Old Venice is average at best

It was rather late and I was hungry and after a few unfortunate incidents of trying to eat at other places, I was just glad to be able to sit down and get some food in my stomach.

I’d heard of Old Venice from several San Diego friends, most of them telling me that it was a seriously romantic spot to dine. I’m guessing they were probably meaning the patio in the back which was not available and I wasn’t able to have a look even.

We ended up sitting in the main dining room, which, could be described as romantic to some degree, but the din from the packed room was overpowering and shattered any romantic notions there might have been from Christopher Eme’s Ortolan-esque decor.

Since it was late, we decided to order an entree each. I hate being really full before bed but was famished to the point that I was about to pass out. Luckily, they brought out some bread for us to nibble on while we perused the menu.

I dove straight into it and while it staved off my looming hunger, the fact that the bread was stale didn’t escape me. But what to do? I needed something, so continued to take a few more bites and tried to garner the attention of our server to quickly get our orders in.

Soup of the day was cream of mushroom — it came with the meal — and sadly was so over-salted it was hard to keep eating.

Button mushrooms were scarce and it wasn’t appetizing enough to finish. Just thought it weird that an Italian restaurant opted to serve cream of mushroom instead of minestrone, Italian wedding soup or Tuscan kale soup.

Luckily, La Regina ($25) a squid ink linguini fared far better. I’d been wanting this for a while after having a conversation about squid and its many uses with Jay on Twitter one day.

I was happy to see that it was a seafood dish with clams, shrimp, scallops, fresh fish, mussels, and baby clams in a white wine marinara sauce. Everything that I love. The fact that there is also sautéed garlic, onions fresh basil and roma tomato just made it sound even better.

The seafood was definitely very fresh and flavorful. I loved everything especially the scallops which was perfectly cooked and so tender like butter. The sauce was light and flavorful — although it was pretty much a tomato sauce rather than a white wine sauce — and the portion immense!

My friend’s beef filet with mushroom pasta was a special that evening and consisted of tender chunks of beef topped with a mushroom sauce, again, most tomato-ey than anything else.

I was disappointed to see that only button mushrooms were used rather than an assortment. It was okay, nothing special, and definitely not quite worth the $20+ price tag. The lack of effort did it in for me I think.

I had a couple glasses of the Australian Four Sisters Sauvignon Blanc ($6.75/glass) which was a good accompaniment to my seafood pasta.

I’m not sure I would return if I was hankering for above average Italian food. It was fine, but for $80, I can think of several places where the food would’ve blown this place out of the water. And as far as romantic goes, on a quiet night I can possibly see that happening, but I definitely didn’t get the cozy romantic spot atmosphere everyone was raving about on this particular night.

Old Venice
2910 Canon Street
Point Loma, CA
Tel: 619-222-5888

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