Osteria is one of a TRIAD of Philadelphia restaurants (Osteria, Amis, and Vetri) owned by chefs Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin. I enjoyed eating at the casual Vetri during a previous trip to Pennsylvania and looked forward to trying the upscale Osteria.
Osteria offers an extensive menu that includes both northern and southern Italian FARE. The restaurant specializes in offering SINGULAR combinations of ECLECTIC ingredients, such as:
- chestnut tagliolini
- wild bear bolognese sauce
- huckleberry ravioli
Four of us shared the polpo pizza and a special vegetable antipasti platter to start. The vegetable antipasti was the highlight of my meal.
For my main, I ordered gemelli pasta, my brother went for seppia (fish), and my parents shared a large cut of beef. My dad, the family OENOPHILE, complemented the wine selection. The meal was so filling, we had no room for dessert.
The setting is traditional and the all-glass patio area distinguishes Osteria from many other restaurants. The patio provides diners with a quiet, less-formal AMBIANCE and overlooks a beautiful stone church. The service was excellent and the wait-staff were attentive without being overbearing.
The portion size passed the “Ross test.” My brother Ross is a bottomless pit and he left the restaurant very satisfied.
My only criticism, which is a very important one, is that the chef was heavy-handed with his use of salt. The excessive salt DETERRED an otherwise fine-dining experience, causing Osteria to merit 3.5 out of 5 stars.
As Italian restaurants go, I’d rather eat at the more pocket-friendly Al Forno in Providence. Stay tuned for that review!
- TRIAD = threesome
- FARE = food
- SINGULAR = unique
- ECLECTIC = varied
- OENOPHILE = wine lover
- AMBIANCE = atmosphere
- DETERRED = hindered