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Susanna Foo or Osteria?

l
lizlipskrb Jun 16, 2008 09:03 AM

Planning a dinner for two... place your votes!

  1. k
    keyfinder Jun 27, 2008 10:05 AM

    Osteria. Cheaper and better.

    1. j
      joan1725 Jun 20, 2008 05:50 PM

      Been to and like both. Osteria is loud, and fun with excellent food. SueFoo is quiet and elegant with excellent food. Two very different dining experiences.

      1. n
        nwinkler Jun 19, 2008 03:22 PM

        I dined at Osteria two weeks ago, and came away with decidedly mixed feelings about the place.

        It is a beautiful looking restaurant with a gorgeous kitchen, and everything about the space and menu is self-confident, enlightened to all the current food trends (DIY salumi, proper conjugation of Italian terms, sought-after ingredients), and generally classy.

        However, I was immediately put off by the service. Our waitress was visibly upset that some in our party were light eaters, and tried desperately to lure us into ordering apps, pastas and entrees (which at Osteria is downright expensive and an obscene amount of food--I found portions to be quite large, contrary to the opinions of some other posters). She improved little throughout the evening, mostly neglecting us in spite of my best efforts to charm.

        The food was great, but exemplifies this current fad of indulgence to the max. Every dish, excepting the wonderful pizzas, was loaded with fat--most often pork fat--and salt. In fact, I would describe almost everything I ate as having been oversalted. This criticism comes from one who's cooking is itself often criticized by friends for its saltiness.

        Ultimately i liked everything I tried, but left feeling full to the point of nausea and sort poisoned from all that fat and salt. (Desserts, however, were uniformly good, especially the semolina budino .)

        I can't say anything about Susanna Foo since I haven't been, but for my money I enjoyed myself more and at a fraction of the price at Sovalo in Northern Liberties than at Osteria. And depending upon what you want to spend, I agree with another poster that Vetri and The Fountain cannot be beat.

        1. l
          lawgirl3278 Jun 18, 2008 11:42 AM

          I don't know your budget, but I can't think of a better place for a celebratory dinner than The Fountain at the Four Seasons.

          1. l
            lizlipskrb Jun 18, 2008 09:12 AM

            So, what do you all recommend then for a celebratory dinner...something memorable and delicious?

            1 Reply
            1. re: lizlipskrb
              b
              Bigley9 Jun 18, 2008 01:37 PM

              have you tried Vetri?

            2. crazyspice Jun 18, 2008 06:20 AM

              We haven't been to Osteria, but had the most expensive UNmemorable meal at SF. Plus the staff there is incredibly snooty.

              1. joluvscards Jun 18, 2008 05:04 AM

                What a tough decision since both restaurants are poor choices. There are far better places in Philly.

                5 Replies
                1. re: joluvscards
                  saturninus Jun 18, 2008 06:13 AM

                  I feel so supported!

                  1. re: joluvscards
                    rabidog Jun 18, 2008 07:05 AM

                    agree on the osteria bit (never been to sfoo). highly recommend checking out modo mio, italian cash only BYO for a multi-course $32 meal you won't be soon to forget. :) similar dishes to osteria... done better.

                    1. re: joluvscards
                      b
                      Buckethead Jun 18, 2008 07:53 AM

                      Are you a vegetarian? Just wondering. I've noticed that vegetarians don't like Osteria as much as omnivores.

                      1. re: Buckethead
                        rabidog Jun 19, 2008 06:37 AM

                        i am mostly... though i do eat fish (which i had there)... you may be on to something though. i thought the vege dishes were uninspired, and the seafood dishes overpriced. nothing disgusted my palate, but nothing about that meal said two hundred dollars either (or whatever it ended up being - this was february and i can't absolutely recall).

                        1. re: Buckethead
                          spyturtle008 Jun 19, 2008 11:27 AM

                          I would respectfully disagree. My partner and I are vegetarian (no fish), and we had a wonderful experience at Osteria this spring. (Report at the following thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/510651 ).

                      2. l
                        lawgirl3278 Jun 17, 2008 10:17 AM

                        Interesting final options. I think Susanna Foo is horrifically overrated. I've never been to Osteria. It seems overpriced for the food you get, but like I said I haven't eaten there.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: lawgirl3278
                          m
                          Mr_Pickles Jun 17, 2008 08:53 PM

                          Both restaurants are overrated. If you must choose one of them, you're better off with Osteria. That being said, I did have very good wine service at Susanna Foo recently (it wasn't my choice to go there); the sommelier put together a nice wine pairing for our a la carte dishes at a very reasonable price. Wine service at Osteria wasn't to my liking, but I do think they have a decent list, especially considering the limitations caused by PLCB.

                        2. s
                          SpdRcr069 Jun 16, 2008 02:28 PM

                          I haven't been to Susanna Foo's in years, but when I when did go the past couple times, had an excellent meal with superb service. SF's is more intimate dining, Osteria can be loud and the service is hit or miss. I do like Osteria a lot. Consider James? I really like James.

                          1. saturninus Jun 16, 2008 02:04 PM

                            neither!

                            susanno foo - past it's prime at least 5 years ago
                            osteria - not worth the money for me. so so food. unprofessional service. doesn't meet the hype.

                            1. t
                              tartuffe Jun 16, 2008 11:09 AM

                              definitely Osteria; SF's been living on its laurels for years

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: tartuffe
                                c
                                cosmo125 Jun 16, 2008 01:02 PM

                                Would also recomment Osteria. It is very good.

                              2. b
                                Buckethead Jun 16, 2008 09:37 AM

                                Osteria. Why just those two?

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Buckethead
                                  l
                                  lizlipskrb Jun 16, 2008 09:38 AM

                                  well, after some research that's my narrowed down list...but i'll gladly accept any other recommendations!

                                  1. re: lizlipskrb
                                    b
                                    Buckethead Jun 16, 2008 09:50 AM

                                    That's surprising, I've never been to Susanna Foo's but I've read that it's gone downhill in recent years, most people I know would not consider it to be in the same league as Osteria (though it certainly was in the past). Anyway, Osteria is great, go there. Some other places you may want to consider include Ansill, Cochon (BYO), and Zahav. All are fantastic.

                                    1. re: Buckethead
                                      l
                                      lizlipskrb Jun 16, 2008 09:57 AM

                                      We were leaning towards Osteria, so I think you just sealed the deal! Thanks. I'll keep the others in mind too.

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