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  • Writer's pictureStefania Gioia

GLAM. Shining Gem in Venice

The talented chef Donato Ascani brings Bartolini's restaurant to a stellar success, with passion, accuracy and a special attention to the traditional ingredients.

As when it was a Maritime Republic, Venice is composed by an extraordinary mix of diverse cultures. In a different, sometimes controversial way, the lion city’s inhabitants mingle daily with other European citizens, Americans, Chinese, Japanese who visit the lagoon city for a short vacation, live here for longer periods or established for good.

Donato Ascani, chef at GLAM, Palazzo Venart

Donato Ascani, the young chef in charge of GLAM Restaurant’s kitchen, seems to be so aware of it as to dedicate the first part of his surprising menu to observe each guest in order to tailor a unique experience.

As a matter of fact at GLAM, conceived by the chef-entrepreneur Enrico Bartolini, appetizers are served only after a 7-8 piece amuse bouche that, through guests’ reactions, addresses the kitchen’s staff about each one’s palate. Revealing strong creativity and a thorough research of raw materials, these small bites are an elegant prelude to an amazing food journey. Among them, the acquadelle in gioco di salse looks like a colorful palette dotted by small Adriatic fishes and a variety of unusual sauces; the baccala’ mantecato, served with layered potato puff pastry and carpione gel is a clear connection to Venetian tradition; the friselle with walnut, hazelnut, lagoon anchovies, bottarga and Roman puntarelle recalls Ascani’s native background.

Located in the marvellous 1500 Venart Palace, the restaurant was awarded with a Michelin star in November 2017. If the credit goes to the internationally recognized Bartolini, who already manages a few prizewinning restaurants in Italy and abroad, the emerging talent Donato Ascani immediately lived up to expectations, combining his attention for details to a genuine passion for the city.

“Venice is extraordinary. Every morning I wake up and go to the fish market, where I chose the seafood following suggestions and instinct. The produce we use in the kitchen comes from the near Sant’Erasmo island, while herbs are picked in Cavallino”. Ascani loves to build relations with fishermen, farmers and small producers, since ingredients are as important as the result and his final recipe will tell the story of a vegetable, a land, a family or even all of them at once.

Once delighted by the introductive bites, the guests will be given to chose a la carte or between two tasting menus, meaningfully named as “Art and gardens” and “Nature and origins”. The journey will become more and more fascinating, including appetizers such as asparagus of Euganei hill, egg and beer, or the interesting composition of Caorle scallops, sea beans, sea slush, mussels and tea matcha. Among the first courses, a special mention goes to the exquisite spaghetto with smoked eel and wild fennel, while the smoked cuttlefish with myrtle is a main course especially loved by the young talent, who combines it with cauliflower, a reminiscence of his childhood.

With mild season approaching, there will be the possibility to book a table in the garden facing the Grand Canal, exquisitely decorated with flowers and candid tablecloths. Enthusiast of the experience, we decided to include this magic place into our new Extraordinary Tours and we’ll be never tired to recommend it, as an example of beauty, taste, balance between modern and traditional cuisine. A shining gem in Venice.

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