It was Senor Lanky’s birthday, and in keeping tradition with our trip to Vetri last year, we decided to go to Marc Vetri’s newest restaurant, and winner of the 2008 James Beard Foundation award for Best New Restaraunt, Osteria. Located in a large building with soaring ceilings on North Broad St., Osteria has a more upscale rustic design, great wooden tables, and a giant meat slicer in the dining room for perfectly shaved prosciutto (not that I had any of that). We started with a glass of prosecco, and had to order the pecorino flan, pictured above. Dainty, salty, creamy and perfect. The fava beans, dense and very firm, made a perfect, accompaniment and tasted just like Spring.
Osteria is famous for its crispy, wood-fired fancy pizza. We shared one as a second course, and were suprised to find it was large enough to be an entire lunch (shared). Of course, we ate the whole thing anyway. Baby beets, creamy castelmagno cheese, fresh tarragon and a hint black truffle. We could have stopped there. We did not.
I love beets. For my primi course (which, by then, felt like a third course) I ordered the beet and goat cheese plin, like small folded pockets of thin pasta. Surprisingly rich (in a buttery sauce), it was a delight.
Because there aren’t any vegetarian options in the “Secondi” section of the menu, and because I love pasta, I ordered the robiola francobolli – ravioli with royal trumpet mushrooms and thyme. Somehow, this pasta was quite delicate and lightly flavored, which made me think I should have switched its order with the beet plin. At this point, and after a glass of Multipulciano, you can imagine that I was stuffed.
While Osteria certainly isn’t the “simple food” its name implies, and is on the pricey, special-occasion side of the spectrum, the food was impeccably prepared, the pasta light and yet complex, and we had a wonderful time.