Venissa: among vineyards in Venice!

28 04 2014

When thinking of vineyards, images of the hills usually pop up in your mind and the association with Venice adn its stone ground is unlikely.

Nevertheless, the Venetian islands are a fruitful environment for agriculture and in some of them this activity is still flourishing, like in the island of Sant’Erasmo, called the orchard of Venice, or Certosa.

In fact Venice, throughout the centuries, not only was a powerful maritime republic trading with the entire world but also a flowering garden with luxurious cultivation growing out of a microscopic, stingy, salt-laden area of land. Grape cultivation, in particular, dating back to the roman period, has always been conducted by the “Venetian farmers” who had to fight against the tides, salt water and buffeting wind. Historical documents talk also about vineyards  even in the area of Saint Mark’s Square and the Grand Canal.

Traces of Venice’s agricultural tradition can be found almost everywhere: in documents, in works of art, in place names, such as the islands of “San Francesco della Vigna” (Saint Francis of the Vineyards) and “Le Vignole”.  Some remains of the “walled vineyards” – vineyards enclosed among walls – can be found in different lagoon islands.

In the little  island of Mazzorbo, a few years ago one of these walled vineyard was restored and the growing of the local “Dorona” grapes was restarted. The Dorona, also known as the “Golden Grape”, is an ancient variety of Venice-native grape with yellow berries that was cultivated in the Venetian lagoon islands until 1400.
That’s part of the “Venissa” project and estate (see www.venissa.it). The estate includes the vineyard, a vegetable garden, a hostel and a top quality restaurant and the ensemble creates a real corner of peace and delight!

foto 3

Venissa restaurant & hostel

Venissa vineyards

Venissa vineyards

The restaurant cannot be defined cheap and the food portions are small compared to prices, but the quality is really high, the used ingredients are extremely fresh and their combination is really original. The result is a refined but simple cuisine, with strong aromas and lots of herbs, which pays particular attention to the products of the territory, some of which are grown in the estate. The service is also top-quality.

Venissa estate

Venissa estate

I had lunch there a couple of days ago, to celebrate my birthday, and, even if I was there with a girlfriend of mine, I found it very very romantic: eating among vineyards is really nice (and unusual for Venice) and the location is so quite and relaxing, even in the busiest and most turistic days.

In your tour there, do not miss to visit the near island of Burano, which is connected to Mazzorbo with a short bridge: it will enchant you with its colours!

Island of Burano

Island of Burano

Venissa Restaurant
Fondamenta Santa Caterina, 3
30170 Island of Mazzorbo
Venice
Ph. +39 041 5272281

Position****
Place****
Food****
Price****
Service****
(*min-****max)

—————————————————–

Visit my place at http://www.caamadi.it

 

 





Osteria Da Simson: a fresh touch of Venice

27 10 2012

While I was going through one of the special itineraries that our guests at Ca’ Amadi will be provided with from November on, I happened to find a little nice restaurant in a really quiet place: Ostaria da Simson.

The Ostaria is located along the street called “Fondamenta Felzi”, near the famous gothic basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo. Just at the end of the Fondamenta, hidden behind a gate, you can find one of the most beautiful courtyard of Venice: Corte Botera. This area offers a real bite of Venetian life and so does the Ostaria.

The restaurant is really small – only 6 tables inside and 2 outside along the canal – but this works for a highly attentive service and a good quality food.

Ostaria Da Simson – Inside

The variety in the menu is not wide, but the used ingredients are extremely fresh, folowing the seasonality, and all is prepared expressly upon order. The menu offer changes very often and the food is tasty and genuine.

The dish I enjoyed at the Osteria Da Simson

Following the tradition of the typical Venetian osteria (the term “osteria” derives from “oste”, which is the person who serves wine), here you can find also a good selection of wines. The service is really friendly!

