The Arizona Republic

…Veneto, as the name suggests, specializes in the foods of Venice and the surrounding region. There are several appetizers, or antipasti, such as Tonno in “saor,” seared ahi tuna with a Venetian sweet-and-sour sauce, or baccala mantecato, salted cod served with grilled polenta.

…The potato and lobster soup is part of Veneto’s heartier winter menu and is expected to return as a special when the weather cools. Until that happens, my plan is to resample the calamari in umido, sauteed calamari in a wonderful garlic-tomato broth, with peas and croutons. This was not a tomato sauce like the ubiquitous marinaras that typify American/southern Italian cuisine. This was, as the name suggests, more brothlike, thickened slightly with tomato and cream or milk.

…With the trattoria label, essentially the Italian equivalent of bistro, he is striving for a slightly relaxed feel in the food and atmosphere. “It’s local food, regional food, the kind of food people (in Venice) might make at home if they had time,” [owner Roberto Rossi] said. An excellent example of that is luganega con verzette e polenta, pork garlic sausages with grilled polenta and braised savoy cabbage. The meal’s simplicity makes it believable as fare for a gondolier after a day on the canals. Yet it is a meal that can hold its own amid the grilled lamb and beef fillets of the Scottsdale menu. The mild garlic sausages were distinctive and a perfect complement to the grilled polenta.

…Veneto’s variation on this classic Italian dessert [tiramisu] is cakelike, with no discernible lady fingers, but with plenty of the sweet, lascivious mascarpone cheese. It is joined on the menu by a couple of other offerings equally capable of ushering one up to that fine line between total satiation and diabetic coma. Veneto cioccolato valentino is a chocolate hazelnut cake served on a bed of raspberry sauce. It is not for the faint of heart or for the chocophobic.