Venice Italian Kitchen – Atlantic Beach, NC June 22,2019
We had an opportunity to check out a great spot in Atlantic Beach. We were invited by the owner, Orlando, to visit his restaurant and see what makes his place so special. We were unsure what to expect, knowing many Italian restaurants at the beach can be very generic pizza places with nothing distinguishing them from the next spot. This was not so at Venice Italian Kitchen. We had a great meal, in a low key, yet classy setting.
Venice Italian Kitchen has been open since November, last year. They’re set back from the beach in a low key strip mall right off of the Atlantic Beach causeway. They offer a diverse menu of great subs and sandwiches and also offer classic Italian fine dining plates. The location is a cozy setting offering old time music and classic family portraits and other works of art that previously graced walls in affiliated family restaurants. Orlando grew up in the restaurant business and his family now has nine locations dating back to the 1940s.
The existing menu, while robust, has been pared down to what time has proven to be the real winners. When speaking of trying to answer the stereo typical restaurant question “What is your best dish?”, Orlando spoke of having a very difficult time with the response. In his words, every dish on his menu is the best of the best, and every dish could be selected as the best on the menu on its own merits. They do try and rotate the menu 2-3 times per year to keep new options available, but there is always an emphasis on offering the best dishes available. All of the food is made to order. Some of the special homemade touches are the in-house meatballs, lasagna, hand pounded chicken and veal cuts, sauces, canoli’s (the filling is homemade too!), and even the salad dressings are made on site. They do partner locally for select dessert options and import sausage from New York to ensure the authentic experience. The restaurant also offers 10-12 selections of wine on a regular basis, which I thought made for a nice variety at a beach location. There is no beer or liquor, but definitely a focus on wines. I would definitely consider them for a romantic dinner in the area.
One of my favorite things I noticed on the menu, was that boating lunch boxes are available for pickup. As someone who enjoys off shore fishing, this looked like a great on boat option and the location near local fishing charters makes it a perfect fit. These boxes would also be great for a quality meal on the beach or in your vacation rental. They have delivery options through Uber Eats which is also great to have available in the area.
We tried three dishes and have only great things to say. We had the chicken parmesan which was delicious. The hand pounded chicken was very tender and cooked great. The lasagna we had was out of this world. It was thickly layered and served extremely fresh. It was apparent that this was not made in a pan like so many other places. Like everything else, the lasagna was made to order and a very good choice. We also had the angel hair pasta, with homemade red sauce. The quality of everything was great! The portions are on the large side which was also a plus. Their side salad with homemade dressing (we had the blue cheese) and table bread with oil and vinegar coated in parmesan were also delicious.
All in all, we had a great time being hosted by Orlando at Venice Italian Kitchen. We enjoyed the authentic homestyle meal and environment. I’d recommend them to locals or other passer bys. We love what we do, and were very happy to have had the opportunity to visit this special place in Atlantic Beach.