We had not been to the Venice Club for many years. Under new management, everything has been updated, most importantly the decor, menu and food quality. No longer a dark, dingy room, the dining area is bright and well decorated. The menu has been modernized and accentuates pasta dishes and specialty pizza. The quality of the food is much better, though prices are up a bit, like everywhere else.For our meals, we started with deep fried eggplant, the signature dish of this restaurant which sells gobs of it as a Summerfest favorite. This is the best fried eggplant I've ever had: perfectly fried with a light batter and tasting wonderfully glorious with the marinara sauce provided. Competent salads followed, then main courses. My wife and friends all had pasta based dishes which they loved. Servings were generous, providing everyone with leftovers for the next day's lunch. I had an anchovy specialty pizza with multiple toppings. This was one of those meals where I wished I had gotten what my table mates had ordered. My 12" pizza looked good, completely covered with cheese, mushrooms, olives and anchovies, but the crust was disappointingly dry, hard and slightly singed. My anchovies, which usually dominate a pizza with their intense flavor so completely, most people won't even share a pizza with me when I just get them on my own half, were basically undetectable by taste, though I could see they were present. I've never encountered anchovies so tasteless. So my pizza was a disappointment. The other problem we encountered was our waitress. Cute as a button, she was busy as a bee throughout our meal, constantly checking how we were doing with our food and refilling our drinks or getting new ones. That was good. What was bad was she kept trying to remove our food and drinks before we were done with it including our salads, our bread, and our wine. At the completion of our meal she brought us containers for our leftovers and our checks, but then disappeared, requiring one of us to eventually get up to search for her so we could pay our bills and leave. However, overall, we were pleasantly surprised with the positive changes at the Venice Club and will return soon when we desire a hearty Italian meal.
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