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When a friend visits from out of town, what better way to catch up than over a meal at a new restaurant? It was SDRW and I stumbled upon Old Venice Restaurant, one of the stops from last year's Taste of Point Loma. With a lunch price of $10, we couldn't resist this opportunity to revisit. NOTE: this was last year's price and it went up to $15 for this year.
With our crew of four (me, Dennis, little brother Robin, and friend) we tried almost everything on the prix fixe menu!
Pesto Baked Feta - sheep's milk feta baked with pesto oil garnished with sun-dried tomato
We basically ordered CHEESE with toppings and it was a delightful starter! This savory dish had a nice firm texture and the strong oil and tomato flavors paired quite well.
Crusty bread with sesame seeds and a happy medium of buttery garlic were available with the cheese. The bread needed some additional pull to separate (and get your hands messy) because it wasn't scored that deep.
Magic Mushrooms - button mushrooms stuffed with snow crab & shrimp and baked with provolone cheese
Robin could hardly keep his hands off the dish HE picked out and ate two pieces immediately! Luckily we got the pic just in time! For me, the mushrooms were more cheesy flavored than anything else. These came out piping hot so beware of burning your tongue!
Ensalada Venicia - walnut, yellow raisin, feta, cucumber, pineapple & roma tomato on gourmet greens, pineapple balsamic vinaigrette
Antipasto Salad - mortadella, salami, provolone cheese, greek olives & pepperoncini, gourmet greens, white wine italian vinaigrette
I enjoyed the variety of salads quite a bit. We had the healthy vegetables paired with an sweeter yet slightly acidic dressing while the other option was meat eater friendly with an herbier oil vinaigrette. The real standouts were the homemade dressings! I totally want the recipes but of course it's a kitchen secret!
Chicken Chipotle - garlic, onion, mushroom, roma tomato sauteed in chipotle cream sauce over rigatoni pasta
This pasta had a surprising punch of spicy. We first suspected the creamy sauce but on closer inspection found actual chunks of chipotle peppers (initially thought to be mushrooms)! I mostly remember the heat and that the noodles were softer than al dente.
Meat Lasagna - pasta layered with sausage, beef, ricotta, aged cheeses
Rigatoni Bolognese - spicy Italian sausage, onion, mushroom, creamy garlic marinara sauce, rigatoni baked parmesan crust
Traditional entrees had to be tasted too! The lasagna had well salted pasta sauce and cheesy meat were packed under the firm pasta. The Rigatoni radiated Italian seasoning from the fennel and other spices we tasted in the dish. The orange cream sauce was nice too.
Torpedo - combination of mortadella, Italian salami & provolone baked on an Italian roll with Italian dressing
We already had a few pasta dishes selected so decided an Italian sub would round out our meal. The bread was toasty and the meats in good proportion though I felt it needed a little more of something. The salad dressing would have been really great on this!
Indoor seating with clean white linens and simple decor.
Rustic iron chairs in a calm outdoor patio. To our left was an uncovered area which I think was being used for a wedding later in the day.
Front entrance to the restaurant.
Lunch was generous in portions and easy on the wallet but Dennis thought it was just ok overall. I preferred the appetizers over the entrees but oh my goodness, those dressings! To steal my friend's words... that sauce is BOSS. I'd return to have more.
Old Venice Restaurant
2910 Cañon St
San Diego CA 92106