Hostaria Osottoosopra is that great little restaurant every tourist prays they will find in Venice. A wonderful neighborhood eatery off the beaten path, this is the restaurant you hope you wander into as you stroll through the maze of Venice.
Location: Calle S. Pantalon, 5754 Venice, Italy. This neighborhood restaurant is next to the Chiesa di San Pantalon, not far from the Scuola Grande di San Rocca and the Da Vinci Museum. It does take some navigation skills to locate, but once you get there, Vladimir and the staff welcome you and make you feel like part of the family.
Menu: A few of the delicious items you can choose from.
- Squid with vanilla fennel mousse
- Carpaccio of marinated meat, pecorino romano, and grapefruit mayonnaise
- Sautéed mussels from the lagoon
- Risotto with creamed cod and citrus from the Po Valley
- Sea bass tortelli with fennel infusion and yellow cherry tomatoes
- Ravioli stuffed with ricotta and spinach with mascarpone and lemon zest
- Sea bass with ratatouille vegetables, dill sauce and potatoes
- Baked beef cheeks for 8 hours
- Mixed shrimps with Calvados and chutney
Desserts include Venetian favorites like a light Tiramisu, cheesecake, and a delicious Chocolate Mousse.
Thoughts: It is always a special time when a tourist finds that great little restaurant in Venice with traditional Venetian cuisine at a reasonable price. You know, that restaurant that you Facebook your friends about. The one you can’t stop talking about.
As we were greeted by Vladimir, one of the owners, I immediately noticed that Hostaria Osottoosopra had that friendly neighborhood vibe, without that touristy feel found in so many other restaurants in Venice. The quality of the food, the friendly and courteous staff, and the warm charm of the restaurant make for an enjoyable meal.
Vladimir and his business partner have worked in the food industry as waiters and help staff for years. When they saw an opportunity to be business owners, they pooled their experiences and resources, and started the casual but elegant Hostaria Osottoosopra, in the heart of Venice, but without the throngs of tourists you find around San Marco and Rialto.
According to their website, this restaurant takes great pride in using only the finest quality of ingredients and limits the menu to assure they can get fresh product daily.
All our products are carefully selected by our local suppliers in order to guarantee the best quality and make the most of small producers.
The menu is very small because we have few dishes to give all the attention to them, so we avoid keeping the goods for many days in the fridge but we order fresh every day.
The new owners have done a great job in their first year. Rave reviews and word of mouth bring diners, both locals and tourists, to this friendly neighborhood place. Away from some of the busier parts of Venice, its budding reputation has brought a growing list of hungry patrons to its tables.
In fact, Vladimir told me I was sitting in the same seat that actor Ioan Gruffudd, who played Mr. Fantastic in the action picture Fantastic Four, had sat in just days before! Whether you are a local, a tourist, or a celebrity, you will receive the same friendly service, and, of course, the same great food.
The small downstairs and bar are a bit misleading. Seeing only a half-dozen tables in the small dining area downstairs, I later discovered there was room for many more diners in the elegant upstairs dining room. So, when guests enter and the staff say, “Top or bottom?”, they are asking if you prefer to be upstairs or downstairs.
For starters, we had a tasty Caprese salad. My entrée, a delicate sea bass, was served with a flavorful blend of cherry tomatoes, olives, and grilled zucchini and peppers. The Modello Soave complemented the fish and went down easy with the meal. For dessert, the rich chocolate mousse was delectable, and the light tiramisu was some of the best I’ve ever had.
Hostaria Osottoosopra is a great new restaurant off the beaten path in Venice. Take a few minutes to wind through the streets and canals to this wonderful neighborhood eatery. You’ll be glad you did.
Prices: Prices are very reasonable for a high-quality restaurant in Venice. Many entrees are between 14- 22 Euros. The delicious seabass entrée was 18 Euro. Other items on the menu start at six Euros, and the flavorful house wine was just 4 Euro per glass.
Disclosure: The author received a complimentary meal at Hostaria Osottoosopra.
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