Venice deserves restaurants that are as spectacular as the scenery. With the arrival of GLAM Restaurant, Palazzo Venart, that’s now the case. Enrico Bartolini is Italy’s youngest ever two Michelin star chef, gaining his first star at age 29 and another at 33. Now he has opened his first restaurant in Venice…
Located in Palazzo Venart, a new 5 star hotel, it’s a real hidden gem. The 16th century palazzo is one of only 2 in Venice with a garden directly overlooking the Grand Canal and you can arrive by water taxi if you wish. Before our meal, the General Manager kindly showed us around the hotel. It’s a labour of love for the owners who have furnished the palazzo with exquisite antiques.
Each of the 18 rooms and suites has its own charm and modern conveniences have been seamlessly integrated. Part of the LDC luxury hotel group, it’s their first property in Venice. We enjoyed a glass of Prosecco in the drawing room before heading downstairs for dinner. The restaurant manager, Angelo, introduced himself and led us into the cosy dining room.
Our dinner began with a fantastic selection of amuse-bouche, as pleasing to the eye as they were on the palate. The vegetables had a wonderful crunchiness and the truffled egg was also a highlight.
We sampled the tasting menu, which promises 6 distinctive tastes. Venice is known for its seafood and our sardines in saor didn’t disappoint. Saor is a sweet and sour recipe with the sardines marinated in vinegar, white onions, raisins and pine nuts.
A yellow courgette and herb salad really did justice to these fresh ingredients.
Our starters went perfectly with a Bellavista Alma Gran Cuvée Franciacorta Brut, a full bodied sparkling wine from the Lombardy region. With notes of apricot and pears, it’s extremely well balanced.
Our first course was a superb risotto with porcini mushrooms and an innovative curry sauce – not something that I’d immediately associate with a risotto but it works!
We also tried a delicious traditional roast ravioli with sage. The pasta was cooked al dente to just the right level and I loved the simplicity of this dish.
For our main course, we savoured a tender fillet of beef on a bed of pumpkin purée.
It was accompanied by an aromatic red wine, Le Due Terre Sacrisassi Rosso 2013. Aged in French oak barrels, it’s an unusual blend of 50% Refosco 50% Schioppettino grapes. The ruby red colour and accents of ripe berries made it very special. It lingered in the mouth and in my memory long after we’d finished it.
A creamy pre-dessert was balanced by fruit purée and crunchy nuts. Enrico clearly has a real skill in marrying different textures to create a harmonious whole. His dishes are layered in the sense that you will discover new sensations with every mouthful.
It was accompanied by a Vignalta Sirio Colli Euganei Moscato Secco Doc 2015. Just look at the beautiful colour of this dessert wine. It’s from the Veneto area, close to Padua and winemaker Luciano Gomiero popularized dry Moscato in the region, lobbying the Italian government to create the Colli Euganei Moscato DOC.
Our chocolatey dessert could well be my favourite dish of the evening. Hazelnut ice cream combined with lukewarm chocolate cream to great effect. It’s hard to convey the sheer pleasure that a meal here entails but all aspects come together to ensure a faultless experience. Service is friendly, knowledgeable and unobtrusive, the decor is stunning and the food and wine are faultless.
We ended our dinner with some delectable petit-fours and coffee. I rather embarrassingly asked for a cappuccino, having momentarily forgotten that Italians never order these after midday. As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I remembered this but our friendly waiter said that customer can order whatever they want…now that’s service! I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about this Venice hidden gem – GLAM Restaurant definitely lives up to its name.
Do you have any favourite Venice restaurants?
GLAM Restaurant and Bar, Palazzo Venart, Santa Croce 1961, 30135 Venice , Italy