Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Review: Osteria

Last night was our third visit to Osteria, to celebrate the birthday of my father-in-law.  We've always been thrilled with the service and the food, and were unsurprised to find that Marc Vetri et al had earned themselves a Beard award nomination for best new restaurant this year.  I'm sorry to report that we were slightly let down this time. 

The food was still generally up to snuff- the wood-oven pizza with homemade cottechino sausage and egg is as fantastic as I remember it, P's grilled chicken was more succulent and flavorful then chicken has any right to be.  My pork milanese was very crispy and well seasoned and toped with a lemony arugula salad.  The rigatoni with chicken liver ragu is still not to be missed- creamy and sage-y.  The special antipasto plate again was a disappointment for the charge.  The vegetables were good but not transcendent and a small portion considering the price. 

The food isn't the problem- it was the service and atmosphere which appeared to have changed.  We were seated on the "porch" which is a glassed  in addition.  It was freezing on a 95 degree day and the combination of glass and stone walls made it very noisy even though the nearest tables were at the other end.  My mother in law was using her napkin as a blanket, that is how cold it was. Our waitperson wasn't exactly the liveliest- which is fine, but I also felt she was pushing us with the up-sell over and over again. We were spending a considerable amount of money, but nothing wants to make me part with my money more then someone who is unobtrusively and repeatedly trying to get me to part with more of it. 
 I'm sure we will be back, but this time I'm not leaving with the feeling that I need to come back as soon as possible.  I can give it awhile before I'll need to give them another shot.

640 N Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Osteria on Urbanspoon

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