Just south of the Square on 19th is this relatively new place, tried it for the first time this weekend. They have some of the usual Ital-American stuff, the pasta, the pizza, but where they really shine is on the small plates. (Cichetti).
These plates are really the way people in Italy eat, especially in Venice. These are small portions of GREAT food, prepared in an authentic, careful way. This is not what you will get in a typical "Italian" restaurant in America, which is what makes it so good!
They have 5 plates for $19, and 3 plates for $12. We ordered 8 plates together, which was a good thing, because we were stuffed sharing them. They look small, but they are very filling, and very satisfying! Everything was quite different, and quite wonderful. We had, among other plates, the Baccala, caponata, crudo scallops (raw), roasted shrimp, and the highlight for me was the Broccoli Rabe with canelloni beans. Had a really unusual, wonderful, pan seared flavor. Yum!
The owner is from Venice, he says he was a gondolier but I suspect that may be an "exaggeration". (Why would anyone leave such a lucrative occupation?) But whoever's doing the cooking in the back is a great talent.
It's a fun place, and the food is terrific and reasonable. Highly recommended.