UPDATED AUGUST 2019: THIS PLACE HAS PERMANENTLY CLOSED
It has been said many times that Venetians are hard to spot and that often we can be found in places that don't seem so appealing to travellers, but it is exactly in those places that our stories take shape, the places where we meet friends and share our happy moments and sorrows. While the British go to the local pub, we go to different osterie and aren't usually looking for a meal, but for a chat and, yes, a cicchetto and an ombra before going home for dinner.
I live quite in the centre of the city, so there are plenty of bars and restaurants, but to be honest I only go to a few and I am happy that now I have a new place to add to this list: Ossi di Seppia. This small cicchetteria, located only a few minutes from Campo Ss. Giovanni e Paolo, opened about a month ago and the owner is a dear friend, Marco, originally from Genoa but adopted by the city. Marco has been working in the industry for years (at least since I've known him) and he knows that what we really want, after all, is a friendly place where to catch up with friends, enjoy some good wine and not spend too much, the everyday bar, our "local".
I have to say that he did a great job, the small interior is illuminated by the big glass entrance window and has a simple design, with wooden beams and furniture and four small tables. At Ossi di Seppia you can have different snacks and, if you decide to eat more than a couple ... basically you've had lunch! When I entered Marco and his colleague Francesco were busy one chopping vegetables and the other stirring the stew. The welcome was warm and the first question was, obviously, what I wanted to drink.
While waiting for my glass of Valpolicella, my sight was immediately caught by the window displaying all the cicchetti. The offer consisted mainly in veggies, like chicory, cherry tomatoes and a ratatouille of bell peppers, aubergines and zucchini, meat balls (with and without tomato sauce), baccalà and a delicious looking frittata with veg and cheese. I was hungry, so I had a taste of different things.The atmosphere was very laid back and easy going, I knew nearly all the people that stopped by, mostly locals and only one foreign family who, though, had been brought here by a Venetian girl.
Don't expect a fancy and elegant location, this is a real osteria with the most authentic spirit and feel. The two "boys" behind the counter are very nice, but like to joke so you better not be too touchy, I'm warning you! Marco, especially, has his very own sense of humour but I assure you that -under all that beard- he is incredibly kind and only wants to help. What I can say is that he is a great worker, he's in his bar morning and evening and allows himself only a couple of hours break in the afternoon.
Although he has lived here for ages, he sometimes still tries to affirm Genoa's superiority on Venice... when he does this, I just reply that we can all thank Napoleon and his crew and that, if we hadn't been too busy fighting each other, who knows...maybe today we would still be competing for sea power. I say this because ... if you ask me, Venice has always been superior! ;-) Anyway, going back to more serious -and edible- stuff, I am happy Marco opened Ossi di Seppia and that it is only a few minutes from my house! Finally an unpretentious and truly authentic place, where the whole focus is on wine, food and -mostly- people!
Excellent option for easy-going people who enjoy good Italian wine, homely and homemade food and a nice chat! Ossi di Seppia is located in the centre of the city but isn't so visible so, when you are in campo San Giovanni e Paolo (where the hospital is), just take the calle on the right after the Rosa Salva pastry shop and at the end of it, on your left you'll find it! Great solution if you are looking for a budget but filling lunch but don't fancy the idea of sitting at a restaurant table and would much rather an assortment of nibbles. Just remember that it closes for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
Enjoy and happy drinking!
Address: Castello, 6316, 30122 Venezia VE
Phone: (+39) 331 275 0934
Opening times: 10 am-3:30 pm; 6:30 pm-10pm; closed on Wednesday
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