Caffe Venezia, Berkeley . . . crossed off the list
Does memory serve me? I used to like Venezia. It was a pleasant, relatively inexpensive and the food was good. It's a convenient stop after the Berkeley Rep, which is why we went last night. But this visit was really disappointing. We had collard green soup, which would have been great, except it was barely warm. Then my husband had ravioli, all five of them. And I had linguine rustica, which theoretically includes spicy Italian sausage, eggplant and peppers. The linguine was totally overcooked, and the sauce was a salty mess with no distinguishable ingredients whatsoever. It was cool in some places and hot in others. I'm guessing it was microwaved. Maybe they had made an extra serving by mistake, and I was the lucky winner. If I want to eat leftovers, I'll stay home. And if I want a pleasant place with inexpensive pasta, I'll go to Pasta Pomodoro, which is frankly better than Venezia.
I've thought Venezia was overpriced for a while now... maybe 4 years? I just can't imagine paying that much for pasta when I can make it at home or get it from Phoenix Pastifico. I mean, linguine with truffle oil? (a dish from the last time I went.) Ok, linguine from Phoenix, truffle oil from Monterey Market, and I can make it over and over again for the same price.
It's a shame, since I live about 2 blocks from it....