Dining in Venice is about as casual as it gets. Cassariano is the exception, a little Italian restaurant on a quaint Venice street.
We had reservations but were called and asked if we might like to move them up due to a scheduling shift. We agreed and were happy we did. Venice is a town that sleeps early. An 8:30 reservation is plenty late for the area.
We were seated at a cozy table and never wanted for water or drink refills (no wine on this trip). Our friendly and professional waiter was courteous, knew what he was doing and also seemed to know the menu well. We were well taken care of without being smothered with service.
The food we tried was wonderful. You can get a simple plate of pasta, but Olive Garden this is not. Authentic and high end Italian ingredients were used to make delicious and unique dishes. We first tried the polenta with white truffle sauce and fontina cheese. Not being a big polenta fan, I expected nothing exciting. I'm now a convert to well cooked polenta; I kept musing out loud about it the next day it was so creamy and good.
The Arugula salad with shaved Parmesan and lemon dressing was so simple and fresh I'd eat it every day. My friend tried the pork tenderloin with prosciutto, mushrooms, Marsala and polenta. It was still succulent on the 2nd day (you will have leftovers). My chicken scaloppini with smoked mozzarella and tomatoes came on a bed of finely julienne vegetables and was delicious.
The atmosphere was quiet, the service very good and the food even better. I would highly recommend Cassariano to anyone visiting Venice. They're moving 30 feet down the street to a larger space to accommodate their growing fan base.
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