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You Gotta Eat: Venezia Italian Bistro

PEKIN, Ill. (WEEK) — If Italy is just too far for authentic Italian food, try Pekin.

Lee Wilder and his wife Dorla are what you would call regular customers at Venezia Italian Bistro in Pekin.

Formerly known as Chateau on the Lake, Venezia Italian Bistro offers its customers a unique experience with good food, a romantic environment and a friendly staff.

“It’s just a special place. The atmosphere is nice. These two guys who own it now are fabulous people, their families are great, all the staff is great,” said Lee.

Chef Vito and his brother Chef Antonio are the owners.

They bring the taste of Italy to Pekin from their hometown of Venice.

It’s a family run restaurant with Vito, Antonio and Vito’s wife Valeria who also lends a helping hand.

But as far as the food goes…you can’t get any more authentic than this.

“The food is top notch. Everything is done in house. We make our desserts in house, the pasta in house. We don’t have a steam table, heat lamps. None of that,” said manager Justin Cornelison.

And that’s what brings people from all walks of life into the doors here, including our men in blue who stopped in for a hot Italian meal.

Just look at the size of the meatballs on this plate. And if that doesn’t tempt your taste buds, look at some of the other hot dishes they serve up here.

“The quality of the food is great. The portions are huge. We always end up taking something home. It’s almost like two meals for the price of one,” said Lee.

Although this restaurant has been open for only 2 months, people in Pekin and the surrounding communities are loving the quality of service they get here and the authentic flavor of the food.

“One of my favorites is lasagna. It is delicious. In fact, I’m going to have some more today,” said Dorla.

With that kind of endorsement, I decided to try to lasagna as well. And you know what? Dorla was right!

It was hot, fresh and simply fantastico!

And look what it cost me. Under 10 bucks.

Chef Antonia and his brother Chef Vito have kept the look of the former Chateau on the Lake pretty much the same inside.

They’ve added a few extra touches to give the restaurant a more romantic atmosphere both inside and out.

Semone Doughton

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