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Venezia Restaurant in Glendale- Disappointing

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Last week, me and a friend dined at Venezia located in the Atlas Park Mall on Cooper Avenue and 80th Street in Glendale. We ate there because we were very hungry, Shiro of Japan was closed, and we had very bad experiences with the California Pizza Kitchen the week before.

We were told that it has just been open for a month, and replaced the former Havana Bistro space. The place was very small inside, and had a tiny kitchen that you can see on the way to the restrooms, but had a huge bar. We ate outside, and had to request an umbrella for the table due to the sun, and they happily obliged.

Since we were both eating light, my friend and I ordered specially-made salads with a lot of greens, and asked for roasted peppers, tomato, and cucumber. My friend also had fresh mozzarella on her salad, and ordered a side dish of the chicpea salad that was listed on the menu as accompanying an octopus dish (we don't care for octopus, so we asked for the chickpeas on the side, and after some negotiating, they also complied).

It took about 20 minutes for the salads to come out, and the greens were warm. The portion was meager, and the fresh mozzarella still had the residue from the package on the outside (it didn't taste like it came from Lioni's or any of the other big fresh mozzarella distributors in the region, but instead tasted like Belgioso, but that's neither here nor there).

I also ordered a side dish of steamed green beans, and those came about 20 minutes after the salad came, along with the chicpea salad. The chickpea salad had the ammonia-like flavor of bottled lemon juice, and we could easily tell they were Goya, since it doesn't seem as if they were chilled or rinsed, so they kept the metallic flavor of the can that lingers when you don't rionse canned vegetables or beans).

The bottle of olive oil they brought to the table was also very warm, as they kept it outdoors under the direct sun without an awning or umbrella over their outdoors service area, and we had to ask for a monkey dish of oil from the kitchen, one that wouldn't cause the problems of plastic/BPA left out in the hot sun.

The bread that they brought was absolutely terrible. It did not have the crust or crumb/consistency of any Italian bread you would ever find in this city. It was very light, almost underbaked, had a very weak crust, and the bread was too crumbly, and it had an unusual vein of oil down the middle of each slice that the lovely waiter couldn't explain. I think it might have been an Albanian bread, because I spoke to the owners and they were telling me about how they lived in an Italian DP camp after leaving Yugoslavia before emigrating to the US. Nice guys, though, and they had an adorable little dog that romped around the outdoor seating area. They were eating a plate of grilled lamb shoulder chops and some vegetables on the side, which looked delicious, but for the price ($32), they were not worth it. One could get even better lamb chops for much cheaper and for bigger portions at one of the many good Turkish places in the city.

Also, we requested roasted peppers and instead received pickled red pepper halves that tasted of white vinegar and sugar, much like the sort of pickled pepeprs you would buy from an Polish/Balkan/Eastern European market. In a restaurant named Venezia, one would expect regular roasted peppers, but sweet and sour pickled peppers? Yet again, the ownership may explain the choice of bread and peppers.

All in all, I cannot say we left satisfied, especially since they charged us $15 each for a meager salad that was mostly just greens and for a monkey dish of vegetables. Will we return? Probably not, unless they have a really good promotion of some sort, like a Groupon where you get $50 in food for $25 or something like that.

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Shiro of Japan
80-40 Cooper Ave, Queens, NY 11385

California Pizza Kitchen
80-00 Cooper Ave, Queens, NY 11385

Venezia
80-00 Cooper Ave, Queens, NY 11385

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  1. wow, sounds awful not just disappointing..place had bad vibe to me, and previous place sucked, too. It would be a great little cafe spot, for just salads, sandwiches, soups, and desserts--and drinks--done expertly.............too bad.

    Have you tried the raw organic village place nearby? They would be pretty cool there in the center, although Glendale doesn't exactly exude organic--------oh well........

    Guess we'll have to wait and see what happens there since the mall is under new ownership. Have you been to the sat farmers market there?

    5 Replies
    1. re: janie

      I like that about Glendale. It is one of the last American, true-blue parts of NYC. We wanted to try the organic place, but in the future we may be heading to one of the really nice looking Italian places in Middle Village- Mario's, Dolce, Rosa's, the Milan Sports Bar, and other assorted caffes, which we used to have a lot more of in Bensonhurst, where I live. I do think, though, that Atlas Park could use some better choices. Shiro of Japan has atrocious hours, and I am surprised how they do good business. They're only open from 12-3 and 5-9, and are thus unavailable at very busy times in the mall. California Pizza Kitchen is only where I at at when dieting due to the calorie counts and the decent minestrone (1 huge bowl is listed as 262 calories, which makes it a good meal, with a 170 calorie side salad).

      -----
      Shiro of Japan
      80-40 Cooper Ave, Queens, NY 11385

      California Pizza Kitchen
      80-00 Cooper Ave, Queens, NY 11385

      1. re: janie

        If I ever am there on Saturdays, I will check out the Farmer's Market, and when I drum up the appetitie, many also check out Zum Stammtisch, their adjoining pork store, and Rudy's Konditorei, which I would think are the last German places remaining in that whole Middle Village-Glendale-Maspeth-Ridgewood part of Queens, which I adore.

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        Zum Stammtisch
        69-46 Myrtle Ave, Queens, NY 11385

        Rudy's Pastry Shop
        905 Seneca Ave, Queens, NY 11385

        Greenmarket at The Shops at Atlas Park
        80-00 Cooper Ave, Queens, NY 11385

        1. re: tractarian

          I ate a few years ago at Zum Stammtisch and found it unbelievably bland. I had Jaegerschnitzel which is supposed to be tasty. It tasted like rubbery veal with canned beef gravy over it. The dumplings that came with it were also a non-event. My dinner companion had the Sauerbraten and it was also tasteless. I hope they have a different chef when you try it.

          On a brighter note, I recently ate at Schnitzel Haus on 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge with a party of five and we all loved the food. We are going back soon.

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          Schnitzel Haus
          7319 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

          Zum Stammtisch
          69-46 Myrtle Ave, Queens, NY 11385

          1. re: Sluggo1407

            I live right near the Schnitzel Haus. I won't waste my time with the Zum Stammtisch restaurant, although I would like to check out their new pork store/butcher shop.

            I would like to try Koenig's in Floral Park. They seem to have a very good looking buffet on Wednesday nights, they have a German bakery nearby, and could be accessed by subway and bus, since Floral Park is literally just a few blocks across the Queens-Nassau border. My Italian grandfather loved German food, perhaps becuase he served in WWII, and made a great sauerbraten, which I haven't had in over 25 years.

            -----
            Schnitzel Haus
            7319 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

            Zum Stammtisch
            69-46 Myrtle Ave, Queens, NY 11385

            1. re: tractarian

              Hi tractarian,

              If you're going to check out the Zum Stammtisch Pork Store and it also happens to be a Saturday, I suggest doing the whole meat-mania she-bang by going just down the street to Ridgewood and hitting up Muncan Meat Market. at 60-86 Myrtle Ave., Morscher's Pork Store at 58-44 Catalpa Ave. and the Ridgewood Pork Store at 516 Seneca Ave.

              Each is a little different. If it's a Sunday, however, the Zum Stammtisch Pork Store will be the only one that is open.

              Ciao,

              Glendale is hungry...

              -----
              Zum Stammtisch
              69-46 Myrtle Ave, Queens, NY 11385

              Muncan Food Corp.
              60-86 Myrtle Ave, Queens, NY 11385

              Ridgewood Pork Store
              516 Seneca Ave, Queens, NY 11385

              Morscher's Pork Store
              58-44 Catalpa Ave, Queens, NY 11385