Osteria Madonnetta (VI)
La Madonnetta keeps intact all the charm and beauty of the taverns of the past, with 110 years of history owned by the same family; a magical place where you feel at home at any time and travelers, retirees, artists, managers and time wasters mix naturally in front of a good glass of wine to offer a privileged view of that great stage that is life. It will be for this genuine atmosphere that the Osteria was one of the favorite places of the young Ernest Hemingway when in 1918, at the age of 18, he came to Italy as a volunteer ambulance driver and which today is one of the most loved restaurants by international designers and artists who frequent these areas thanks to the proximity to the headquarters of super fashion brands such as Diesel.
Originally a stable, when in the 1600s in the square of Marostica, which it overlooks, there were the shops that served the Castle of Marostica, was purchased in 1904 by Giuseppe Polita, known as Bepi, for his beloved wife. Since then, and perhaps his fortune is due to this, the Osteria has always been a “business of women“, caring landlords. Feeling at home is a magic that even today Annamaria, together with her husband Franco and her 3 children, is able to offer her customers, welcomed in a convivial environment furnished with antiques handed down for generations: the pendulum clock, the table created from the trunk of a single tree, the centuries-old fireplace, the bar counter (now used as a desk) and many objects rich in memory lovingly cared for by his brother-in-law Antonio, a passionate restorer.
On the walls the testimonies of moments of shared life among old photographs, handmade ceramic cups by Nove for the customers of the nearby factory when wine was still served in a cup, satirical jokes and newspaper clippings left by bontemponi patrons and a sweet image of the Madonna del Dito to which Mimma, Annamaria’s sister-in-law, was inspired to paint the beautiful sign of the tavern. The name seems, in fact, to derive from the capital with a statue of the Virgin, located at the beginning of the street where the restaurant is located.
The cuisine is homemade, that of the grandmother on holidays, today enriched by a great search for raw materials that come from local producers and Slow Food presidents with recipes that look to tradition, but embrace a modern sustainable philosophy based on its values of social responsibility and the wholesomeness of the dishes that are expressed in a virtuous circle that rewards organic farming and the disposal of waste with a low environmental impact. Here you can find the real dishes of the Venetian tradition, from bigoli to duck to cod with polenta or to roast rabbit to be enjoyed with an excellent selection of local wines, including the famous Torcolato, obtained from the pressing of dried grapes. In fact, at the end of the meal, one must absolutely try one of the white dessert wines offered by the house together with one of the rustic Venetian desserts such as Macafame, made with stale bread, apples and dried fruit. And as tradition dictates, at the end of the meal you will always be offered a glass of the Ciliegino digestive, produced on an ancient “secret” family recipe, the greedy certainty of the satisfied smile with which you will leave the tavern.
In February 2016 the writer John Hemingway, grandson of the Nobel Prize for Literature, visited the Madonnetta during the journey in which he retraced the places frequented by his grandfather in Veneto, telling the international media about his love for Italy, the Country that best knows how to pass on the “cuisine of memory” in the world, happy to have been able to taste the same dishes that his grandfather had loved during his first year in Italy in 1918.