Located in Downtown Binghamton, Little Venice continues to be a staple for the local community and Binghamton University students alike. For over 30 years, this Italian eatery has been serving up freshly made pasta and mouth watering desserts.
For this fall’s Restaurant Week, they offer a $15 three-course lunch and $25 three-course dinner. Both myself and my photographer Caspar had never been to Little Venice, so we were excited to try a few of their dishes. Upon entering, I immediately took note of the vastness of the restaurant. As you walk past and around the bar, you are met with the main dining area where intimate booths are alongside the walls and rustic tables are scattered throughout.
Beautiful brick archways mark the separation between where food is brought out and onto your table, and over 150 paintings from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries line the walls of the restaurant. The paintings elevate the Italian charm that is felt from the restaurant’s cool brown tone palette and soft classical music playing in the background.
Before Caspar and I got to ordering, the server came out with a basket of bread and butter for us to start. The bread was airy and paired with the butter, it was a great start to the meal.
For my first course, I had the bruschetta which consisted of the same bread but topped with diced tomatoes, garlic, oregano and lightly grated parmesan. I appreciated that the server had the olive oil on the side, so I could control how much or how little I wanted to drizzle onto my bruschetta. The tomatoes were fresh and had a great bite to them. Caspar ordered the house made soup of the day, which was Italian wedding. He described it as cheesy and a perfect fall soup.
For entrees, I had the ravioli and opted not to include the meat logs. Stuffed with ricotta cheese and covered with the restaurant’s signature red sauce, the pasta was both fulfilling and tasty. I was pleasantly surprised to find the sauce slightly sweet, but it worked toward the dish’s advantage as it balanced out the saltiness of the cheese. Caspar ordered the chicken cutlet parmigiana which is served with their house made spaghetti. He found a liking to the crispiness of the chicken and thought it was perfectly cooked. As for the spaghetti, he enjoyed the texture and described it as homemade.
Lastly, for dessert I ordered the chocolate mousse, which was the highlight of the night. It came in a dainty glass cup paired with its own spoon, making it the perfect little treat after a hearty meal. Topped with whipped cream, the mousse was so light and fluffy that it melted in my mouth. It was creamy, smooth and slightly reminded me of chocolate ice cream. Caspar ordered the cannoli — a classic Italian delicacy. He was met with three, two-bite sized cannolis which were a perfect blend of sweetness from the chocolate chips and a dash of spice from the cinnamon. We tried each other’s desserts and he agreed that the mousse was excellent while I also found a liking for the cinnamon-y hint of the cannoli.
Little Venice is a restaurant that molds together comfort food and a cozy atmosphere. With its rich artistic decorations, high-quality service and a variety of Italian dishes, it is the place to be.