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Antico Guelfo, a restaurant in Vicenza, Italy, is ideal for any special occasion, with candle lit tables set for two or tables designed for larger groups. The atmosphere and meal will definitely be enjoyed at this restaurant.

Antico Guelfo, a restaurant in Vicenza, Italy, is ideal for any special occasion, with candle lit tables set for two or tables designed for larger groups. The atmosphere and meal will definitely be enjoyed at this restaurant. (Jason Duhr/Stars and Stripes)

Antico Guelfo, a restaurant in Vicenza, Italy, is ideal for any special occasion, with candle lit tables set for two or tables designed for larger groups. The atmosphere and meal will definitely be enjoyed at this restaurant.

Antico Guelfo, a restaurant in Vicenza, Italy, is ideal for any special occasion, with candle lit tables set for two or tables designed for larger groups. The atmosphere and meal will definitely be enjoyed at this restaurant. (Jason Duhr/Stars and Stripes)

Enjoy a beer with your creamy onion soup mixed with bacon and sparkling white wine at Antico Guelfo, a restaurant in Vicenza Italy.

Enjoy a beer with your creamy onion soup mixed with bacon and sparkling white wine at Antico Guelfo, a restaurant in Vicenza Italy. (Jason Duhr/Stars and Stripes)

Chianina is a lean meat, with no fat. At Antifco Guelfo, in Vicenza, Italy,  it is served raw with caramelized onions and two sauces: a tartar sauce that accentuates the pureness of the meat and a mustard sauce that brings out the exceptional quality of the meat.

Chianina is a lean meat, with no fat. At Antifco Guelfo, in Vicenza, Italy, it is served raw with caramelized onions and two sauces: a tartar sauce that accentuates the pureness of the meat and a mustard sauce that brings out the exceptional quality of the meat. (Jason Duhr/Stars and Stripes)

A "Coppa dei Tre Peccati," or Cup of Three Sins, is a popular option following dinner at Antico Guelfo, a restaurant in Vicenza, Italy. It's made of white chocolate mousse and yogurt covered in strawberry sauce and topped with sliced almonds and chocolate shavings.

A "Coppa dei Tre Peccati," or Cup of Three Sins, is a popular option following dinner at Antico Guelfo, a restaurant in Vicenza, Italy. It's made of white chocolate mousse and yogurt covered in strawberry sauce and topped with sliced almonds and chocolate shavings. (Jason Duhr/Stars and Stripes)

An impromptu stay at Caserma Ederle might lead you to this cozy restaurant in the heart of Vicenza, Italy. Just steps away from streets filled with beautiful Palladian-style architecture sits Antico Guelfo.

A warm welcome on a cool night, this candlelit restaurant offers rustic decor reminiscent of a cottage you’d find tucked away in the countryside.

Franca Kalkara, the restaurant’s chef, opened Antico Guelfo in 2002. Keeping in mind that not everyone can tolerate the same foods and ingredients, this chef creates new menus weekly, while staying in tune with the local area and season.

As I entered, I was welcomed immediately by staff members, who were standing behind a quaint little bar. I peered through a window to get a sneak peek of the kitchen as the chef delicately prepared his next Venetian masterpiece.

The atmosphere remained pleasant as staff members served each customer with a smile. One waitress, slightly versed in the English language, took her time explaining the menu items for those with food hypersensitivities.

If you love fish, then you’ll have to indulge in a dish Vicenza is known for — baccala, or salt cod. The fish, creatively prepared by Antico Guelfo’s chef, is served with a medley of seasonal vegetables.

If fish doesn’t feed your fancy, maybe a taste of one of the oldest breeds of cattle known to this area, Chianina, will. This local delicacy with no fat is served uncooked with two sauces: a tartar sauce that accentuates the pureness of the meat and a mustard sauce that brings out its exceptional quality. To sweeten the deal, caramelized onions and buttered toast are added to this rare treat.

Treats can indeed be found on the menu here. The choices among gluten-free pies, cakes and chocolate mousse will make your mouth water.

A Coppa dei Tre Peccati, or Cup of Three Sins, is a popular option following dinner at Antico Guelfo. This layered cup of white chocolate mousse and yogurt covered in strawberry sauce topped with sliced almonds and chocolate shavings was never meant to last.

The entire evening can be enjoyed with a glass of wine, either recommended by the staff or selected from a vast menu of wines, ranging from 3 euros to 28 euros a glass. Enjoy the rich taste of Italian wines as sounds of jazz gently set the mood for the rest of the night.

Antico Guelfo is open for dinner only, so set one night aside and call for reservations. This restaurant is ideal for any special occasion, whether for you and your significant other or a much larger group.

duhr.jason@stripes.com

ANTICO GUELFO

Location: Contra Pedemuro San Biagio, 92, 36100, Vicenza.

Directions: From Caserma Ederle, exit the gate, turning right onto Via Aldo Moro heading south. Stay right down the ramp turning right on Viale Camisano and merge onto Viale Della Pace. Continue veering left on Viale Giangiorgio Trissino, continuing onto Corso Padova. Stay straight on Contrada Porta Padova, continuing on Contra XX Settembre. At the roundabout, take the fourth exit onto Via San Domenico, continuing onto Contra Vittorio Veneto. Turn left onto Contra Pusterla, turn right onto Contra Pedemuro San Biagio, arriving at No. 92. The trip should take less than 10 minutes, depending on traffic.

Hours: 7:30 p.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday.

Food: Menu varies weekly but will have Venetian cuisine including meat, fish and pastas.

Clientele: Primarily locals from Vicenza or the surrounding area.

Dress: Casual.

Prices: Starters cost 8 euros; first courses are 10 euros; second courses are 9-17 euros; all desserts are 5 euros. If you enjoy beer, there are only three brands at the bar, each costing 5 euros a bottle.

Information: Menus are in Italian and English. Some of the staff speak English. There is a parking lot one block from the restaurant on Contra Pedemuro San Biagio, and it has instructions in English to pay at a booth when you leave. Phone: (+39) (0) 444 547 897.

— Jason Duhr


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