Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"I Do" Ado

We recently tried the Italian restaurant Ado in Venice following a friends recommendation. Its a little worn down house past the main section of Venice in a poorly lit residential area..have too look carefully or you will drive right by it. That said, this hole in the wall actually has an intimate charm, especially if you can get a table outside on the second floor deck (very limited seating). The menu is short and sweet with a sprinkle of creativity that is either unique to an Italian on ecstasy or classic Venice experiment. What I mean by this, is that the menu has dishes that use ingredients that I have never seen before mixed together. In fact, a number dishes initially sound unpalatable, but actually come pretty close to perfection.

Yes, they have some basic dishes as well. We started off sharing a few apps including the Beef Carpaccio topped with shaved Parmesan cheese & arugula in a Mustard Dressing, and the Seared Foie-gras served on a Quail Egg Canapé with Caramelized Pear. I would classify the quail as a fantastic rustic dish, but note the carpaccio was rather mediocre. So far.....not exciting. Then came the pastas. We had a home-made Red Beets Tagliolini in a Marsala Quail Ragu served on a bed of Taleggio cheese fondue. The beets are integrated into the flour creating a pasta that comes out red/almost purple looking and possesses the inherent sweetness of beets. It's not a sweet dish. In fact, I don't think you even have to like beets to enjoy this dish. When it is mixed in with a quail ragu and cheese fondue, it struck me as probably the most unique pasta I have ever had. While many would feel this dish may be too overpowering as an entree, I have to say that I could have easily eaten the entire dish (Bravo on the creativity)!

We also ordered the black taglini pasta with dungeneous crab meat. This dish was very disappointing though not bad enough to send back. The pasta itself was a bit slimy and seaweed like and overall lacked flavor. We had high hopes for this one, but just didn't come out right. That said, the last pasta was an absolute hit. Though skeptical at first because of the dried prunes, my husband ordered the Home-made Pappardelle served with Rabbit Ragu, Porcini Mushrooms and Dried Prunes. Again, one would not normally think of these ingredients working well together, but the prunes brought the perfect amount of sweetness to the savory rabbit. Like the beet pasta, you definitely do not need to like prunes to enjoy this dish.

I cannot tell you every dish was incredible as there certainly were some shortfalls, but this restaurant brought something to the table that you just don't find in most Italian restaurants....creativity. So, keep an open mind when coming here.

796 Main St.
Venice 90291
(310) 399-9010

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