Venetian Wanderings | Episode 2: Osteria Plip
Whoever is familiar with Venice and Venetians knows that we hardly ever cross the Liberty Bridge, unless we really need to. I don't know if it's laziness or simply a question of attitude, but I must admit that when I think of how much time New Yorkers and Londoners spend commuting everyday, well...we do seem a little bit ridiculous!
Anyway, today I was in Mestre because I had to do some shopping. Until a few years ago, I never knew where to go for a quick bite, most places offered -and still offer- the same (quite sad) panini and mixed salads. But now, luckily, I found I really delightful place: Osteria Plip.
Osteria Plip is my favourite place in Mestre, the atmosphere is friendly and easy-going, the food is delicious and the value for money excellent !!! This Bio Osteria is quite easy to reach: you can take the tramway from Piazzale Roma and get off at the San Donà stop. It's close to the centre, so it's a perfect place to stop if you are going to the Toniolo theatre or the Canadian cinema.
The restaurant is hosted inside a former milk dairy now managed by a local cooperative. The building is very big and hosts different activities, like meetings, cultural and social events, dance classes and so on. The restaurant is part of this cooperative and its earning are used to support such activities.
The ingredients are all from local suppliers, the furniture is made with recycled materials and there is great attention to every detail. Here you will have a lot to learn, in fact there is a very interesting selection of wines, craft beers and spirits that awaits to be discovered.
Among their craft beers, I particularly like the ones produced by 32 Via dei birrai, an Italian microbrewery located in the province of Treviso. My favourite one is called CURMI, a spiced top-fermented ale made with spelt and barley malt, bottle conditioned.
Osteria Plip's menu is rightly called "Godo" (which in Italian means to feel pleasure/enjoyment). It took me some time to decide what to order, everything seemed so very inviting and delicious! The menu is divided in different sections: fish, meat, vegetarian (with options for vegans too) and snacks.
But in the end my sense of responsibility prevailed and, since I didn't have a lot of time and had to go back to work, I opted for a quick fish starter: a lasagna with carasau bread, fresh goat cheese and a sea bass tartare. Well... I nailed it!
With regard to my wine, I was served a blend of Merlot and Sangiovese. Round, with a good body and not overly tannic. Easy -and very very pleasant- to drink.
The sea bass tartare was supreme, the fish was fresh and dressed perfectly, with a delicate Tuscan olive oil and just a pinch of salt and pepper. The chives added extra freshness to this starter. So yummy I'm just going to let the pictures speak for themselves...
My lunch disappearing, layer after layer .... a combination of textures: the crunchiness of the carasau bread (typical from the island of Sardinia), the softness of the cheese spread and the tenderness of the sea-bass, what a perfect match!
After devouring my lunch I had a look around. What do you think? If you ask me, I think the furniture is really cool: it manages to be simple, rustic and refined all at the same time. I love all the green details like the tree, the plants and the scented potpourri and I just adore their tableware. Yes, really stylish! In fact, I think I'm going to buy their glasses, which are made with recycled bottle punts. I wish I could buy their tables too... but I'm afraid my old Venetian house is just too small.
I also think they did a great job in organising the different areas: in fact, despite the place being enormous, the restaurant is divided into smaller and cozy areas, that allows guests to chat with ease and without being disturbed by excessive noise. Plus, the bright wood and the white furniture make this place warm and homely.
I've seen many places, and Osteria Plip really mirrors the idea of design I prefer: here, it's the function that establishes the shape; in fact, every piece of furniture has a practical end: the bookcases serve both as walls and to store wine and beer and the different wooden service trolleys placed in tactical spots make it easier for the staff to have everything at hand.
The place is also animal friendly, so if you have a dog you won't have to leave him home alone!
This is how it looks like from above ... don't you think it's just lovely?!
After nosing around, as a real Italian does, I finished my meal with a nice espresso, served with three ginger and honey biscuits. More yum...
At that point I really had to go... but I couldn't help myself from spying the dishes coming out from the kitchen and brought to the other tables, like this fried lasagna with black cabbage and cheese ... O M G !!!!!
I definitely want to go back. After all I only had one dish...and it was a starter! Now that I know, the next time I come I'll take my time and try everything! They even have homemade gelato!!!!
This place is great also for burger lovers! Some of my best friends are Americans and -sometimes- they confess they really miss a good burger. Well then, here you go! Their famous Plip Burger has three varieties of minced meat (beef, pork and lamb), cheese, red onion, black cabbage and a homemade paprika mayonnaise. I highly recommend it! The portion is quite generous, so you can easily share it with your loved one.
Osteria Plip opened a couple of years ago, and it has grown so much! I learned that it participated in Eataly -with their Plip burger- and also in the Terra Madre event -with an appealing offer of gourmet panini. Both events were held in the city of Turin, in Piedmont, but David Marchiori -the chef- was also invited to different cooking shows and is now well known in the industry. A nice mixture of street and gourmet food... exactly what I like!
Oh... and if this isn't enough to convince you, another good reason to go to Osteria Plip is that here you will find all the answers to your existential questions:
Final notes: Osteria Plip is open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday.
Address: Via S. Donà, 195, 30174 Venezia
Phone: +39 347 994 4257