Though Americans can now easily travel to Venice again, lovers of Italian cuisine and cocktails can get an authentic taste of the iconic city in New York starting this week (that is, if they can get off the waitlist.)
From the creators of the new West Village restaurant Saint Theo’s, developer Robert Goldman and Grand Tour Hospitality’s Kyle Hotchkiss Carone, the bar, aptly named Venice Bar, can be found behind a velvet curtain inside the hit eatery, which opened just four months ago.
“The original inspiration behind Saint Theo’s was actually born from the idea of cicchetti (Venetian small snacks) with cocktails in a classic Venetian lounge and we developed both spaces from that core vision of your most memorable vacation to Venice,” Goldman exclusively shared with Travel + Leisure.
In an effort to bring that Venetian authenticity to the Manhattan neighborhood, the team traveled to Venice, during the Festa del Redentore — The Feast of the Redeemer. The festival, complete with a fireworks display, has been held for the past 500 years to celebrate the end of the plague in Europe. Quite the coincidence as New York has been bouncing back following the coronavirus pandemic.
The menu will transport guests directly to the beloved Italian city as they indulge while sitting on crimson-colored banquets and watching their reflection in the oversized Maitland Smith mirror. The 20-seat bar, clad with vintage Pirelli calendars and Murano sconces, will serve traditional cicchetti, a perfect way to kick off the night (or end it.)
Chef Ashley Rath, a mentee of Mario Carbone and veteran of nearby iconic restaurant The Waverly Inn, offers Venice Bar diners Polpette, breaded beef meatballs with fig jus; Tramezzino, white-bread sandwich with fried eggplant & taleggio; Funghi Fritti, beech and royal trumpet mushrooms with anchovy emulsion; Baccalà Mantecato, hand-creamed cod; and Sarde In Saor, fried sardines, onion, raisins, pine nuts.
As for cocktails, the beverage program is led by head bartender Kyle Sheridan and is dedicated to the art of both the Italian aperitivo and digestivo, featuring wine and cocktails as well as a collection of Amari and vermouth. Quintessential Italian drinks like a negroni and spritz will be served along with new takes on classics including the “St. Mark’s Basilica” made with basil vodka, Malfy Lemon Gin, Cocchi Americano, housemade lemon, and salt tincture & basil oil and the “Death in Venice” made with mezcal.
Venice Bar is open daily from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. For more information or reservations, visit Saint Theo’s website or Resy.com.