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Osteria Suggestions

I'm excited for Osteria tonight and I have my eye on a few dishes for each course, but I'm looking for enthusiastic suggestions. Most likely, I will not have pizza, but instead an app, pasta and entree.

What should I eat?

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  1. If you get to dessert, I was blown back by the Budino di Polenta (and I'm not usually a dessert person). I don't think you can go wrong with any of the pastas. I was there at lunch and saw a whole pig roasting, presumably for that evening. Never tried it, but my mouth was watering just looking at it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: FrancisdeR

      Sounds good. I may have to try that even though I'm a cannoli guy.

      I'm planning on going to Amada this week for the roast suckling pig feast, but I'm sure Vetri's swine is just as amazing.


      1. re: FrancisdeR

        I agree with FrancisdeR - save room for the Budino di Polenta. I enjoyed this dish so much I'm trying to recreate it for a dinner party.

      2. The vegetable antipasto is always amazing. It changes, and the call it a special, but they always seem to have some version of it. It's a great light starter. For pasta, even though it's been on the menu for a long time, I'm a sucker for the candele w/wild boar bolognese. Also, if you like liver, the rigatoni is amazing.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

          Yes, I love liver. The chicken liver rigatoni is where I was leaning for my pasta.

          Has anyone had the sweetbread saltimbocca? I am a sucker for sweetbreads and my girlfriend works at Amis (so she got to try everything there before they opened) and said their saltimbocca is amazing.

          Although their pizzas look great, I think I'm leaning more toward the rabbit casalinga or the braised pork ribs, but we'll see.

        2. If I were you I'd skip the entree and get a pizza, the pizzas are one of the main things that make Osteria good. The candele with wild boar bolognese is my favorite pasta but I haven't been in a while and haven't had most of the pastas on their current menu.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Buckethead

            We almost always have a pizza, 2 appetizers and 2 pastas. The pastas are absolutely amazing. We think the pizza and the apps are wonderful as well, but the entrees do not blow us away, and we're usually full after our pastas. We think all the pastas are fabulous.

          2. Can anyone tell me which dishes are in these pictures?: http://bit.ly/c1gyOu

            7 Replies
            1. re: foodadelphia

              Just right-click the picture and hit Properties or View Image Info

              1. re: Buckethead

                Thank you for this computer information, never knew this trick, bless you.

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  Usually a description is written in the alt (alternative) attribute of the image tag so you only have to hover your cursor over the pic and the alt content will pop up. This site didn't have that, but, yes, the filenames are descriptive.

              2. re: foodadelphia

                Looks like that visit is from 2008. Osteria's menu usually changes seasonally, so no guarantees that they will be serving all of those dishes now.

                1. re: Philly Ray

                  Thanks. I'll be finding out soon.

                  Thanks all for the suggestions.

                    1. re: Philly Ray

                      That is the latest menu on their website? Ok. Good. That's what I've been drooling over. My girlfriend said that they always have a roasted pig, as well.

              3. Thanks everybody for the suggestions. You talked me out of cannoli and into the polenta budino, which I am quite happy about. I took your advise and went with the pizza, antipasti and pastas, and skipped entrees.

                What we had:

                Drinks: I had a couple of Eagle Rare Old Fashioneds and a Knob Creek Mahattan. She had a Ferentano (white), a Ciro (rosato), a Barbera (red). And we each had a Proseco (sparkling) for dessert.

                Le Pizze: We split the Lombarda

                Antipasti: We split the smoked sturgeon crudo, I had the sweetbread saltimbocca and she opted for the antipasti special, tuna tar tar.

                Primi: We split the robiola francobolli, the chicken liver rigatoni, the wild hare ragu with pappardelle, the candele with wild boar bolognese and the pig's foot cannenoli.

                Dolci: I ordered the polenta budino with gianduia mousse and candied hazelnuts (best dessert I've had), and she had the chocolate espresso cake with cappuccino gelato.

                Everything was amazing. there was a tie for my favorite pasta dish between the wild hare ragu and the wild boar bolognese. But candele is my new favorite noodle.

                But the winner of the night and possibly in the top 5 of my all time favorite dishes was the sweetbread saltimbocca. I just started drooling while typing that.

                Everything was amazing. I can't wait to go back.

                Pictures attached. Not pictured are the sturgeon crudo, drinks or desserts.

                1 Reply
                1. DH and I had dinner at Osteria this week, and it was very enjoyable.
                  Started with the mozzarella in carrozza- like mozzarella sticks for grown ups, with a bright homemade tomato and pear ketchup. The dough was thin and crisp and the dish came with two- perfect for splitting.
                  We then had the boar with candele- broad, fresh pasta with a ground pork ragu. It's big, so split amongst at least two, or make it an entree.
                  I had the sea bass with cauliflower, lemon, anchovy and parsley. The fish was fresh and cooked perfectly. The cauliflower presentation was terrific- a puree of cauliflower was delicate and light, topped with crunchy roasted cauliflower, where that lemon anchovy sauce flavor was.
                  I'm squirreling away that idea!
                  DH had the duck with cabbage and grapes and said it was very good.
                  We shared a contorni of mustard green and potato gratin. Mustards are my favorite green, so I was in heaven with this.
                  Too full for dessert.
                  Service was friendly and efficient, but not intrusive.
                  The lemon basil and prosecco with ginger liqueur cocktails were also quite delicious.
                  The only bad news is that I'll have to wait a while to return!

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: monavano

                    Just curious - why did you add it to a thread from 2010?

                    Great review, but next time it might be better to start a new thread so that we don't get all these old reviews.

                    1. re: sylviag

                      Why can't a thread be refreshed? Scroll by the old ones.
                      Why do we need an umpteenth thread on Osteria started anyway?
                      I'll leave it stand as is. Hope the info is helpful.

                      1. re: monavano

                        Fine. I didn't mean to be negative.
                        It's just that often people don't realize it's old,
                        and possibly get out-of-date information.
                        You're a good reviewer; keep up the good work!

                    2. re: monavano

                      Love the review. Heading there this Saturday, and had some second thoughts since there are other cool spots such as Fork and Ela open but I'm having a craving for some Italian and besides Vetri have not done any other Italian in the city (no joke). Osteria, Il Pittore and Davio's are on my list. I chose Osteria for Sat. :)

                      1. re: dndicicco

                        You might try Zeppoli, sort-of Vetri when first opened.
                        Fork is one of best in city right now.

                        1. re: dndicicco

                          Would have loved to have tried Fork- next visit ;-)

                          1. re: dndicicco

                            Davio's is a chain.. you can do a lot better than it .. Would love to hear what you think of Osteria.

                              1. re: Buckethead

                                Ela is fantastic! Some of the most creative food in Philly (not to mention the sexy TV star chef might appeal to your significant other!).

                                We had a fantastic brunch for the first time there recently. The buttermilk biscuits/scrambled eggs/bone marrow gravy & hash browns dish (the latter was a bit weird, compressed into a brick) was particularly memorable, although borderline too rich for my palate.

                                Short rib Eggs Benedict was also very good.

                                I usually like my oysters nude with a dash of lemon, but the blackberry mignonette was much more interesting than the usual predictable accompaniments.

                                Very good brunch cocktails.

                                Absolutely gorgeous space. And there is easy open air lot parking a block away too.