Osteria Da Pampo is a tiny place near a park in the southeast end of Venice, that opened in 2009. It has a totally different feel to the area than the more visited mid section. This became a family run (mother and 2 daughters) place with a small menu and a couple of daily specials three years ago. Service was attentive and friendly and delivered by the baker of the restaurant, who also spoke great English. You enter on the side of the building into an area that looked like a place where you could get to-go items. Inside the limited dining area were 12 small closely spaced bare wood tables, but there appeared to be a space for outdoor dining depending on the weather. The room looked like it was a porch that had been enclosed as there were windows on the 3 exterior walls. The light green walls and tile floor contributed to the very casual feel of the place. A couple paintings were on the walls and one corner housed a display of blue and white dishes on elevated crates. It definitely felt off the beaten tourist path.
Warm octopus and potato salad was chopped tender octopus on top of well cooked potatoes seasoned with olive oil. It was a mild dish but had a wonderful texture and feel to it. It was surrounded by small lettuce leaves and had a delightful flavor.
The bread basket had packages of breadsticks and slices of a nice airy bread with a good crust.
Ravioli de pesce con salsa di gamberi – Fish ravioli with prawn sauce, was well stuffed and covered with a tasty sauce. The pasta was filled with fish and scallop bits and topped with a buttery shrimp sauce. This was a delicious dish.
Pasticcio con gorgonzola e salsiccia – Lasagna with sausage and gorgonzola cheese was well cooked piece of lasagna seasoned with fresh pieces of sausage. It was a bit dry for my taste but tender with a nice crisp edge to the pasta. The gorgonzola was strangely mild. It all blended well and was fine but the ravioli was much better.
We had a side dish of spinach that was well cooked with garlic and olive oil. It was very strongly flavored in a good way and made with fresh spinach.
For dessert we chose the plum cake with honey, thyme and pine nuts alongside mascarpone that had been made by our server. She cautioned it was different in that it was not too sweet. It contained tasty pine nuts but overall was too dry even when mixed with the nice cream. She was right in that it wasn’t too sweet – it was a lot like a quick bread made with very mild plums. The various ingredients in it gave it an interesting flavor that worked, just a bit dry.