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 Historical documents talk also about vineyards  even in the area of Saint Mark’s Square and the Grand Canal.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!

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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****
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(*min-****max)

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Unusual but good: welcome Prosciutteria Dok Dall’Ava!

20 06 2013

When I started living in Venice, I was happy for many reasons. One of these was fish.

Yes, fish. The king of the menu in Venetian restaurants. Light and healthy. The king of the diets!

Well, after 2 years, I can say that I’m completely fed up with fish!

Yes, completely. Because Venice restaurants offer more or less the same menu: spaghetti with clams or “nero di seppia” (cuttlefish ink), “sarde in saor” (sardines cooked with onions and raisins), “fritto di pesce” (fried fish). There are only a few places where you can findsomething different and without fish! Sooner or later, one gets tired of this restricted variety, especially one comining from the mainland like me.

So, when they opened the “Prosciutteria Dok Dall’Ava” (“prosciutteria” means “ham store”) I couldn’t restrain my infinite joy! And the menu, based mainly on ham and meat, was not the only reason why.

The place itself  is unusual for Venice as well: no “old-fashioned” furniture and “home-like” atmosphere in small and dark rooms, but a huge open space with a modern and “fresh” style.

Prosciutteria Dok Dall'Ava - Outside

Prosciutteria Dok Dall’Ava – Outside

My favourite feature of this restaurant is the large window which faces the church of San Luca. In the centre of Venice (you are not faraway from Saint Mark’s square), you will find any others like this.

When you reach the entrance you wonder how a place like this could have been created in Venice! It looks like an industrial loft right in the middle of a city stopped far even from pre-industrial age.

The specialty here is the delightful San Daniele ham so, as said before, the menu includes many dishes with ham (starters, salads and pasta) and other meat dishes. The quality of food is good, as well as the service.

Dok1

San daniele ham with melon, tomatoes and mozzarella

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Pasta with san Daniele ham

The price is quite fair, considering that you’re in the centre of Venice: it is one of the few places in the city where you can eat a pasta dissh that costs less than 10€!

Prosciutteria Dok Dall’Ava: Venice missed something like you!

Prosciutteria Dok Dall’Ava

San Marco 3989
Tel. 0039 041 29 60 764

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

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Are you in Rialto area and want to have lunch?

16 05 2013

If you are in the Rialto area, on the opposite side of Rialto market, and want to have luch, it’s not easy to avoid a rip-off (please keep away from the restaurants with pictures of dishes outside!).

Here’ s a small guide with our suggestions for lunch in places where you can sit down and have cicchetti (typical venetian tapas) or a quick lunch without spending a fortune.

Let’s start with my favourite: Osteria Al Portego. Out of the tourist mass flow, it’s not easy to find but it’s worth the effort.

To get here from Rialto, go to Campo San Bartolomio (at the feet of the bridge) and take “calle della Bissa”. Go straight, cross the bridge and then take the first left. Cross the bridge and go straight for a few meters and there you are!

It’s a very small place and courtesy is not their forte, but the variety and quality of cicchetti is high as well as the taste and freshness of food in the menu.

Osteria Al Portego: their wide selection of cicchetti

Osteria Al Portego: their wide selection of cicchetti

If you do not want to wait or fight for a place to sit, you’d rather go to “Osteria Alla Botte“. This a historical restaurant in Venice which moved to a new location some time ago. From Campo San Bortolomio, take the street at the corner of the Disney store (calle dei Stagneri) and then turn the first right. Walk a few steps on and you’ll find it on your left.

As said, the new location offers a lot of place to sit, considering the Venetian standards. The selection of cicchetti is good and so are the dishes of their menu, which includes typical Venetian specialities.

If you want to walk a little bit more, go along the shore on the Grand Canal (Riva del Fero e del Carbon). When you will be no more able to walk along the Canal, take the street on your left (Calle Cavalli). Soon, on your right, you’ll see the awning of the “Enoteca Al Volto“.

