20/19

exgerior

Chez Fanny is a tiny corner stand with one side a window looking in with several counter stools and the other side an order window.  There are a few small outside tables opposite the order window, but it felt like a lot of orders might be for take out.  It is a small menu but everything is prepared as you wait.  One lady manned the shop and was busy making something that looked like cupcakes when we arrived, but she was quick to get our order and start our sandwiches.  The menu offered sandwiches and burgers.   Her favorite sandwich was the chicken one, “Le Rasta” made with chicken, tapenade, seasonal vegetables and a white cheese sauce.  I added “frites” or fries to the order.  It was huge and the vegetables were cucumber, mushroom and carrot.   The tapenade was olives.  It was well seasoned with lots of herbs.  The chicken was cut and tender and moist, but all white meat.  The bread was excellent with a good chew to the interior and a nice crust that was easily bitten through – although it was a wide open mouth affair.  Did I already say it was huge?  The random cut fries were dusted with herbs and salt and freshly fried but I wasn’t sure if they were pre-frozen.  Either way, they were crisp and tasty.  They were included with the “Le Gros Dédé” sandwich that also included lamb, vegetables and a sauce of white cheese.  The lamb was hacked up into small pieces that cooked up very tender.  The vegetables were carrots and onions and all was covered with a generous supply of fries on the same great bread.  It was quite good and also huge.  At just 5 euros each it was a really good deal for a lot of well flavored food. Continue reading

Benu (update), San Francisco, 3/16/19

gates
gates

It’s been 3 years since we’ve been to Benu and I don’t know that I detected a lot of change in the interior, however they said it was completely re-done since we were there.  Classical music is in the background and completely fits the soothing peacefulness of the place.  The well spaced large bare dark wood tables are set with comfortable seats, exquisitely thin stemware and gilded flatware and chargers.  Service is friendly but totally professional, shown with their knowledge of our previous visits and orders.  You feel elegantly at home.  Everyone still has a tasting menu and the food is fantastic.  Pacing is spot on and portion controls allows you to really enjoy the meal with its amazing flavors and textures.  The spectacular visual affects (down to the presentation plates) of the food are not for show, they match the quality.  If you can, get there, you won’t be disappointed.   Continue reading

In Situ, San Francisco, 3/16/19

exterior
exterior

In Situ is the one Michelin star restaurant inside the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.  It is a very modern large place with a separate entrance from the street, so you don’t have to be in the museum.  A couple of long wood tables with bar stools are up front opposite a painting created for In Situ.  The other tables are small blond wood and appointed with bench seating or wood chairs. It’s very bright and open and a really interesting ceiling sculpture of wood is a highlight of the decorating, as there is surprisingly little art on the walls.  Their concept is to present some of their own creations but also to feature some highlights from their ‘current collaborators’ or well-recognized chefs around the world.  We have been lucky enough to visit some of these places in their home countries and had the original take on the dish and when possible I have posted those pictures following the ones from In Situ.  The chefs do advise and approve of the version of their dishes and I thought they did a good job.  It’s a fun concept.  Service was excellent.  Our server Katerina, from Lithuania,  was most helpful and interested in seeing pictures of the corresponding dishes.  She even brought us an extra dessert, one developed by their staff, so we could get a real sample of what was going on there.  I would recommend the place for a fun lunch. Continue reading

Birdsong, San Francisco, 3/15/19

exterior
exterior

Birdsong is a good sized one star Michelin place that has opened in May of 2018.  Most of the space in the dining room is taken up by the large kitchen which is surrounded by a low counter and seats.  A few tables are on the outer edge of the place and we were lucky to snag a table right across from the kitchen action.  There is a comfy little reception area as well as party rooms downstairs that they were nice enough to give us a tour of after we ate.  Windows to the street are on one wall and the bare light wood tables are set with a large cloth napkin that houses the evening’s menu. Everyone receives the same tasting menu.  Clear glass ball light fixtures hang from the ceiling that add good lighting but most light comes from the glow of the kitchen which is filled with action.   Lots of plants, background rock music and wood beams soften the affect of the exposed ductwork.  Service was exceptionally friendly and helpful.  After they clear that there are no allergies or dietary restrictions the menu starts promptly and pacing continues at a good rate throughout the evening.  Portions are well done to not stuff you before the end. Continue reading

Nico, San Francisco, 3/15/19

exterior
exterior

Nico opened in May of last year at this new location.  It is a fairly small place with one Michelin star rating.  Windows to the street make up one end of the place and the open kitchen is opposite that side.  One wall has a bench seat with a line of small light wood tables opposite it.  Exposed brick is on the walls, rock music plays in the background, a wide plank wood floor are all the backdrop for a friendly staff.   The small menu has  series of smaller plates to share or snack on and 3 larger plates for main courses.  From talking to the waiter it sounded like a lot people just come to the 5 seats at the bar and enjoy the snacks with drinks rather than come in for a meal.   It was a nice place but the food had mixed results. Continue reading

