Restaurant Review: Venice, Italy

CoVino


 photo by Nan McElroy
Octopus salad with fresh favas, beets and balsamic-glazed onions

Andrea Lorenzon is the host and sole proprietor of the 14-seat “enoiteca” CoVino, arguably Venice’s most enjoyable place to dine at the moment. He’s a carbon copy of his father Mauro (see Maschereta), but with the spunk of a 27-year-old. Opened in May 2013 together with Cesare Benelli (see Al Covo), CoVino offers many of the same pristine ingredients served at Al Covo, but presented in a younger, more playful iteration. The three-course menu (€36) allows guests to choose freely between “something to begin with, something to continue with, and something to finish with.” From the L-shaped open kitchen, chefs Dimitri Gris and Orsola Dissera Bragadin serve local clams with a creamy bean puree, topped with nasturtium leaves and elderflowers, or oven-roasted cod with tomatoes, potatoes, taggiasca olives and Pantelleria capers. Dessert may come in the form of a savory, deconstructed cassata of buffalo’s milk ricotta, Sicilian almonds and pistachios, chocolate nubs and candied fruit. The wine list is an exciting mix of Italian and French labels produced by winemakers that color outside the lines. A €50 magnum of La Ganga Brun Brun made outside Pordenone is a méthode champenoise blend of pinots bianco, grigio and nero, aged 36 months on the lees before disgorging.

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