Italian Grill a saucy, Searcy ristorante


People in Searcy have been keeping Venezia’s Italian Grill a secret for the past couple of years, but now you are in the know.

The tastefully decorated, family-owned restaurant has a relaxing atmosphere. One dining area features

Venezia’s Italian Grill owner Benny Shala.

comfy booth seating, while another has sleek modern seating. Soothing Italian music flows throughout the restaurant, along with the intoxicating aroma of Venezia’s Italian Grill’s culinary magic. Benny and Meri Shala own and operate the restaurant after living in New York and Texas.

“We moved here because Searcy is a great place to live and a great community,” Benny said. “I’m happy that we are here. I appreciate the support that the community has given to the business.”

Benny grew up cooking alongside his mother in their New York kitchen, and he eventually began his more than 20-year career of experience in Italian restaurants in New York and Texas.

Wonderful, intricately braided rolls are freshly prepared from scratch each day. I challenge you to try

Venezia’s freshly baked bread.

and only eat one roll; I ate two and enjoyed each bite.

I tried the Frito Mix appetizer, a perfect combination of fried shrimp, calamari and cheese sticks. The tasty assortment was a great way to begin a meal.

Venezia’s Italian Grill has at least 55 pasta entrée options on the menu. Additionally, the restaurant offers salads, pizzas and sandwiches. The sauces are homemade from recipes that Benny has developed over his culinary career. After chatting for a bit, Benny asked me what entrées I would like to try. I asked him to surprise me, and shortly afterward, he returned with three of his creations.

The Chicken Tuscany featured chicken breasts sautéed with fresh garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes and spinach in a cherry wine pink sauce over spaghetti. There was no doubt that the rich, creamy sauce was freshly prepared, as it was excellent and accentuated the chicken breasts as well as the pasta.

If you are craving a steak, I suggest the Rib ala Grigilia. Venezia’s Italian Grill has a winner with this

Shrimp Scampi is a specialty at Venezia’s Italian Grill.

one. The large ribeye steak, sautéed with mushrooms, garlic and basil and served over spaghetti, was seasoned to perfection, with a very good, slightly smoky taste.

My favorite was the Shrimp Scampi. This attractively plated dish featured six large shrimp sautéed with

garlic and basil in a white wine lemon sauce, with a pleasing amount of homemade marinara over a bed of linguini. Once again, I marveled at the superb flavor of the sauce that Benny had created. The sauce had a tangy, slightly spicy taste that provided forkful after forkful of Italian happiness.

The desserts include cheesecake, chocolate cake, tiramisu, Italian cream cake, limoncello

A beautifully presented cannoli.

mascarpone cake and cannoli.

Venezia’s presentation of the traditional Italian dessert was stunning, as it was drizzled with chocolate sauce. The fried cannoli shell held a delicious creamy filling with chocolate chips. The homemade dessert was the perfect way to complete my dining experience at this wonderful establishment.

Now you are in the know. For a great Italian meal, visit Venezia’s Italian Grill in Searcy. You will enjoy authentic Italian cuisine made with love and attention to detail that only a family-owned and -operated restaurant can provide.