Venice is an intricate maze of narrow streets and bridges, and I’m convinced that even the locals tote around a map to confirm their way back home at night. I inquired with my hotel about how to get to Dorsoduro (where the restaurant is), but in true Kyle fashion, I bucked their advice and decided to blaze my own trail. I know what you’re all thinking…I walked so far in the wrong direction that I ended up in Mestre. Wrong! I actually arrived at the restaurant an hour early, took stock of the gorgeous place where I had dinner over two years ago now, and was whisked back to the kitchen to begin cooking.
Francesco moved about the smallish kitchen while I feverishly scribbled down notes, and took pictures. The lemon pasta tasted like a savory version of Lemonheads (sidebar: I love Lemonheads) and elicited a silent reaction from me…because I was so busy shoving my face full of the lemony masterpiece. And the ravioloni were a close second. The sea bass flavor was subtle, the burratta silky, and after we plucked them off their ravioloni rafts, the langoustines tasted like lobster.
Perhaps you’re wondering how I scored the opportunity for a backstage pass at Avogaria. I wish I had some dramatic answer, like I purchased a scratch card on Ryanair and won the afternoon with the chef, but the truth of the matter is quite simple: I just asked. Francesco remembered me from two years ago when I dined in their restaurant, so when I told him about Culinary Hopscotch and told him I would love for the Venice edition to include Avogaria, he graciously offered to have me as their guest. My second impression of the restaurant was better than the first. It’s off the well-worn tourist path, and the food that comes out of Francesco’s kitchen paints the perfect picture of Venice. It’s light, it’s tempting, and like the jagged streets of this picture-perfect city, there is a surprise at every turn.
Next Stop: Ljubljana