So you’ve got, in the words of your mother, a “special friend” you’d like to take out. Nope, I’m not talking about a romantic walk around the frat quad… we’re talking the big leagues here: Date Night. It must take a lot for someone to pass your meal-sharing standards, and so the restaurant better be on-par. First stop: Veneto. Located just ten minutes down the road, this pizza-and-pasta place offers a warm, yet casual atmosphere, with a menu meant to break your heart (in a good way?), not your piggybank.


Not pictured are smiling waitresses, free bread (arguably the best part), and a little taste of heaven on an overflowing plate. | Photo by Madelyn Rubenstein

A few of our favorites:

1. Sautéed shrimp


A magical whirl of shrimp, angel hair pasta, caramelized onions and tomatoes in a white wine, lemon, and garlic sauce, this dish will leave you with leftovers that just might disappear on the car ride home. It’s a mouthful, but your jaw will drop at the size of the shrimp alone.
2. Vodka cream sauce


Not every date needs to be fancy, and this dish will make you feel right at home. A simple blend of farfalle pasta with fresh herbs and garlic in a vodka marinara cream sauce is perfect for even the pickiest of taste buds. Though seemingly plain, however, we swear they’ve snuck a secret ingredient in here to add that authentic Italian touch.
3. Pasta con funghi


Gluten free? No problem, Veneto will substitute the pasta in any dish for a gluten-free option that’s just as delicious. Accompanied by roasted wild mushrooms, garlic, shallots, fresh herbs, and spinach in a light truffle cream sauce, this fettuccine dish flirts with perfection. Sounds like what you are about to do with that “special friend”?


Disclaimer: “Special friend,” when used by your mom, may mean an individual with whom you share romantic interests, however we see no harm in taking out an actual friend, visiting family member, or well-behaved pet.
Disclaimer 2: The restaurant does not allow pets.
Location: 318 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14607 (conveniently the neighbor of the Little Theatre)
Hours of Operation: Mon: 5pm-9pm, Tues-Thurs: 11am-2pm, 5pm-10pm, Fri: 11am-2pm, 5pm-11pm, Sat: 5pm-11pm, Sun: 4:30pm-9pm