Saturday, April 21, 2012

Caffé Venice Pizzeria & Ristorante

We had an OK dinner at Caffé Venice Pizzeria & Ristorante recently, though it was not our original intent to eat there. We walked in on a Saturday night expecting to see our favorite waitress, but the faces in the restaurant were unfamliar. It seems the the former Caffe Positano owners sold their business and now it's called Caffé Venice Pizzeria & Ristorante--though it took 3 months to put a new name on the marquee. Well, we decided to give it a try. This is a mixed review, some good, some not so good. But you can go and decide for yourself.
Our waiter, Stephen, was very competent and attentive, giving good service and answering all our questions. After getting over our initial shock, we started with some wine and ordered an appetizer, the mozzarella sticks. They were pretty ordinary, run-of-the-mill mozzarella sticks, though the marinara was pretty good. They were tasty enough, but I could have gotten the same things at many bars and much cheaper restaurants.
We also had some bread come out, along with some olive oil for dipping. The bread, too, was just OK. It was nothing too special and did not seem to be homemade--rather my guess is that it came in frozen and they bake it there. Still, it was OK. It was nice that they brought bread and we didn't need to request it--I hate when that happens. 
We started our dinners with a salad. I had the Italian dressing. It came already dressed and, for my taste, just a bit over dressed--but that's on me for not asking for the dressing on the side. It was a pretty standard salad with some carrots, red cabbage, a bit of tomato, romaine, etc. All that a decent salad should be.
For his main course Tommy had the Chicken Francais, chicken that was battered and lightly sauteed in a white wine and lemon cream sauce. I'll have to say, the chicken itself was very very tender. Perhaps just a bit over brined (a tad bit salty), but nonetheless, it was very good. The lemon of the sauce was just a bit overpowering, but still it was a very good dish. It was served with some mixed vegetables and potatoes on the side. These too were very good, and cooked properly. Overall, this was a very good dish and Tommy loved it a lot, as did i when i tasted it.
For my main course I chose a special of the day, as recommended by our waiter, it was home-made ravioli stuffed with chicken, spinach, and cheese. The presentation was a bit "red" for me, the ravioli were surrounded by a vodka cream sauce and topped with some sun dried tomatoes. Unfortunately, the home-made ravioli were quite tough. I mean, the pasta part of them was very tough. I wonder if they taste their own food when the cook it. The flavors were pretty good, but it was hard to get past the tough pasta to really enjoy the dish. I was disappointed in this dish.
Overall, our experience was just "OK." I think we were a bit shocked to find our favorite Italian restaurant gone, and I know I was disappointed in the homemade ravioli, though everything else was OK. I guess I'll give it a "like" vote on, but only by a little, and only because I like to support local businesses. I reserve the right to return and, if need be, change my vote. But I suggest you give it a try and see for yourself!Caffé Venice Pizzeria & Ristorante on Urbanspoon


  1. What!? Caffe Positano is gone? Is the one in Sanford still there?

    1. I believe the one in Sanford is still there, it's a pizza place, mostly. And the on in Apopka is still there. But the one in Lake Mary has changed hands and is now Caffe Venice. So sad to see Lake Mary's Caffe Positano go, it was a favorite of mine!

  2. Lake Mary Food Critic,

    I would like to cordially Invite you to have dinner on us @ 25% OFF. We have a new menu, featuring homemade BIG ravioli, and fresh egg pasta ! Drop in anytime.