Enoteca San Marco

Venetian (last visit: May 2008).

This is the less formal of Mario Batali's restaurants located in The Venetian (the more formal is B&B Ristorante). Both lunch and dinner are served.

The Menu
Full meals are available, but the emphasis is on antipasti: cured meats, bits of seafood, vegetables, cheeses, and more. Wine is featured, not only by the glass but by the quartino (just over 8 ounces). There are a number of desserts, with most involving gelato in one way or another.

The Atmosphere
Located in the Venetian's shopping arcade, in the Piazza San Marco section, Enoteca consists of a food bar and a number of small tables, all in the pseudo open air of the arcade. There may tables inside, but I never checked.  Because of the arcade, there's a fair amount of background noise. It's usually not horribly loud - until performers in the plaza start belting out some old chestnut.

Service is casual and generally OK, but one time it was slow: slow to be greeted and offered a table (there was no hostess); slow to get a menu; slow to take my order; slow to get my bill.

Meal #1
OK, not exactly a meal. I stopped by just for its gelato, about which I had read good things. I chose three flavors:
Memory can be a tricky thing, but I can't recall ever having had better gelato. Better ice cream once or twice, but never better gelato.

Meal #2
I selected four antipasti as my meal:
Accompanying all this were some bread sticks - good to eat while waiting for the food - and some crusty bread - just right with the antipasti.

I even managed to find room for dessert: a Pick Me Up. It consisted of espresso gelato, mascarpone, chocolate sauce and crunchies.
The gelato was again excellent.

Meal #3
Another gelato-only stop. A major disappointment: salted caramel wasn't available. Cheesecake gelato had good texture, and the flavor was indeed reminiscent of cheesecake. However, it was a bit bland. Torrone wasn't as creamy as it could be, and also was bland. Neither flavor was bad, but they didn't live up to my expectations.

I liked my meal at Enoteca. I loved their gelato twice, but the last time wasn't as good. Still, I plan to give it another try.

The Bill
My meal was $40, plus drinks, tax and tip. When I stopped just for dessert, gelato was $9, plus $9 for a glass of dessert wine.

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