A Hidden Food Gem in Venice: Hostaria Bacanera
Hostaria Bacanera – eat in Venice like a local
Getting lost in Venice is beautiful!
And just by getting lost, sometimes, you end up in a practically deserted campiello (that is how we call squares in Venice, Campo or Campiello), just behind the confusion of Rialto, and suddenly there is the entrance to one of the most beautiful osterias in the city!
Already from the first days of the opening, October 2018, I realized that it would become one of the small hidden gems of Venice: the always available and smiling staff, the fresh and original cicchetti, the high quality Venetian wines and a bright and spacious location.
Since October I have returned often, but always only for a quick aperitif with friends, you know, a couple of glasses of wine with some great cicchetti, while enjoying the slow life of Venice!
My visit thanks to 2night Venezia
A few days ago, instead, thank to 2night Venezia, being one of their official taster/tester, I had the pleasure of also trying out the restaurant kitchen for lunch and to appreciate the quality of the products on offer.
Hostaria Bacanera is located in a large setting, where once there was the shop of one of the historical blacksmiths of the city, becoming later a gym for fifteen years, only to be left closed for a long time, until the opening of the osteria by Paolo Risica, the very young owner.
Paolo comes from various culinary experiences both abroad – in the UK, USA and Australia – and in Venice, where he acquired the knowledge of Venetian gastronomy and the desire to open his own, typically Venetian, restaurant.
The long passion for food and wine made him fall in love with the bacaro/restaurant formula, which, Paolo thinks, is a good solution for the growth of Venetian social community. And, in fact, it doesn’t matter if you go for lunch or dinner, the restaurant, although recently opened, is very popular with the locals.
Upon your arrival, you are greeted by two giant wooden columns, completely renovated, the fulcrum of the room, which support a high ceiling, making the room very bright and spacious.
The restaurant is decorated with unusual historical details, typically Venetian, such as the forcola (the typical Venetian oarlock used on gondolas), the large mirror, the portraits, the Murano vases and the elegant Thonet style furniture.
But Hostaria Bacanera is not only about the atmosphere, it is synonymous with quality and freshness: all the ingredients are always fresh, using only local seasonal products, mainly from the Rialto market, where the chef goes personally daily to choose the catch of the day that is then used in their menu, which also varies every 2/3 weeks.
All vegetables come from Sant’Erasmo and Vignole. They offer a reduced menu, 4/5 dishes per section, with fish, meat or vegetarian alternative – which makes it much easier to choose!
What I ate at Bacanera
With the help of Paolo, I chose the dishes to taste.
I started with a salad with strips of Raw Cuttlefish mixed with raw and sliced Sant’Erasmo vegetables: a delight for the palate. Beautiful presentation, very tasty dish, where the focal point of the dish is the absolute freshness of the products that compose it.
Paolo pairs it with a glass of Lugana wine, after telling me: with you I know I’m safe with this!
There is nothing more beautiful when a restaurant manager remembers your favourite wine!
Paolo’s philosophy for his restaurant is to promote our territory, so great wines from Veneto and Friuli, from small producers.
As a second course, he brought me a generous portion of Spaghetti with Pesto di Erbette (wild herbs), with Taggiasche olives and ground chilli pepper, where the aroma of the marjoram was king, but without being intrusive. The spaghetti cooked al dente, simply perfect!
Meanwhile, the place filled up, for most part with the local Venetians. At a certain point a gentleman got up and asked if he could play the piano for a few minutes, for the delight of all the diners!
At Hostaria Bacanera music is always present, in the background, as during my lunch, or live, like every Tuesday, when some Venetian band comes to play from funky soul to jazz, to liven up the evening.
After the spaghetti, a Sesame Seared Tuna with caramelized carrots with ginger and star anise followed.
It is almost impossible to describe the goodness of the raw material used by the chef, also Venetian: very fresh and perfectly seared tuna, a dish rich in taste and flavour, but also very light.
Bacanera also offers the chance to try craft beers, but with an extra touch: a beer not only with its own brand but also with a personalized recipe, created by Paolo himself. Passionate about English beers, he has developed a golden ale, fresh, drinkable, a little hoppy, a perfect beer for the summer, which leaves a pleasant bitter taste in the mouth.
I concluded my lunch with a slice, not small at all, of excellent Tenerina cake, homemade like all the desserts in the osteria. Sweet, easy to prepare, but hard to resist, thanks to its soft chocolate consistency that melts in your mouth with every taste!
Whether you stop just for a nice glass of good quality wine and a small cicchetto or choose to try the freshly prepared delights of the restaurant, Hostaria Bacanera is definitely one of the new venues to try in Venice!
Bacanera is open from 11.30 am to 3.00 pm and in the evening from 6.00 pm to 10.30 pm every day, except Mondays.
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