Eat in Verona, Italy, has to be a positive emotion. Visitors in town, mostly famous for Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet tragedy, often wonders where to eat in Verona to enjoy an authentic gastronomic and local style experience. Our suggestion is to find an Osteria (Venetian style Inn), the traditional formula of social eating in Verona and we'd like to help you in understand how it works.
An Osteria has to be a welcoming and familiar place, loved by Verona residents. Just crossed the door, look at the"Oste" (bar tender) at work behind the marble or wooden counter, he/she will immediatly salute you with a smile and the familiar italian greeting "buongiorno"
How and what to eat in a Osteria? The culinary experience begins with a quick standin aperitif at the counter: a tartina (canape) or some slices of local cured ham, strictly accompanied by a glass of good wine while waiting for your table to be released. It is the best moment to have a chat whit your friends and bar tender. Once seated, traditional Veronese cuisine lets' try bigoli (long and thick spaghetti pasta) with duck sauce, potatoes gnocchi and yellow butter and meltin' cheese, baccalà (codfish) "alla vicentina" and as a dessert, a Tiramisù or a slice of the world famous "Pandoro", the most loved and well-known Veronese dessert in the world.
Innovation cousine or old fashion glory? traditional cuisine does NOT mean "old" or worse to say unhealthy! The modern cooking techniques of preservation and preparation allow to serve traditional but light, nutritious and healthy food. Very important, Osteria taverns have to be a place open for everyone. That's why understand the food choices of customers and their needs (celiac disease, allergies to certain products) are key factors in planning the menu. There are many traditional local recipes to be use, without depriving the guest of an authentic Verona style experience.
Quality and home make. Modern Osteria must use high quality ingredients, best organic. Use if possibile local farms and wineyards products and process them "at home", so guaranteeing the final quality and taste of the recipes. Home made bread, pasta, mustards and sauces are the strenghts of a real Osteria. There is no room for pre-processed or purchased mass market foods. Don't ask for anything less than quality when you sit at a table of an Osteria for a sincere and unique dining experience!
Wine, local wine, what else? For a truly Verona culinary experience, dishes must be paired by (at least) a glass of local wine. Greater the number, better the experience.. :) A good Osteria will offer you a selection of local wines, bottled or by the glass. Amarone della Valpolicella, Lugana dal Garda, Soave and sparcling Durello. Listen to the waiter, he/she has to tell you at least some very easy explanation of origin, terroir, vintage and grape blend.
How much does a meal cost in an Osteria? The writer has the opinion that more than the absolute price, a correct relationship with the quality provided to the customer really worths. The search for quality local raw food, a large, qualified and well-paid crew and the high costs of run a business in the old town center impose not to be toomuch cheap. Prices are always to be exposed to the customer; there must be no margins of doubts or uncertainties.
We hope you'll enjoy your stay in Verona. We invite you to try the traditional Veronese Osteria Caffè Monte Baldo, in town since 1909, with its traditional cuisine, the wide selection of canapés for apertives and local wines. Our goal? To make you feel in the real "heart of Verona".