Osteria da Giovanni (VE)

by Lavinia Colonna Preti
Osteria da Giovanni (VE) — Veneto Secrets

Quality. Detail. Beauty. We hear so much talking about “modern osterie” and this is perhaps the only true one in Veneto. Why? Find out by reading the peculiar history of this small hidden gem located in Palazzetto, near San Donà di Piave.

Always the reference point of the small town, it was born as Osteria da Pino in the second post-war period until 2001 when it became a pub and then definitively closed in 2015. Giovanni lives a few hundred meters away and does not give up seeing a place so dear to him shutting down for good.

And here is the first analogy with an authentic osteria: Giovanni, very young, busy doing his studies, at that time had never thought of embracing the restaurant scene…But the spirit of the “pioneer” pushed him to try, even if he was at his first experience. So in 2019, with the help of his family, the Osteria da Giovanni was born.

Osteria da Giovanni (VE) — Veneto Secrets

Second analogy: the family. Giovanni’s mum was the first to follow him in this adventure and now she is responsible for the floral decoration, so beautiful that it would rival the best Chelsea Flower Show creations! Together, they scanned the abandoned houses of the little town in search of furniture “with a history”, enriching the restaurant with original pieces such as the beautiful yellow cupboard at the entrance, the recycled wooden tables, or the blue bar counter.

His aunties gave him the best dinner services that they had at home (if you are lucky you can eat right on one of those, just so beautiful and precious), they embroidered the underplates, giving life to a simple but very chic mise en place. Friends just did the rest, like Francesco Prevaldi from the Marabu’ store in San Donà Di Piave or Alberto Colbertaldo from La Centrale Interni in Treviso.
The result is wonderful, warm, and intimate, just like the atmosphere of the osterias from the past, but in a truly contemporary version.

Osteria da Giovanni (VE) — Veneto Secrets

Third analogy: the cuisine. The dishes that Giovanni prepares – since the opening he has become a very good chef – are the recipes of the tradition learned from his grandmothers, such as the guinea fowl with pevarada sauce or the goose in onto, that sometimes he interprets with a twist, such as the tagliolini pasta of red grape marc flour with squid and rosemary oil.

The suppliers are all, absolutely all, local. Just like it used to be. Even the spirits and the aperitifs (fab served in the garden in the evening) are truly Venetian. For the spritz, instead of Prosecco, Giovanni uses Grapariol (made with white Rabosina grape) from Zenson di Piave, while for the Americano he utilizes Il Furioso “Bitter Rosso” from the Ancient Mantovani Distilleries of Rovigo. The flours selection is also great: such as the stone-ground White Pearl Maize from Noventa di Piave or the spelled flour from the Agriluska farm in San Donà. As for the second courses, Giovanni relies on the meat of the farmers of Val Casoni in Eraclea or the fresh fish brought by the fishermen of the Piave river.
The traditional spit-roasted meat is also excellent, made according to the Alta Marca production specification, which includes only certain wines and seasonings, organized at least twice a month, usually on Sunday evening.

The Secret

During the restoration works of the premises, the painting master Antonio Manna discovered, in the wall of the central room, 10 layers of paint, witnesses of all the previous managements. In agreement with Giovanni, he decided, not only to keep them, but to “exhibit” them, giving life to a spontaneous layered work of art that pays homage to the wonderful history of this modern tavern.

Useful Info

Osteria da Giovanni
Via Bertazzolo 2
30027 San Donà di Piave, Venezia
Tel. +39 388 8840437

Starters and first courses: 9 — 13 euro
Second courses: 13 — 17 euro

Discover the Secret Places closest to you