Mille grazie to whoever recommended these restaurants. We enjoyed Al Covo - Diane, the Texan who co-owns this restaurant with her Venetian husband chef, is obviously having a good time, and she made us feel most welcome. Everyone we were aware of in the restaurant was American, which we usually try to avoid. All of our dishes (mostly fish) were cooked to perfection and nicely presented. We did find the portions rather small and the prices high.
Our last night, we made our way to Avogaria, and it was a delightful evening in every way. We'd had an exhausting day, and were too tired to eat at the usual Italian hour, so at 7 pm we were the first customers of the evening. In fact, the chef's little boy told us they were closed. Luckily, another staff member disagreed and let us in! Mimo, the chef's husband, was our waiter. We also had a chance to meet the architect, who's the chef's brother. He's done a beautiful job creating a space which is very simple yet beautiful. Art installations are part of the Biennale. We sat in a little courtyard in back, which only seats about twelve people.
We're not wine connosieurs. We ordered a liter of a local prosecco, and enjoyed it very much. It's slight sweetness balanced the very garlicky flavors of our dishes perfectly. We started by sharing a mussels appetizer. They were cooked perfectly, so that they were very tender. The liquid was so flavorful that we loved dunking bread once the mussels were gone. Next, my husband had fettucine with shrimp and clams. I had cavatappi with clams and cannelini beans. Both of these dishes featured tiny little clams that were the sweetest I've ever tasted.
For dessert, my husband had their tiramisu, very fluffy and light. I had a fruit plate. It was presented beautifully, and included dark sweet cherries, watermelon, canteloupe and kiwi. Each fruit was PERFECTLY ripe.
Mimo told us that Food and Wine magazine has recently featured Avogaria. So next time we're in Venice, I'll definitely book a reservation in advance. They've been open less than a year, and things seem to be going very well for them.
Check out their website. It gives an impression which is a little more sterile than the actual ambiance, but you'll get an idea. Enjoy!