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Ask anyone who’s been to Venice why they decided to visit one of the most beautiful cities on the planet, and they probably won’t say the dining scene. But the food of the Veneto region is interesting and distinct enough to make a new Venetian-inspired restaurant well worth checking out. It’s been opened by the Salt Yard Group: a team that already runs some of London’s best small-plates joints. You’ll find Veneta in the new St James’s Market development off of Haymarket, which – despite its proximity to the tackiest bits of the West End – feels comfortable and quiet. That’s an impression that continues once you step inside Veneta itself, with its expensive-looking blue tiles, rippling glasswork and hanging lamps. The menu of small plates juggles Venetian classics and British seafood. These came one by one, rather than the as-it’s-ready cavalcade you might expect. The highlights: a gloriously gooey single gnudi with a dollop of creamy soft cheese; a flaky, dill-y, bream carpaccio with crispy salted kale; and a boozy, creamy, sharp-and-sweet serving of mussels with cinnamon, celery and vermouth. There were disappointments, though – I can’t recommend you try the saffron ice cream. But, for the most part, Veneta’s cooking did the trick. As did the wine list, with a strong showing from the region. Though it’s a little dry to be one of those tell-all-your-friends spots, Veneta plays a sophisticated role – as a refined bolthole two minutes from Piccadilly Circus – very well indeed
Venue says: “Join us for our new Sunday Feasting menu - four decadent courses with free-flowing prosecco or Venetian wine for just £35 per person.”