When we arrived in Venice, we asked our concierge for a recommendation for dinner and he recommended Al Paridiso. Unfortunately, when he called they were totally booked, so we opted to go the following Tuesday. By then, the weekend crowds were gone and when we arrived at the restaurant we were only ones there. We were greeted by the owner, a very charming and endearing gentleman. He took care of us all evening. The restaurant was very warm and inviting. The service was wonderful. We felt like we were dining in someone’s home. When we asked for a wine recommendation, he told us they had a house wine that was pretty good, but if we didn’t like it we could have something else. It was very good. Then we were encouraged by our waiter (the owner) to share our appetizer and pasta courses. We had the spider crab and the pasta with clams. It was obvious when he served our food that he was very proud of what he was serving. We had the turbot for 2 as an entrée and it was so fresh and simply prepared. They served an assortment of rolls, and one type was spectacular—fresh from the oven baked with olives. When he noticed that we liked them, he brought more, even though we still had the rest of the bread basket that we hadn’t eaten. He knew we were too full for dessert—so he brought us each a glass of red dessert wine and a plate of cookies. After we had paid the bill, and he saw my husband getting some cash from his wallet, he came right over and gestured for my husband to put his wallet away, that the service was already included—but my husband wanted to leave an extra tip because the service was so above and beyond. I don’t remember that ever happening to us anywhere. The whole evening was just so lovely. I wanted to hug him when we left. We both agreed that this was the most enjoyable dining experience of the more than a dozen restaurants we visited in Venice. Can’t wait to return.
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