We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Secondo me....

It's the dog days of summer here in Venice. I'm talking HOT. VERY HOT. And humid. As much as I love beach time, it's been almost too hot for that too. I've been spending time indoors, trying to keep as cool as possible, doing lots of reading instead.

Last night the electricity in our building went out twice. My friend Jill around the corner from us told me it went out 3 times in her building.  I'm convinced this little "brown-out" was a sly message from our electric company: they wanted us all to do without the AC for a while.  I have news for them. It's hot, I'm keeping on the AC.  Supposedly this heat wave will last another week or so. I'm planning on a few more brown-outs along the way.

I've decided I'm going to try something new on here on the blog. I'm going to start a new feature I'm calling "Secondo me"  (English translation - in my opinion), where I'm going to share some of my favorite little tips and secrets. So here goes...

Secondo me.....

If you ask most Venetians for a favorite restaurant recommendation, you can be sure the name they give you is maybe their second or third favorite. They are very reluctant to give away their favorite, because they don't want it to be overrun with tourists. This quasi-Venetian has taken on that same trait in recent years. But... I'm tossing caution to the wind here because recently a few new restaurants and bars around town have blown my socks off. These guys deserve to succeed and I am happy, happy, happy to pass along my highest accolades.

Today I'm singing the praises of Trattoria da Jonny, a new little place in Campo della Gate in Castello. (Michelle, if you are reading this, that's right! Just across Ponte dei Scudi!).  A few months ago we noticed renovation work going on in earnest inside a tiny little place on the corner of this campo that had been closed tighter than a drum for years. We were curious, and very hopeful this wouldn't turn into a tourist trinket shop, which is about the only things we see springing up left and right. The gods were with us on this one.  Mid-May a new restaurant opened it doors in the campo, including lovely tables and chairs outside.

The first week they were open we stopped by for dinner. Mike chose the roast duck, I tried the spaghetti con seppie nero. Both scrumptiously prepared, and beautifully presented. This place got high marks for everything, from ambiance to service to table wine, it has it all. We met the owner, Jonny;  Hugo, the chef; and the waiter Joe.  Ever since that day whenever I pass by the place, Joe gives me one of his huge smiles and a happy "Ciao!"

Monday, after a long hot morning in and around Venice, I decided a good lunch was in order. I phoned Mike and invited him to meet me at da Jonny's.  This time we started with an octopus salad to share. I can't believe I forgot to snap a photo!  It is the best octopus we'd ever had!  

Next up, a rombo for Mike and frito misto for me. 

I had to end the meal with the tortina di ciccolata.  Molten on the inside, to die for. I'm already planning my next meal here- just the octopus salad and the tortina.  Buonissimo!

So, friends, when in Venice, secondo me  RUN, don't walk, to Trattoria da Jonny. Tell them I sent you. 

Trattoria da Jonny, Campo della Gate, Castello 3210  +39 041 296 0065
Reservations would be a good idea. They are small, and have  loyal local patrons already. 


Michelle said...

I am indeed reading this. I think this is a new location for this place because it was in Guy's recommended list in the book on the table. Wow, so close and now I'm so far away! It had a different address then and you know that unless I was with you I wasn't eating out.
Glad you liked it.
Blogger sent me notice of your post in a very funny way....they sent me my comment I made on your ape post but when I clicked I got this post.
Blame it on the heat.
It is outrageously hot here...in the 90's which you may know is extreme for Seattle where average daily temp for this time of year is 73. I'm staying in but no AC....only fans. It's a little after 6 am so I have windows open and fans sucking in the cool air.
Stay cool (I know you are "cool"....you're my friend in Venice....you don't get any cooler than that).
Ciao, ciao,

karen said...

Yes, it is a new location. We had heard of them and knew they were in Castello not too far away, but couldn't seem to ever find them every time we went looking. Delighted with their new spot! Perhaps next time you are back you'll just be walking over your bridge to see them too!

Stay cool! We're as hot as you are- in the 90's with 80% humidity. The older I get, the less tolerant of heat I am becoming. happy to become a hermit indoors for awhile. We're making sure we get down to water the garden just about every night, can't imagine letting that dry up!

Susie L said...

Karen, this sounds like a wonderful place, and the food looks divine. It is definitely going on our list, Grazie!

Michelle said...

Anch'io....with the age and the heat. I used to live in the desert for heavens sake. Here our afternoon humidity has been 17%....unheard of here. And major danger of wild fires. I was out this morning and noticed all the lawns are crispy; just waiting for a spark. Even though I use a pitcher and have to make many trips to the faucet I'm watering my plants (flowers and herbs) every day. There are some pictures from my patio on my blog about the "cat days of summer".
I'm spending my time reading too....right now I'm reading Marlena de Blassi's new book "The Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club"...it has great food descriptions and recipes in the back. I also bought a used copy of her "Regional Foods of Northern Italy" which has some lovely things I can hardly wait to try ....but may have to wait for much cooler weather, October maybe.
I just sent you an email about a friend of mine coming to Venice next month.
Ciao, ciao,

Denise Young said...

Okay...Jonny's is on my list for the next time we are in Venice! I might have to plan harder now! I remember Mike talking about this place in May when we were there.

Michelle...I hear you on the Seattle thing. I've left my melted cat behind and am working in Los Angeles, where it is a cool 68 degrees!


Freda said...

I can understand your reservations about posting your favourites (am reminded of A Year In Provence..) but grazie. We plan to be in Venice this winter, so maybe not too many tourists then?

karen said...

Freda- Lots fewer tourists in winter!

karen said...

Denise - obviously da Jonny's is a must. And way off the beaten path!

karen said...

Susie- let us know when you go, if you don't mind company we'll join you.

Anne Vance said...

Grazie mille Karen! It's on the list for November for sure. And certo, we would love to have your and Mike's company!

maryk said...

Well that's a definite for the (ever-growing) list. And of course you're welcome to join Jon and me!

karen said...

Anne and Mary- Delighted to share a great place with you, and you know we'll be more than happy to partake of your fabulous company any time! Can't wait to see you all again!

Patrizia said...

Hi Karen, I really like your blog and since I've discovered your stories - what can I say, I envy you! I'm Italian and I live in Veneto but even if in my little world I'm constantly looking for beauty (everywhere) I notice that in yours beauty is really easy to find. If you know what I mean.. You moved here from Maryland!! Gosh, it's extraordinary for me! You moved intentionally! Knowing every Italian difficulty, everything... but you moved here in Veneto.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your everyday life, you are teaching me again how to appreciate properly the beautiful things of this Italian part of the world.
PS. I really LOVED your posts about La Contessa. Probably because if I were you I would have thought those same things about knowing a 'native' in a 'foreign' country. This is why you are currently in my blogroll.
Sorry for the long comment, but I had to.
A warm, Veneto hug

Dianne said...

Thanks Karen. I have noted it in my list of Venice restaurants. Speaking of outdoor tables, do you know if the Hamburger place in Campo Santa Margherita ever got permission to have outdoor tables.