During my staying in Venice to work for the Biennale, I loved going for lunch to Le Spighe in Via Garibaldi, just behind the Giardini.
Le Spighe is a small, cosy place that makes delicious organic, vegetarian food, prepared fresh every day. Many dishes are also vegan and gluten free, happy me!
I like very much taking a break from work and, when I am not rushing, having a nice chat with Doriana, the owner, who created Le Spighe in 1989. Doriana is smart, lively and fun. She tells me that she came to Venice after she got married, she started this adventure by making fresh pasta and supplying very quickly all the best hotels in town (I took a picture of the old pasta-making machine that still has its place at the shop). The years passed and Doriana decided to devote her skills to creating a place where she could prepare and enjoy the food she loves to eat the most: simple, tasty and healthy.
Her motto is: “Se spendi per mangiare bene, la salute ti sostiene. Se spendi in economia, li spenderai comunque in farmacia.” Translation: If you spend money to eat well, you will enjoy good health. If you eat poor food to make economies, you will then spend more money at the pharmacy.
Faithfull to her philosophy, Doriana and the cook who helps her concoct new recipes everyday using fresh, seasonal, and organic vegetables, spices, beans, herbs, dried fruits, some gluten free cereals including rice and buckwheat, along with vegan dressings and sauce.
Some of the dishes I tasted include:
Brown rice with spinach, calendula flowers, radicchio, tofu marinated with basil and guacamole sauce.
Cannellini beans with thyme and fresh onions.
Fennels with cardamom, cinnamon, and sunflower seeds.
Buckwheat with broccoli, artichokes, almonds and calendula flowers.
Lentils with lemon and ginger. Salad with white cabbage, apples and vegan mayonnaise. Beetroot with dried figs. Carrots with cumin and sunflower seeds. Rice pie.
And I have to say, I enjoyed each of them!
Last but not least le Spighe sells also several organic products, some of them are gluten free. One more reason for me to keep going back.