One of my favorite things to do on my recent visit to Venice was to take a meal at a wine bar. Not just a liquid meal! At wine bars they serve cicchietti, small bites, like Italian tapas. These bites, with a small glass of wine called un’ombra (literally meaning the shade), is dinner enough and a small, satisfying adventure.
At one such place, Osteria Portego, we nibbled on potato-onion cakes, octopus salad, and crostini w baccala mantecato (a tasty spread of creamy baccala) . Most of these places have standing room only that spills out to the calle, or campo, or canal-side ledge. I had a glass of pinot grigio, my husband a glass of Castello beer. So fun. So delicious.
At another wine bar, this one in Dorsoduro called Al Squero, I tried the popular drink “spritz”…a combo of Aperol, white wine, and sparkling water. Mine had an orange slice, too.
One favorite cicchetto that I learned years ago in Venice and still make is simply mortadella and green sotto aceto pepperoncini. Get a 1/2″ slice of mortadella. Cut it into bite-sized squares and triangles. Top with a small green pepperoncino and put a toothpick through it. A yummy bite to follow or precede a sip of wine, beer, or a spritz!
Let me know if you’d like more details about these wine bars and others. Buon Appetito and Cin Cin.
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