• Nicoletta Fornaro

ReCondito: cicheti, express dishes, wine and long drinks in Campiello del Pestrin


There are places in Venice that, although hidden, see streams of people pass by everyday. The F.ta Nove vaporetto stop is a sort of hub, so all the people who live on the islands on the north side of the lagoon, the Venetians that work in the area and the visitors that want to explore Murano, Burano and Torcello walk through Campiello Widman, Campiello del Pestrin and Calle del Fumo at every hour; and it is (again) thanks to my husband that I learned about a new place called ReCondito.

The name ReCondito is a sort of pun, because in Italian recondito means hidden, but if you separate the words re and condito they mean dressed (with condiments) and king. The idea of the owners of this corner wine bar -Federico and Irene- is, in fact, that everyone likes to be -and deserves- to be treated as a king and enjoy a good and lavish meal. I will begin by saying that I immediately liked the brightness of the place, but the best thing was Irene's nice smile.

ReCondito is close to my favourite bakery, Fratelli Crosera, in fact they have their delicious whole wheat loaf with grains and seeds, something that for me has now become a kind of proof of the pudding to test a place (have you noticed that most of the places I like use this bread?!). The bar is small, with a little assortment of fresh and seasonal express made dishes and sandwiches and some gourmet cicheti. My husband had tried it about a week ago; I think I have already mentioned that he works in the area so he needs to eat out everyday and -obviously- to find places where he can fill his tummy but that are also affordable.

If I'm not mistaken, he ate a sandwich and drank a Sardinian beer, anyway he advised me to check it out and so I did. ReCondito works also as express take-away and their focus is on wine. The aperitif is the moment when there are more people and when, according to Federico, the light is at its best. I don't know about that, I went for lunch and thought that the way the light illuminated the room, well...it was lovely, warm and enveloping. I would have stayed there and let the sun kiss me forever... but (fortunately for them) I have to work too, so my breaks hardly ever last more than half an hour/maximum one hour. To get into the right mood I immediately asked for some wine, precisely for a round red and they suggested a Refosco Luisa. Excellent. I have to admit that when I heard the word Refosco I was a bit worried because usually this type of wine has a strong acidity, but they were right: perfetto!

I sat on a stool and asked if it was possible to have a vegetarian dish or, anyway, something with veggies. The fact that everything is made at the moment is great exactly for this reason, because you can talk with him, so he can adapt the ingredients of the day to your specific needs. Poco ma buono (quality and not quantity), my type of philosophy: I like it! He was still preparing the potato soufflé, made just with mashed potatoes, sautéed white onions and parsley, and asked me if I would have liked a dish with that, some baked tardive radicchio and some bufaline (small bufalo mozzarellas....). Oh well... I suppose that could do fine for me!

What a tough life, ah? Needless to say, it was delicious: simple, healthy and good. The sort of thing you eat at home -something which, for me, is a great compliment and added value-, the kind of food you would give to your kids. I will tell you that over the last year, Venice hundreds of new places opened in Venice, but only a few are characterised by a true passion and desire to do well and these are the people I want to support. Federico, in fact, used to be one of the managers of the Orange Cafe in Santa Margherita and he felt the need to do something different, to change and develop his passion for homemade and local food. Well done, we like your place!

ReCondito opened about a month ago and while I was there I saw there I could see it had its regulars. This is a good sign, it means that people like the drinks, the food, but mostly...the people! You know, I started my blog the 1st of February and in these 10 months I really figured out that the most important thing is the cordiality and kindness of the staff/managers. Really, I want to -and appreciate- when people treat me nicely and, while one would imagine it is something obvious, I assure you that it is not to be taken for granted! A man sitting next to me had the meaty version of my dish, with speck replacing the bufalo mozzarellas. In case you didn't know, speck is one of the most renowned products of South Tyrol, a cured ham that is then smoked at low temperature, process that allows the smoke to penetrate in the whole ham (and not just the outer layer).

The crostini too looked delicious, but if you have learned to know me you know I need to eat! This is why, after my lunch I drank a coffee and tried one of their homemade desserts. As for the rest, little choice but good quality. There were some apple tarts and another fruit cake, but I went for the dark chocolate pastry.. so good, with hazelnuts and another ingredient I was not able to identify. Chocolate and coffee are the perfect match, they simply complete one another and it was the perfect ending for me. With regard to coffee, I had a ristretto (reduced, short espresso) and it was nice and creamy. As you may now, it all depends on the machine and on the grinding, in fact one needs to change the size of the coffee bean grinder according to the level of humidity (so....quite often in Venice!!!) and their coffee was great. I can tell because it didn't leave me with a horrible feeling of thirst on my tongue. The value for money was good too, on average for a glass of wine and a warm dish you spend between 10/15 euros (obviously less if you eat less than me...it's just to give you an idea of the prices).

When I finished, I just wandered around the area to take some pictures and then went to meet a fellow blogger, Monica Cesarato, author of Cook in Venice. The F.te Nove area is wonderful, quiet and peaceful, a real residential area. The pastel colours, the low and simple houses, the laundry drying outside the windows... well, it is so nice I strongly recommend you to get lost in these calli and campielli.

So, when you will be wandering and exploring this area of Cannaregio, stop at Recondito for a good glass of wine and a comforting and delicious dish! Divertitevi e buon appetito!

ReCondito

Address: Cannaregio, Campiello del Pestrin 5323, 30121 Venezia (VE)

Phone: +39 041 5231172

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