We had walked past this restaurant since the first time we came to Venice, and never went in. This mistake was corrected a few days ago.
They call themselves a “Ristoteca,” which is a combination of Ristorant and Enoteca, I suppose meaning that it is somewhere in between. This distinction is lost on me, as it is on most Americans, but no matter; they can call what they please.
Oniga is located on the corner of Calle Longa in Campo San Barnaba, in the Dorsoduro section of Venice. I had mussels and clams as a appetizer, and a steak as a main course, and Karen had pumpkin lasagna with ricotta, and a mixed salad. I also had a bottle of red wine. All were delicious.
Karen’s salad was fresh and one of the best she has had in Italy. The Venetians do a lot with pumpkin, and this dish was delicious and obviously homemade. My mussels and clams were cooked to order, and were very tender (i.e., not overcooked). They were served in a large bowl with crusty bread, and were delicious. The only criticism I could offer is that they were a tad salty. In their defense, however, I have made several dishes while in Venice using the local mussells, and they tend to be much saltier than those I’m used to in the U.S. The steak did not come the way I expected it, but was already sliced, and served with a bit of greens and potatoes. It was so good, though, that I do not fault them for slicing it. The wine was a cabernet, which was one of the best wines I’ve had, and it was reasonably priced. The service was attentive and well-timed, and not hurried. This place is not white linen, but you can get excellent food and wine at a decent price. The tab was about 84 Euros for the two of us.
Dorsoduro 2852 in Campo San Barnaba; Tel. 041 522 4410; www.oniga.it
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