Rustic Unusual

Osteria Contemporanea Da Riccardo (VE)

by Lavinia Colonna Preti
Osteria Contemporanea Da Riccardo (VE) — Veneto Secrets

In Cannaregio, a gourmand osteria, theater of the talent of Riccardo Volpe, director of excellent flavors, who combines in his Venetian "stage" the genius and recklessness that belong only to true artists.

And his restaurant, which opened in 2018, really is a “theater”, thanks to the large red brocade curtains that divide the small osteria from the bustle of life of the small calle in which it is located, a mise en place that changes according to the artists that Riccardo meets, and the care with which he stages, every day, an ever-changing menu, from tapas to meatfish or vegetarian gourmet dinners, making his offer truly unique throughout the Veneto region.

Riccardo Volpe, Venetian by adoption, in this venue, has concentrated all the experience of a life, certainly lived out of the ordinary. His passion for cooking revealed itself late, at the age of 45 when, almost by chance, he began to manage a restaurant in Rialto and then, through a friend, he was offered to reinvent the small restaurant in Cannaregio which has now become his kingdom.

Osteria Contemporanea Da Riccardo (VE) — Veneto Secrets
Osteria Contemporanea Da Riccardo (VE) — Veneto Secrets

I only cook what I like and what I have first experienced for myself, I start from traditional recipes and elaborate them with excellent ingredients.

(Riccardo Volpe, cook and owner)

From his many travels, Riccardo has maintained the innate curiosity that drives him to look for products that owe their uniqueness to the territory that “created” them and of which he is the guardian, not only of their flavour, but above all of the tradition they represent.

The search for his suppliers is manic, starting with the Venetian fishermen who bring him the freshest fish every day, or the dairy that provides him with a 70 from 100-month Parmigiano and the seasonal first fruits from the gardens of the island of Sant’Erasmo.

Osteria Contemporanea Da Riccardo (VE) — Veneto Secrets

The menu exists, but Riccardo likes to tell it in his own way and to let guests try new delights every time. If you like his great revisited classics, such as raw fish dishes, spaghetti with pistachio zabaglione and Sicilian red prawns, lasagna with artichokes, or tagliatelle au gratin with baccalà alla Vicentina, his creative menus will really make you fall in love.

Here all his ingenious creativity comes out. Like the vertical tasting dedicated to tuna, in which you will be served the “tonno tonnato” with asparagus, cucunci and coffee powder, the spicy Tex Mex with black beans and tuna, the moussaka, obviously made with tuna, and the tataki and tuna steak with San Daniele ham, pistachios and Modica chocolate.

Osteria Contemporanea Da Riccardo (VE) — Veneto Secrets
Osteria Contemporanea Da Riccardo (VE) — Veneto Secrets

New for 2023, the osteria has also been enriched with the new “dynamic aperitif” format, ideal for lunch, to be enjoyed also in the small outdoor area, with the characteristic wooden backsplashes and stools of the Venetian bacari. A tapas-style menu based on the excellent products that Riccardo stocks up on every month – such as the best hams, from Pata Negra to Montagnana, Provençal snails and selections of oysters from Brittany, from the Sacca di Scardovari and the Venus from Caorle – but also many other meat or fish dishes, including vegetarian options such as caponata or raw and cooked salads.

Obviously, the wine list is up to such a creative flair with a selection of Supertuscans and top-notch sparkling wines flanked by small artisan wineries in particular from Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Osteria Contemporanea Da Riccardo (VE) — Veneto Secrets
Osteria Contemporanea Da Riccardo (VE) — Veneto Secrets

Every detail in the place speaks of conviviality and friendship, from the furniture, recovered together with an antique dealer friend, to the paintings in the series “Dive” by the artist Francesco Bruscia, up to the colored red Cinabro ceramics by Chiara Destro.

Thus, after having been Riccardo’s guest just even once, you will feel like you have known him forever, willing to return soon to his restaurant, a safe “harbour”, which has become a renowned meeting point for gourmands, artists, journalists, writers, and true Venetians.

The Secret

The fame of the excellent products that can only be found at Riccardo’s has spread to such an extent that more and more people ask him for his specialties to be tasted at home and taken away. Precisely to fulfill this request, Riccardo will soon open the doors of his “home”, a new location, to live the “Da Riccardo” experience in an even more intimate and personalized way.

Useful Info

Osteria Contemporanea Da Riccardo
Calle dell’Oca 4426
30121 Venezia
Tel. +39 041 2412731

Tasting menu: from 29 euro
First courses: from 16 euro
Second courses: from 18 euro

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