Ostaria Da Simson
Castello 6316, Fondamenta dei Felzi
Venezia
Tel  0039 041 5226276

Position****
Place****
Food***
Price***
Service***
(*min-****max)

——————————————-
Visit my place at http://www.caamadi.it





“Express cicchetti” at MaiTardi Enobar

6 08 2012

Almost all “cicchetterie” (bars offering tapas and finger food) in Venice show their variety of “cicchetti” (tapas and finger food) on the counter, trying to tempt the customers.

Even if this is a good way to attract people, the cicchetti are displayed there for a while and, as time passes by, they lose their original freshness and taste.

At MaiTardi, a cicchetteria and wine bar sited quite near to Rialto Bridge, on the counter, instead of cicchetti, a special sign is displayed: “cicchetti espressi” (expresss cicchetti). It means that the food is expressly made upon your request.

Campiello Corner: on the bottom, the green awning of Enobar MaiTardi

Sandwiches, tramezzini, dishes of fresh sliced salami: at MaiTardi the owner, Gigi, prepares everything on real time and the result is remarkable. The food tastes fresh and savoury and the price is really fair. Like in all Venetian cicchetterie you can choose a glass of wine among a wide selection too.

The place is little and difficult to be noticed (be careful: the sign on the awning just says “Enobar”), but you can enjoy Gigi’s cicchetti sitting at one of the outside tables.

Cannaregio 5600 – Campiello Corner
30121 Venezia
Tel +39 041 5285157

——————————————-
Visit my place at http://www.caamadi.it





Still looking for new in Venice? Try the Orto dei Mori restaurant

7 01 2012

As I’ve already said on my post about Luna Sentada restaurant , in Venice it is not easy to find a restaurant that differs from the others, nor for the location nor for the menu.

Yesterday night I found another place which I can definitely say is really unique, in the style and in the food too!

I’m talking about L’Orto dei Mori, a small restaurant which is sited in the house where the famous painter Tintoretto was born and lived.

The area is really quiet, tucked away from the tourist traffic, and the restaurant, through its big windows, offers a wide view on a canal, on one side, and on a typical Venetian small square (Campo dei Mori), on the other side.

Il ristorante L'Orto dei Mori - esterno

The outside sign defines the place as “Osteria”, but L’Orto dei Mori is faraway from being a simple osteria. The wine cellar is certainly well equipped and it offers a big variety of good wine, but the location, the food and the dish presentation are refined like in a “high-cuisine” restaurant.
Inside, the restaurant is furnished in a stylish and original way. The curious lamps hanging from the ceiling are the ones designed and made in a small artisan shop of Venice, called “A Mano” (Rio Terà Amalteo, San Polo 2616).

Il ristorante L'Orto dei Mori - interno

The cuisine is positively influenced by the Sicilian provenance of the chef but it also proposes some traditional Venetian specialities. Another positive note is that the menu includes both fish and meat dishes, while in Venice most of menus include only fish. The food is absolutely tasty and it served by a smiling and polite staff.
A perfect combination of taste, style and service!
Cannaregio 3386
30121 Venezia
Tel. 041/5243677
Position****
Place****
Food***+
Price***
Service****
(*min-****max)
——————————————-
Visit my place at http://www.caamadi.it




A hot tea or soup to warm the winter up

10 12 2011

There are some places which are able to surprise you with their simplicity and warmth.

The tea room Caffè Orientale (Oriental Coffee) is one of these places. There you can really find an oasis of peace and intimacy. A perfect corner to have a cup of tea while reading a book or to meet an old friend you haven’t seen for a while (as I did some days ago!). Or just to stare at the pictoresque canal outside.

At Caffè Orientale, a large selection of quality teas and infusions is carefully prepared and served with an extreme kindness. You can accompany your tea with a delicious home-made dessert, choosing among apple pie, English scones and other “grand-mother style” cakes. I tried the “apple-scrumble”, a sort of hot pudding with apples, cinnamon, millet and cream: unforgettable.

