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Eating in Venice (sadly, not Italy)

Just returned from a foodie affair on an Alaskan cruise, packing it up to head back to school, and yearning to wine and dine at the beach one more time before I hit the books. Any recommendations for a low-key, relaxing dinner out in Venice? Has anyone been to Venice Cantina, James Beach, etc.?

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  1. Joe's or Primitivo? Not sure what you mean about "relaxing"...You mean "low-key"? Heard good things about Lilly's. Has a pretty garden area.

    Avoid Wabi-Sabi. Not relaxing at all. The waiter kept rushing us, and the hostesses were spaced out.

    1. I just joined the site and could not resist your post. I went to Venice a couple years ago and had many unenjoyable and expensive meals. Avoid ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING around a tourist site (it will be overpriced and probably not very good)ANd Harry's Bar was Highly overrated (Not worth eating there). A wonderful restaraunt is "AL COVO." -- Unfortunately I forget where it is exactly. I had the best meal in Italy there. Enjoy Venice! (I just finished "The City of Falling Angels" which was about the burning of the Fenice Opera House in 1996 and I recommend it!)

      -Kate

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      1. re: kms180

        I am so embarassed- clearly i did not read the title correctly- Sorry for my idiotic mistake!

      2. If you do not mind eating over on Washington Blvd. instead of Abbot Kinney, I would say take a look at The Terrace at the end of Washington. Pretty quiet. I recommend sitting outside.

        Otherwise Lilly's is pretty low key and has a nice back area.

        Joe's is great, but is on the pricier side.

        1. I work out in Venice. While Venice Cantina and James Beach are low key, I don't know if I would really call them relaxing. They're both popular hot spots for happy hour, so they can both get loud rather quickly.

          I really enjoy Joe's, Lilly's, and Primitivo out on Abbott Kinney. Hal's is just okay, though over-priced for what you get. Have you tried Beechwood? It's on Washington at the intersection of Abbot Kinney. Its restaurant and bar opens up at 6:00 p.m. Love going here after work to hang out with co-workers. Has a very wide bar area and outside patio complete with a lava rock fire pit. Get there as early as possible to claim a good spot. Very casual, and wonderfully lively. Great full bar and appetizer selection. Haven't had dinner here yet, but some of my friends have and they enjoy it.

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          1. I highly recommend 26 Beach for a low-key evening in Venice. It has an area of the restaurant that is shabby chic decor (called the "garden" but it's not really outdoor) or another part that is french bistro-like. Food (wide selection, something for everyone) and service is great and the prices are not ridiculous!!

            1. I highly recommend Joes. Great food. Great atmosphere.

              1. Personal favorites: Axe on Abbot Kinney. Gaby's on Washington. Enjoy, enjoy.

                1. Thank you for the recommendations! I'll let the others know. I love Joe's, too, but I desire something less of the 'fine dining' atmosphere. :-)

                  Also, kms 180 - it's no problem. I loved Venice - though the murky water, gondola boater's refusal to sing, and green mold on the inner city walls left a bad taste in my mouth. Nevertheless, it's a city rich in culture, history, and food.

                  Thank you, all!

                  1. try shima-1432 Abbot Kinney Blvd (no sign)

                    delicate delicious japanese food, cooked, raw, vegan options. uses organic ingredients. artful, low keyed and relaxe

                    1. Went to Shima last week. Birthday dinner for 6. Saturday night. Full house(25 people). They were overwhelmed.
                      50 minutes to get some water! No exageration.

                      60 bucks a head. Maybe 10 Bites of food.

                      Not sure if I can justify going back.

                      I like Primitivo these days. A bit of a scene but can be fun. Don't get too crazy with the menu. Keep it simple.

                      Anti Pasto
                      Duck Breast
                      Pork Belly
                      Garlic Shrimp

                      Avoid the Paella.