We discovered Chioggia because it was a stop on our bike tour in the Po Valley, ending in Venice. From our brief experience, Chioggia is a small version of Venice, complete with canals, but without the hordes of tourists and inflated prices--a Venice of 100 years ago, but with modern conveniences! The main street is lined with churches, bars, and a fish market, all happily coexisting, but most of the restaurants are on the side streets, with signs on the main street pointing the way.
We were pointed to Osteria Penzo, and we weren’t disappointed. Though we did not have a reservation, the owners welcomed us graciously. The single dining room was simple and cozy and almost full on a Thursday night. Our orders ranged from mussels to fettucine with scallops to fish soup to broiled fish, and we were all happy with our choices. Everything was simply prepared and very fresh. At the end of the meal, we ordered grappa. After one round, the waiter (who was also the owner) offered us a second round on the house. I declined, but the men were happy to accept!
Over all, we were made to feel very welcome and enjoyed a memorable dinner in an authentic setting in the charming town of Chioggia.