Any suggestions in Venice?
Must have great food/wine. Less than $100 for 2.
Joe's is a standard for great food & wine in Venice. Food, wine and service is stylized and a bargain depending on when and what you eat. $100 for two? If it's brunch or lunch, yes, but for dinner? I think you'd easily break a C-note after all was said and done.
A couple doors down is Lilly's - a French cafe with good options, about a third as pricy, and of course good wine choices. A shared app or salad, entrees, and a couple glasses of wine with tip should work.
The next (very short) block up is Axe - think tribute to Alice Waters Venice-style. Far more informal in terms of atmosphere and menu than the first two, the menu is broad and excellent, and the beer and wine lists are very good as well. I think this place will give you the most bang for your buck - the least pricey of the three, but closed Mondays and Tuesdays...
Lilly's French Cafe & Bar
1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291
1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291
1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
I find these queries a bit hard to answer -- Does the OP want full multi-course dinners for two including tax, tip and a bottle of decent wine? Or does the couple's tastes run more towards a shared starter, two entrees, a shared dessert, and a couple glasses of wine? If the former, not sure it can be done in Venice unless we start considering places like C & O or Alejo's south in Marina Del Rey or Frito Misto or ethnic Thai north in Santa Monica. If the latter, then all of the above come into play, and I'd add Hal's.
My best advice would be to check the restaurant's website -- most if not all of the above have sample menus with prices. If not, check menupages.com. Then search the board or ask further for reviews and impressions.
Note: Antica Pizzeria (below) is indeed very good, certified by someone somewhere as "authentic," and can probably meet the price point. But it is further south in Marina Del Rey, and is in a stripmall rather than a quaint, artistic, bohemian type of local avenue like the others on Abbot Kinney. And if price and a "Venice vibe" are paramount, I'll throw Baby Blues BBQ into the mix. Relaxed atmosphere but a buzz, good food (pulled pork and ribs more than brisket or chicken), and tattooed bartenders and pierced waitresses.
I've haven't been yet but some who have mentioned that dinner at Gjelina gets a bit pricey because of the nature of the food and portion-sizes. At the same time, this could work for the OP if ordering with discretion. I've peeked inside - it's very dark - saw a fair amount of wines hanging on the walls just beyond the dining area and kinda adjacent to the patio and kitchen entrance - don't know if this is standard for how they store their wines or just a design element but I'd pass on ordering at least any of those wines...
Less than $100 for 2 is tough. But Gjelina or 3 Square - it can be done. Both have great food and great wine selections.
for italien food, i'd go to antica pizzaria.
despite the name and the location in a shopping mall, the food is very authentic and high quality.
the owner is a member of the neopolitan pizza makers association in naples, italy.
the flour they use for the pizzas is imported from italy.
the cheeses they use are high quality.
their grilled vegetable platter with cheese is excellent.
i haven't personally had their pastas, but my friends who have say that they are excellent.
and, most importantly, the food is excellent.
(note: neopolitan pizza is EXTREMELY thin-crust. you will need a fork and knife to eat it.)