Many of Venice Florida’s Italian restaurants and pizzerias have wood-fired ovens and sidewalk-table seating—appropriate for a city with an Italian name. A different sort of Mediterranean cuisine is offered at Bodrum, a small-but-great authentic Turkish restaurant.
At 117 West Venice Avenue just west of Tamiami Trail, Made in Italy prides itself on the freshness of its ingredients, its fresh-made pasta, and the pizzas from its wood-fired oven. The menu here goes beyond those basic Italian dishes to seafood salads, osso bucco, milaneses, saltimboccas and other Italian delights.
Besides the several large dining rooms, it has sidewalk tables beneath its portico..
Farther west along West Venice Avenue, at 305, Ristorante San Marco is owned by Filippo Villella, a New York restaurateur who “retired” to Venice but couldn’t give up restauranting. Chef Roberto Spinozzi brings the flavors of southern Italy to the table, great for dinner, but I particularly enjoy its lunch combos menus: several choices of smaller portions for one low price. Look at their calendar for special food events and wine cicchetti—appetizers paired with appropriate wines.
For Northern Italian cuisine, walk a few steps farther west on West Venice Avenue to number 313 and Cassariano with its pleasant sidewalk tables, a pleasant dining room, and good food. Owners Luca Cassani and Antonio Pariano, restaurateurs from northern Italy, came up with the restaurant’s name by combining their own surnames as they combine their culinary talents.
The Soda Fountain of Venice, at 349 West Venice Avenue, is also Vinnie’s Pizzeria, so you’ll find two treats for one here. A real soda fountain with old-time decor inside is the ambiance, fresh hot pizza is the substantial fare. Dine inside or at a sidewalk table.
I’ve lived and traveled in Turkey for more than half a century, so I can say with confidence that the dishes served at Bodrum, in the passage at 225 West Miami Avenue No. 5, are authentic and typically delicious Turkish cuisine. The restaurant’s name comes from the beautiful resort town on Turkey’s Aegean-Mediterranean coast.
Turkish food, much like Greek, is more savory than spicy, relying on fresh vegetables and quality meats and seafood rather than complicated preparations. If you don’t know Turkish food, you’re in for a discovery treat.