Osteria Enoteca San Marco, Venice, a lovely spot for lunch
So off to Venice with my lovely wife to celebrate 10 years of matrimony. Baby G has been left in the able care of his grandmother so very early one morning we drive off to Gatwick to spend a long weekend in one of the wonders of the world. I was a little ambivalent about going after I had heard horror stories about £20 cups of coffee in St Mark’s Square and hordes of tourists everywhere. However by the time our flight touched down on the mainland and we are whisked over to the quayside to get our private motor launch to the hotel I was firmly taken with this most unusual area. Arriving by speedboat at your hotel really is the perfect way to travel. We both sat at the rear of the boat getting covered in spray occasionally but absolutely loving the experience as we raced past various islands in the lagoon and then turned off the grand canal onto the jetty reception of our hotel the Daniella. Our room wasn’t quite ready to check into so the staff recommended we grab some lunch. The very helpful concierge staff recommended a couple of places but our eyes lit up when they suggested a nearby Enoteca “wine bar”. So armed with a map and vague directions we set out into Venice to navigate it’s charming lanes to find the Osteriara Enoteca San Marco.
It was down a small lane and like most Venetian places was bijous but charming. As it was on a corner its large windows gave in good natural light. The front of the San Marco is dominated by its bar where you can sit or perch (as is the venetian custom) enjoying your glass of wine. We tell the friendly staff we are in the mood for lunch so they lead us back into the restaurant where the exposed brickwork and solid wood tables give it a period feel. We order a couple of glasses of a cold crisp soave and peruse the menu. It has a good selection of antipasti, pasta and mains but my eye is taken with perhaps the humblest dish listed: Cacao e Pepe, which is described as thick spaghetti with Cacao cheese and pepper. I often find the simplest Italian dishes are the best so we both order it. My lovely wife whose seat looks into the dining room and kitchen can see the chef preparing out lunch which involves adding a huge pile of grated cheese to a pan of fresh pasta. The dish arrives and it is wonderful, a fantastic bowl of lovely cheesy creamy pasta liberally seasoned with pepper. What a great way to kick off our culinary trip around Venice.
The portion is perfectly judged for lunch and we wash our delicious pasta down with yet another glass of the soave. We are off out for a big dinner that night so we skip dessert but we do have a couple of great coffees and a glass of Limoncello, as we are on holiday after all! Our fellow diners seem to be also enjoying their lunch. The Singaporean lawyers sharing our long table are very taken with their bottle of Barolo. It is particularly gratifying to watch the little boy at the next table who must be about the same age as baby G utterly destroy a big plate of spaghetti with clams. The bill is really very reasonable for the excellent food and drink we have enjoyed so suitably refreshed we stumble back into the Venice rabbit warren to find our hotel. On arriving back we are pleased to find out we have been upgraded to a room with balcony. Therein awaits a bottle of iced prosecco so we spend the best part of that afternoon sipping our wine on the balcony taking in the atmosphere of the amazing city below us.