Here you can also enjoy a light lunch or an early dinner (they close at 9 pm), as they also serve some tasty vegetarian dishes and hot soups: “ribollita toscana”, chickpeas soup, tomato rice soup. Taste one of these plates together with their “schiacciata” (pizza paste with oil, salt and rosemary) and Caffè Orientale will become your little happy place, where to recover from the daily stress and bustle.

Caffè Orientale
Santa Croce 888, Rio Marin
Venezia

Position****
Place***
Food****
Price****
Service****
(*min-****max)





At last, the pizza I like in Venice!

10 10 2011

Looking for a good pizza, I tried different places in Venice, but so far I wasn’t able to find the perfect place (see my post “Looking for a good pizza in Venice?“).

A few days ago, by chance, I tried he pizza at Pier Dickens Inn in Campo Santa Margherita. And the trial turned out to be a nice surprise!

Campo Santa Margherita is full of  restaurants, but they all looked too much “touristic” to me. Some of them even have waiters outside trying to get you in … a thing I do really hate and one of the reasons why I usually exclude the place from my whitelist!

But, on that day, I was going back home from work at dinner time and, like many other times, I wouldn’t have got a decent dinner out of my fridge! So I opted for a take away pizza.

Instead of buying it at the take-away place in the Campo (Pizzeria Al Volo), I decided to try one of the various pizzerias you can find there. I chose the first one you meet coming from san tomà/Campo San Pantalon: the Pier Dickens Inn.

Pier Dickens is a pizzeria but also a restaurant and brewery. It has numerous tables in the outside where you can enjoy the intense nightlife of the Campo (hundreds of young boys and girls gathering for a chat and a spritz).

Pier Dickens Inn at night

I do not know if I will ever try the cuisine of this restaurant, but I do know that here I had the best pizza I ever had in Venice so far.

Thin, light, crunchy and tasty: the perfect mix for a pizza! It was so good that I went there again only 2 days after!

Good job!

Pier Dickens Inn
Campo Santa Margherita – Dorsoduro 3410, Venezia
Tel. +39 041 2411979

Position****
Place**
Pizza****
Price***
Service***
(*min-****max)

 




Vini da Gigio: full marks!

8 08 2011

When I moved to Venice, I asked all my friends living here to recommend some good restaurants. Silvia, a schoolmate of mine who has lived here for long time, suggested me a restaurant called “Vini da Gigio”.

In the last months I tried several times to reserve a table at this restaurant but every time I was told they were fully-booked. Going there became a sort of challenge! I also sent there some of my clients who were very satisfied with it so my curiosity kept growing up!

At the end, some weeks ago I was able to book a table for 2 and I had dinner there with Alberto, a friend and former-colleague of mine. We really had a beautiful evening. The food and wine were excellent, the place really nice and the price fair! That’s my place folks!

The entrance of Vini Da Gigio restaurant

Since my evaluation could have been influenced by the fact that the dinner was delighted by the exquisite company of Alberto and 3 glasses of white wine (definitely too many for me!), before electing it as my favourite restaurant in Venice, I wanted to test it a second time.

So, a few days ago, I brought there my parents and my boyfriend. My mom is a really good cook so her rating is highly qualified. Her response confirmed mine: A+!

Vini Da Gigio is strong on Venetian tapas such as crocchette di baccalà (breaded stockfish) and canestrelli alla griglia (grilled razor clams); there are also a number of good meat and game options and delicious desserts (try the tiramisù or the strawberrieas with peppermint and mascarpone cream).

As the name suggests (meaning Wines at Gigio’s), wine is another forte – there are even bottles from Australia and South Africa, and there is always a good by-the-glass selection.

Now I can definitely say it: Vini da Gigio is my favourite restaurant in Venice! So far (the research continues …).

Vini da Gigio
Cannaregio 3628a – Venezia
Tel 041/5285140

Position****
Place***
Food****
Price***
Service***

(min*-max****)

——————————————
Visit my place at http://www.caamadi.it