My O My... Make a reservation so you can get in. We have had a couple of good meals in Port A, but none of them compared to what we encountered at Venetian Hot Plate.
Let's start with the personnel who work here. Our server Paul, was beyond excellent. He shared with us that he actually had started as a Sous Chef and eventually ended up front of the house. He knew the menu like the back of his hand, since he had at some point made the dish we were going to eat. He steered me away from the Crab Cakes and to the Pork Chop Special. As he said, we always have the Crab Cakes, but we won't be having this much longer. We ordered Calamari, Salad and Suzie had the Bolognese. Along with the attentive, friendly, engaging and efficient service from Paul, there was a another young server assistant. She made sure we had pepper, would clear our plates, provide water or anything else we needed. She was a great compliment to him. Great team work throughout the night. The place was hoping, he had a large top of 10 and several other tables which were turning quickly and he always made it back to us at the right time. Ask for Paul if you go.
Appetizer was the grilled calamari with a roasted garlic pepper sauce. It was served on endive lettuce. This was fantastic start to our meal. The roasted garlic added a velvety smoothness to the dish and the calamari was tender and perfectly seasoned. The endive gave a nice bitterness to the dish and brought it all together.
Insalate choice was the grilled romaine plate, split at tableside by Paul. This plate is definitely worth sharing. The romaine came with a nice grill on it and was topped with paramesan and crispy procuitto. Very tasty and quite a different take on a traditional salad offerings. They had previously came out with a bread plate with an olive oil and balsamic dipping sauce sprinkled with red pepper flakes, which went well with our salad choice.
Entrees.. then the pork chop arrived. A large chop, siting atop a mushroom risotto with a side of wilted spinach. On top of the chop were three gooey slices of brie which had just begun to melt over the chop itself. The meal was perfectly balanced with the wonderfully cooked main, accompanied by the spinach nicely sauteed. The risotto was served a little over a dente and I think the only thing they could of improved on was to use wild mushrooms to really get the earthiness out of the mushrooms. This was a stunner of a plate. Suzies's bolognese was good, not the best she has ever had, but certainly worth the price point paid. She opted for the al forno style, which meant she got more cheese placed on top and then baked before coming to the table. She was a little saddened that she didn't opt for one of the specials, but I keep her cooing by providing her little bites of pork and risotto from time to time.
We both got an carafe of wine, don't see that much in places anymore. A Pinot G for me and a nice red for her. We enjoyed the surroundings as the restaurant filled to capacity very quickly. We choose to pass on the desert, we were totally stuffed, and head up to the bar to have another glass or 4 of wine. It was there that we met the owner, Linda. A husky voiced Italian from outside of Venice if I recall. She was the nice lady who called me to confirm my reservations. While we were at the little bar, there were a constant stream of visitors coming in, only to be turned away since they were booked solid. Make a reservation or you will not be eating here. Our bartender was very pleasant and keep the conversation lively, while we enjoyed our wine and new guests as they came in.
This is hands down the best Port A has to offer for our trip. If we venture back to Port A, we will not miss another meal here.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.