Arriving in Venice, Italy for one night before heading to Asolo for a week of discovery, my friend and I wanted a delicious meal. I put my trust in her to find a place as she is one of my favorite people to dine with and enjoy tasting menus. She reserved us a table at Bistrot de Venise, which is mentioned in the Michelin Guide. Arriving from the airport, there was a little time to prepare before we headed to the restaurant. Despite lacking sleep, we embarked on a Chef's Tasting Menu with wine pairing. We enjoyed unique wine pairings with the modern interpretation of historic Venetian cuisine and that is why Bistrot de Venise is the Please the Palate pick of the week.
Bistrot de Venise was founded in 1993 but since 1999, Executive Chef Stefano Novello has been exploring historical Venetian cuisine which includes recipes from Venetian chefs from the 14th to the 18th centuries.
And Sommelier Stephen Cipolato has a list of over 60 wines by the glass and more than 300 carefully selected Italian and French labels. There are the great classic wines of Italy as well as rare wines, such as Rebula, Rabosi, Verduzzo, and more.
The menu options include a la carte, a Historic and Classic tasting menu, and the Chef Experience Tasting Menu. The Chef Experience Tasting Menu is 7 courses with the option of adding a wine pairing, which is what we chose.
To start, we enjoyed a glass of Fongaro Bianca Brut Classic Method sparkling wine from the Lessini Mountains in the Veneto region. The wine had lovely brioche notes and fresh, chalky acidity.
And we enjoyed a selection of "cicchetti" (Venetian bar snacks) which included three small portions of dishes in the appetizer section of the menu. There were two historical dishes, a Prawn in “Saor”, which is a dish of sweet and sour prawns, onion, sweet spices, sultanas, and pine nut milk, and Marinated Sturgeon, marinated with yeast, soused celeriac and beetroot, buttermilk, and olive oil. The third plate was Jerusalem artichokes with toasted hazelnuts, oregano, and marjoram.
After the amuse-bouche, we were poured a glass of Ronchi di Ciallo 2017 Verduzzo di Cialla from the Friuli Colli Orientali Sottozoma Cialla.
This deep golden-colored wine was rich and textured and was paired with seared foie gras with a shrimp on top and a tart red berry jam. Foie gras is so rich and the wine was able to stand up to it while also cutting the richness with its acidity. The shrimp added a creamy texture and the tart jam also cut the richness of the dish.
The Giuseppe Cortese 2020 Barbaresco was our next wine. It is a young Barbaresco, yet so drinkable with smooth tannins.
The Barbaresco was paired with Rabbit and Black Truffle. The rabbit loin was thinly sliced and topped with black truffles, greens, and quince paste. The wine was both light enough and both enough to pair beautifully with the rabbit.
For the third course, we returned to white wine with the Castel Sallegg 2929 Leopoldin Pinot Blanc from Alto Adige.