Atelier Crenn, San Francisco, 3/14/19

exterior
exterior

Atelier Crenn is a small restaurant with only 8 tables.   It’s been several years (pre Frankie site) since we were there and since then Chef Dominique Crenn has become the first female chef in the U.S to attain a  3 star Michelin rating.  It is a warm setting with paintings by chef’s father Allain decorating the walls.  They re-modeled 2 years ago and now round polished wood tables are set off with dampened lighting and music playing softly in the background.  The presence from the street is very discreet with no name, just the number marking the place.  They have 2 seatings for a multi course tasting menu, for which wine pairings are offered.  The evening we were there it was a spring menu that featured many items now grown on their own farm and locally sourced other ingredients.  Dishes are complex yet simple with a depth of flavor and texture in each dish that is amazing.   Many had a tableside finish that was a nice show and added to the information about the dish.  A poem greets you at the table with each line symbolizing a part of the meal to come.  Afterward you are presented with a summary of your courses. Service is friendly and helpful and pacing and portion control of the meal are good.  Chef Crenn did come out and greet each of her guests and allowed time for a bit of conversation.  Continue reading

Angler, San Francisco, 3/14/19

building
building

Angler opened in September 2018 and is the newest venture for chef Joshua Skenes, however he has chosen to be a creative force rather than the chef.  It is a large place and lots of mounted fish and mirrors cover the walls.  The front of the restaurant is windows to the busy street outside with perfect views of the Bay bridge.  Opposite the windows is the large open kitchen and another wall is used to house a long bar with some seating.  Seating at tables is at fairly close-set small bare wood dark tables, some of which are served by bench/wall seating.   Many chairs are draped with small blankets which could either pad the chair, keep you warm or could just be a decorative touch.  Lots of flowers soften the steel structures and exposed brick and the large white cloth napkin is a nice touch.  A second room has stuffed mounts of warm blooded animals.  Rock music from the 80’s era plays fairly loudly in the background and it felt a bit out-of-step with the casually elegant setting, but is a known touch of Skenes.  The menu was small at lunch but several types of raw oysters were available.  Otherwise for a restaurant that is focused on fresh, local seafood there were surprisingly few local seafood options other than one type of oyster.  In fact for main plate options, there were 3 seafood and 3 meat.  Service was friendly, helpful and efficient. Continue reading

Roli Roti, San Francisco, 3/14/19

stand
stand

Roli Roti is a food stand by the Ferry Building and the location does move, so just look for the line.  The secret is to get there when they first open, and then there is no line and it’s easier to find a seat somewhere in the area to enjoy your sandwich.  They are only open on Thursday (10 am – 2 pm)  and Saturday (8 am – 2 pm) but their signs encourage you to hire them to cater your next party.  They have the rotisserie going as you walk up and you can see the chickens and pork rotating slowing dripping their fat and juices on the potatoes below.  I have been many times and it’s a great snack – the smell is wonderful – but I’ve only tried their porchetta sandwich.  They cut the meat while you watch and load it onto a wonderful soft, chewy roll and then cover it with onion relish and arugula greens.  There are bits of the crackling crust of pork intermixed with the tender, juicy pieces of pork.  I will admit that some days have yielded a better tasting meat than others but it always is rich, decadent snack or meal.  Try it if you’re there at the right time and then on Saturday you can walk through the wonderful farmer’s market behind the building or cruise through the fun shops in the building. Continue reading

Ristorante Alle Corone, Venice, 3/2/19

interior
interior

Alle Corone has been the restaurant in the Ai Reali Hotel for 6 years and is set up over several small rooms.  Our room had about 6 tables and one side was windows looking over the adjacent canal with the boats and gondolas riding by.  The hotel was fairly elegant as were the dining rooms, set with white tablecloths and napkins, yet they chose a whimsical gnome to be the purse stool.  Tables each had individual small lights and the room was further lit by wall sconces, and overall the lighting was nicely lowered.  Decorations of masks and feathers were in honor of carnival season.  Music was in the background and ours had a beautiful terrazzo floor with an amazing border pattern.  The service was professional, efficient and friendly.  Most spoke great English but some of the student interns struggled with questions.   They offered a 6 course tasting, with wine pairing offered, as well as an a la carte menu.  We chose the tasting and ordered our own beverages. Continue reading

Trattoria da Jonny, Venice, 3/2/19

building
building

Trattoria da Jonny is a fairly large place spread over 2 rooms.  Exposed brick is on one wall corner and the small bare wood tables are set for 2 or 4 people with paper place mats and napkins.  Music plays in the background and the large menus contain both English and Italian.  The ceiling has exposed wood beams in part of the room and floor appeared to be a large plank wood but was really a type of tile.  The service was friendly and efficient even while a number of family members stopped by to eat and/or chat. Continue reading