AlVolto2

Enoteca Al Volto

Here you can enjoy a lot of tasty cicchetti (try the delicious stuffed squids) or an authentic Venetian meal. Ask the the Venetian owner to tell you some curiosities about Venice: you’ll taste a real bite of the city!

If you feel like walking still a little bit further, you can reach the “Osteria da Alberto“. This is near the hospital of Venice and here you can find a lot of locals eating or having a glass of wine.

Osteria Da Alberto

Osteria Da Alberto

The recipe is always the same: cicchetti, good wine, Venetian dishes, some funny words in Venetian dialect and a smile!





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***
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(*min-****max)

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Algiubagiò: a romantic dinner by the sea

13 08 2012

When you ask suggestions for a good restaurant in Venice, locals usually tell you to avoid the ones with tables along the canals, which are the “most touristic” and less authentic in town.

To find the best Venetian restaurant you have to get lost at least twice or three times across the “calli” (streets of Venice) before reaching them. Yes, finding a good restaurant in Venice is like looking for a precious treasure!

Like all rules, also this has some exceptions and Algiubagiò is one of these.

Algiubagiò restaurants’ entrance

Its position is amazing: along the “Fondamenta Nove”, the street that faces the northern part of Venice lagoon, in front of San Michele island. The restaurant has a big terrace on the sea, where you can enjoy romantic sunsets on the lagoon and a light breeze, even in the hottest days of the year.

Algiubagiò’s terrace at night

The menu doesn’t differ much from the typical Venetian offer and the food isn’t unforgettable, but on the whole I had a good dinner there, probably thanks to the magic atmosphere you can breathe.

The place gives you a strong sensation of peace and quietness and here you feel faraway from the bustle of the city:  what do you think, is it because we’re in front of the cemetery island of Venice? 🙂

Algiubagiò
Cannaregio 5039, Fondamenta Nuove
30125 Venice
Tel +39 041 52 36 084

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

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“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

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Pane Vino e San Daniele: a different restaurant chain

23 07 2012

In Venice it’s not easy to find a restaurant whose speciality isn’t fish.

“Pane Vino e San Daniele” is one of these restaurants. Actually the restaurants with this name in Venice are three: one is placed near the Rialto Bridge (Calle dei Botteri 1544) and the other two are in the Dorsoduro district (Calle Lunga San Barnaba 2861 and Campo dell’Angelo Raffaele 1722), not far away from each other. They belong to a chain that counts nearly 30 restaurants all around Italy.

The name of the chain (which means “Bread, Wine and San Daniele“) suggests that the speciality here is the San Daniele raw ham, which is made in the homonymous city sited in the Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia.

The menu in fact proposes a good variety of dishes with this famous type of ham. The food offer also includes pasta and meat dishes, some typical dishes from Friuli Venezia Giulia, salads and delicious desserts. At Pane Vino e San Daniele Rialto (www.panevinorialto.it) you can have also pizza, while at the one in Campo dell’Angelo Raffaele (www.panevinoesandaniele.net) you can taste some dishes of the Sardinian cuisine too.

The three restaurants, being part of the same chain, are obviously similar in the style, simple and warm, but my favourite, for the location, is the one placed in Campo dell’Angelo Raffaele.

The view inside-out at Pane Vino San Daniele in Campo dell’Angelo Raffaele

It is sited in a square tucked away from the mass, just behind the San Sebastiano church. The square is quiet and picturesque and here you can enjoy a bite of realVenetian life, among locals and very few tourists, tasting a good wine and a dish from the inland regions.

Pane Vino e San Daniele 1
Dorsoduro 2861 – Calle Lunga San Barnaba
30123 Venezia
Tel. 041 2439865

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Pane Vino e San Daniele 2
Dorsoduro 1722 – Campo dell’Angelo Raffaele
30123 Venezia
Tel. 041 5237456

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

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