Osteria Veneziana - A Little Piece of Italy at the Heart of Colchester
“Our concept is to make authentic Italian food, using the best and finest ingredients available. Our menu is largely Italian, blended with good, British modern food such as our fillet steak, corn-fed chicken and traditional Sunday roasts. We both have families and we love families. Our aim is to make it family friendly and a place to enjoy a meal together” - Alberto
Restaurants and cafes are my favourite places to visit! Indre and I have met some amazing people since we started our collaboration, but food is my passion so it’s always exciting when we get to talk to chefs and sample some of their food. Osteria Veneziana is a new restaurant in Colchester based on St Botolphs street. It’s an authentic Italian restaurant and has been open since Easter Monday. I have to admit, I admire people who open restaurants in Colchester and other towns/ cities as there’s so much competition from the big chains. Osteria Veneziana is owned by two brothers, Alberto and Timmy. But I don’t think they need to fear their competitors. Their food is wholesome, delicious and filling! Osteria means ‘a place to dine’ and Veneziana, or Venice, is a city that every nationality in the world wants to visit. This is the vision Alberto has for the restaurant.
Indre and I visited their restaurant for lunch today and it didn’t let us down. Their ethos is simple, and within two weeks, the quality of food speaks volumes. It’s bound to be a huge success based on their soy and honey chicken starter alone! When we arrived, we both commented on how nice it was to see the dishes listed in Italian first then the English underneath. It makes you feel like you’re looking at a menu abroad and really adds to what the whole aim of the restaurant is. Monday - Friday, they have an amazing lunchtime deal running (12-7pm) where you can get 2 courses for £15.95. And it’s not like other restaurants where they just shove the cheapest things on the menu to get people through the door. They’re all varied and I think there’s something for everyone.
Nowadays, most people don’t know how their food is prepared or where it comes from. Alberto and Timmy are hoping to change this through their approach to the way the restaurant is run and how the food is cooked. Timmy is a highly skilled chef who has worked in Michelin starred restaurants and even cooked for the Queen! This is clear to see. Genuine care and love goes into every plate of food, from the cooking to plating up. They’re both extremely passionate about the food they produce, and in particular, the ingredients that they use. All of the food is fresh, not frozen and made by Timmy. For instance, the red wine jus that is served with the steaks and chicken is made entirely from scratch. Red wine is reduced, along with stock, bone marrow and bones to get maximum flavour into the jus, before draining so all that’s left is a decadent sauce.
Children are also able to see their pizzas being made and pick whatever toppings they want on them. It’s a fun environment for them. Alberto and Timmy want families to feel welcome and to involve the children. They have young families themselves and recognise the importance of being made to feel welcome with children. The two families only moved to Colchester four weeks ago, previous to this, they lived in Chelmsford and other areas in the UK. Alberto and Timmy were born in Albania, but lived in a Italy, before moving to the UK over 20 years ago. The UK is their home and it’s somewhere that they find the freedom and acceptance is deeply meaningful for them, and is something they want their diners to feel.
I would highly recommend you pay them a visit over the next few weeks and show your support for an independent business trying to make it in this tough climate! They have an extensive menu, and if there’s a pasta dish not on there, if you tell Alberto and Timmy exactly what you want, they will do their utmost to accommodate you. After all, they’re there to make you happy and leave feeling satisfied, and stuffed. Which is what happened with Indre and myself today!