Venezia is a charming family-run Italian bistro located on St. Armands Circle, just a short walk from the crystal-blue waters of Lido Beach and the bustling centre of Sarasota. Although it opened in 2009, Venezia's history goes back further than that. Since 1966, Rafael Miccio’s family has owned a successful Italian restaurant, also called Venezia in Mar del Plata, Argentina, a resort-style town on the beach very similar to the Sarasota area. So it's no wonder the family fell in the love with this part of Florida and decided to call it home. Today, Miccio’s father and uncle continue to operate the restaurant in Argentina, while Miccio carries on the family tradition on St Armand's Circle with much of the staff being family members and many of the recipes coming straight from the kitchen of Miccio's Nonna. “The lasagna is the same as my grandma made,” says Miccio. Known for their excellent homemade pastas and light and crispy Calamari Fritti with zucchini and roasted peppers, the Napoletana-style thin crust pizzas are always a popular choice at Venezia, with over 15 selections from which to choose. Cooked at a high heat in a gas-fired pizza oven and brought to the table perched on top of enormous empty plum tomato cans, we generally order a classic Margherita, but the Pizza ai Funghi is also delicious, with one large enough for two people to share.
Stella Artois beer
Lightly fried calamari, zucchini and roasted peppers with marinara sauce and Venezia dressing
Pizza ai Funghi with tomato sauce, mozzarella and cremini mushrooms