Zanze XVI, Venice, 3/1/19

outside
outside

Zanze XVI is a medium sized place with exposed wood beams in the ceiling and brick on the top part of the walls.  The building was a restaurant all the way back to the 16th century.  When re-modeling the last paperwork they found referenced Zanze which was a nickname for Angela who had the building in 1940.  On the side are bench seats to match with small bare wood tables and a non-seated bar is at the front.  The windows on one wall look out to the street and canal.  They have been open just 1 year and 8 months but were doing a lively business.  There was no music the first part of the evening but it started up during the evening, however the acoustics were very good for talking.  They offer only surprise tasting menus, one with 8 dishes, one with 5 courses from the sea or one with 5 courses from the land.  Wine pairings are available for all.  If you prefer al la carte that is also a surprise and then you can order as many courses as you wish.   A lot of ingredients were named with each dish but as nothing is in writing, I’m sure I left some things off.  I apologize for any oversights but regardless, the food is really good and it’s a fun place with nice people working there.  I’d put it on your list.  Service was efficient and super friendly as well as speaking good English, but pacing was a tad slow. Continue reading

Locanda Cipriani Torcello, Venice, 3/1/19

building
building

Locanda Cipriani is on the island of Torcello, a short water bus ride from the main island of Venice.  You enter into a tiny old looking lounge room with seating around a fireplace that is used for cooking and warmth.  From there you move into a large open room surrounded by windows to the outside gardens and views of the local churches.  The place backs to 1935 and is still owned by the Cipriani family.  Hemingway stayed at the associated inn and brought much fame to the place who was then followed by a number of famous visitors such as Queen Elizabeth II in 1938 and in 1985 the Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles and Diana (who came for a private lunch a year after the Queen had brought the Queen Mother there), Maria Callas in 1952 and Marc Chagall in 1948 who left behind one of his drawings.  The list of famous people and acclaimed artists goes on and on throughout their 70 year history.  The nice sized tables are fairly closely spaced and covered with white linens with many of the smaller tables having a draped service table adjacent. Continue reading

Ristorante Local, Venice, 2/28/19

exterior, daytime
exterior daytime

Local is a fairly large place with very modern design.  Wood beams in the ceiling are opposite the place’s logo made into the terrazzo floor.   Many items also worked in the circular logo including coasters and seals on the toilet paper.  Bare wood tables are appointed with some bench seating and chairs.  No music was in the background until later in the evening and the lighting is lowered.  A counter area fills much of the first room that’s underneath portion is made of woven wood and it has a few seats that would have the best view through the window into the kitchen.  It also had windows to the street outside.  A second room for seating led into the bathrooms and window to the large wine cellar.   Service was friendly, helpful and they spoke good English.  They have an a la carte menu but we had pre-ordered the surprise tasting menu, which was not available in printed form.  The menu had good pacing and portion control.   Continue reading

Gelateria Artigianale La Mela Verde, Venice, 2/28/19

exterior
exterior

There are a lot of gelato shops in Venice and some with wild colors and flavors so it was a treat to find La Mela Verde or the Green Apple where they make their own gelato in house with fresh, real and Italian ingredients.  They even have a video running on a loop in the store showing how the gelato is made and the ingredients they use.  It is a nice option to the garish colors and poor textures found in so many other shops.  Flavors vary with what is available each day.  They are only open part of the year.   It’s a really tiny shop  but you can get 1-5 scoops in cones or cups as well as Nutella dressed.  They have recieved a lot of press due to their quality and I thought Frankie should give them a nod for their creamy texture and flavor choices.  The flavors are on the mild side but the smoothness makes up for that.  Also knowing that no artificial ingredients are used to enhance the flavors gives you a good feeling, as well as being owner driven.  Check it out! Continue reading

Osteria Sant’Elena “Da Pampo”, Venice, 2/28/29

exteroior
exterior

Osteria Da Pampo is a tiny place near a park in the southeast end of Venice, that opened in 2009.  It has a totally different feel to the area than the more visited mid section.  This became a family run (mother and 2 daughters) place with a small menu and a couple of daily specials three years ago.  Service was attentive and friendly and delivered by the baker of the restaurant, who also spoke great English.  You enter on the side of the building into an area that looked like a place where you could get to-go items.  Inside the limited dining area were 12 small closely spaced bare wood tables, but there appeared to be a space for outdoor dining depending on the weather.  The room looked like it was a porch that had been enclosed as there were windows on the 3 exterior walls.  The light green walls and tile floor contributed to the very casual feel of the place.   A couple paintings were on the walls and one corner housed a display of blue and white dishes on elevated crates.  It definitely felt off the beaten tourist path. Continue reading

Bistrot de Venise, Venice, 2/27/19

exterior
exterior

Bistrot de Venise is a large place made up of a number of small rooms.  It offers a huge menu featuring Historic and Modern Classic Venetian cuisine including several tasting selections.  It must be a common tourist destination as the brochure on the table offered a number of the items from the place for sale.  However the food is amazing and the number of people in attendance showed that, that was known.  The room where we were was colored with red and gold, with decorative gold fish candleholders on each table to supplement the already well lit room.  The red velour walls were accented with strips of antiqued gold where recessed lighting was.  Red bench seats matched red chairs on the other side of the table.  The walls were decorated with drawings, paintings and photos.  Tables are closely set and some of the 2-tops were pretty small but all were covered in nice linen cloths embossed with a leaf design and matching napkins.  It was a casual crowd in a fairly elegant setting.  Waiters spoke good English and were helpful, friendly and willing to direct your meal plan.   Classical music played in the background and they were happy to split dishes or have us split them at the table, even bringing extra plates. Continue reading