Simple food, great pleasure

After fighting our way through Venice guided by a woefully inaccurate map we finally found Osteria al Portego, an un-assuming neighbourhood bar and kitchen that provided satisfying and un-pretentious food.

Being lunchtime the menu was largely themed on pasta, which is fine for most people but it left me with a limited choice of dishes. I had Bresaola with cherry tomatoes, rocket and Padano cheese. I was very pleased that the tomatoes were at room temperature (rather than being plucked straight from the fridge as is generally the case in Blighty). OK, I may not be so thrilled with vast quantities of rocket, but the dish was well-balanced and quite enjoyable.

Daniel was not so limited on the wheat front, and so ordered spaghetti with mantis shrimps. The latter had been cooked whole in a powerful tomato sauce, and their flavour had infused the entire dish. Honest food, cooked with impeccable ingredients.

This meal cost €17 per head including some vaguely passable Pinot Grigio. You cannot really do much better for that money.

Contact details: Osteria al Portego, Castello 6015, Calle de la Malvasia. +39 041 5229038.