While looking for a place to eat in Venice, I remember reading about Ado, a small new Italian eatery on Main St, the brain child of Paolo Cesaro (formerly of Via Veneto) and chef Antonio Mure (formerly of Locanda Veneta).
As I walked up to the two-story yellow building, my first thought was "How cute!!"
The menu had a small but satisfying selection of antipasti, paste, and secondi. The homemade pastas caught my eye in particular.
We started out with Insalatina Tiepida di Carciofi, Granchio e Vin Cotto (Warm Baby Artichokes Hearth with Dungeness Crab Meat, Mache salad and Grape Must Reduction - $14)
A great light and clean start. The baby artichokes are sliced and mixed in with the dungeness crab meat - a great texture and flavor combination. Lightly doused with olive oil and vinaigrette, a great dish.
Tagliolini Rossi con Ragu di Quaglia in Fonduta di Taleggio (Home-made Red Beets Tagliolini pasta in a Marsala Quail Ragu served on a bed of Taleggio cheese fondue -$15)
Even the smell of it already made me so happy. Ahhh, cheese. Al dente beet pasta, savory quail ragu, and rich cheese fondue all mixed together. If this doesn't "hit the spot" I don't know what will. For me this is a must-get and a must-get-again dish.
Pappardelle al Coniglio, Porcini e Prugne (Home-made Pappardelle served with Rabbit Ragu, Porcini Mushrooms and Dried Prunes -$17)
A much more subtle dish than the previous, but again very well done. The pappardelle was again perfectly al dente, the flavor of the ragu was subtle but pervasive, and the sweetness of the dried prunes was quite a nice touch.
Agnello domestico Ripieno al Pesto (Grilled Colorado Lamb Chop stuffed with Pesto and served with a Red Wine and Mustard Sauce - $32)
The lamb was very flavorful as it was stuffed with pesto. The meat was quite moist and tender, although the lamb did have quite a bit of fat.
There was no written dessert menu, but one of the two knowledgeable waiters will spill out what's in store for you. After much debate and tiramisu being out that night, I went with the recommended Pasteria (ricotta cheese cake) This was denser and richer than I had expected, perhaps a bit too rich with nothing to cut it.
Semifreddo torrone (ice cream cake with hazelnut)
Also not what I had in mind for "ice cream cake" :P Think of it as a thick ice cream with chocolate chips and hazelnut bits. I liked this one better though, rich and sweet but not too thick.
Oh, those lucky Venice dwellers. If Ado was in my neighborhood, I'll definitely be there quite a bit. We had a great first impression (cute building, cozy space, great service, great food), so even though it isn't in my neighborhood, I'll still keep coming back.
Crappy underexposed photos here: http://tinyurl.com/ldub9z