The king of sandwiches takes the Venexino of Padua: ‘And I’m going into partnership with the employees’.

After success in New York, Rome and Jesolo, Davide Pedon is relaunching his bistro in Via San Fermo. Opening tomorrow.

08 SEPTEMBER 2020

PADOVA. Let’s put it this way: Davide Pedon took it wide. He had his dream just around the corner and instead he first conquered New York, then hit the jackpot in Rome and only this year – in defiance of all odds – made his way back to the Veneto. In July he opened in Jesolo and is now ready to take up his old dream again: running a club in his native Padua.

Davide Pedon talks about the new Venexino: between past and future, with an extra gear.

The Venexino stands proudly where it has always been, under the porticos of Via San Fermo which, if they could speak, would tell of an endless succession of refined, exaggerated and glamorous aperitifs. They could practically write the encyclopaedia of Padua’s bien vivre in one go. One of the many stories would be that of Davide Pedon, the Paduan entrepreneur who a few years ago made a splash in Manhattan by exporting the Venetian tramezzino and who, since September 2020, has been the head of Il Venexino. When they say: ‘they go on long journeys and then come back’.

Hi Davide what are you doing back in Padua, leading Il Venexino?

The Venexino is a historic venue and, like all Paduans, I used to frequent it. Not only that, but even when I was abroad on business I would pass through here at least once a year to say hello and enjoy this unique atmosphere.

Abroad, and also at home, you are known as ‘the guy who brought the sandwich to New York City’…

You should know that even though my main job is as export manager for Roberto Industria Alimentare I have always been a big fan of sandwiches. For me, a tramezzino and a Cynar spritz is the perfect combo so, together with my partners at Tramezzini NYC, I thought “Why not?”. The format was successful and I decided to continue along the tramezzini path by opening two shops in Rome and one in Jesolo with the acronym Q.C. which stands for “qualità certa” but also represents the initials of my father’s and brother’s names.

Did you bring sandwiches to Il Venexino?

Of course! But not the usual ones… at Il Venexino you can find three-tier gourmet sandwiches, with a bit of filling on the top layer too. The flavours are unusual, bold and combine gourmand ingredients. But you should also try the toast, spacey.

What remains of the Venexino we all know?

Much of the interior design has remained unchanged because I have to say that style has never been lacking here. Above all, however, the employees are the same and, as an incentive to work but also because they deserve it, I have given them some shares in the business (as happened with Enrico Orteschi and Matteo Ruffato, pictured in the photo together with Davide Pedon, ndr). I love working this way, this is a method I always use.

So fine cuisine, important wine cellar…

I may sound biased, but the food here at Il Venexino is really good. The cuisine remains dedicated to fish, excellent raw materials, raw dishes and, in general, a high quality proposal. Did you know that at this time of year we serve our own filled pancakes? And then the Americano: when I opened in September, there was a queue to order one. As for the wine cellar, you can have a look for yourself (he points to the wine board, with a dizzying list of Champagnes at the top, ndr).

What else did you bring to Il Venexino?

It may sound trivial, but many people have told me this, even the suppliers. I brought a smile, always, and it is not a superficial smile. I’m the host: I sit at the tables, say hello, chat… it’s much appreciated by the customers. Teamwork also benefits: this is a cohesive and organised team that works well together.

But now this ‘normality’ doesn’t exist… how can you try the cuisine of Il Venexino?

We are active with home delivery and take-away. The full menu can be viewed on @ilvenexino’s social profiles and orders can be placed by calling 0498759988 or texting 3406665133 and 3496777081.

What are the next goals?

The Venexino is my first place with a kitchen. And you know what I thought? That I could open others to complement the Q.C.’s which are without a kitchen and specialise in sandwiches. Some negotiations are already in progress, but I cannot say more.

Published on 8 February 2021

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