I will be taking my wife to Vetri for her birthday and we will be doing the tasting menu since it will be a Saturday night. I was looking for some feedback from those who have done the tasting menu before and was curious as to how much it can be "customized." My wife is pregnant, so there are a few things that she would like to stay away from and there are certainly a few of his specialties that i would want to make sure were included. Also, just some general feedback on others experiences, how many courses to expect, etc. would be appreciated. Although the wife is pregnant, I will most likely do the wine pairings for myself, even though I realize this is terribly selfish.
Hopefully someone with more recent experience will chime in (my visit to Vetri was a few years ago), but until then:
My mom wasn't eating meat at the time, and they happily modified the menu to accommodate her, while giving the carnivores the standard menu. In your situation, I'm pretty confident that they will be very happy to oblige your wife's restrictions. You might be more in their good graces, though, if you called ahead to warn them about what to stay away from.
I can't say for sure how many courses we were served, but I recall a wonderful bread course and an amuse of salmon tartare, about three antipasti (sweet onion crepe, asparagus flan, foie gras pastrami), a pasta (spinach gnocchi), and one or two secondi (including the baby goat), a dessert or two (including the best creme brulee I've ever had), and a plate of petit fours that were too good to pass on, even as we were all fuller than we've ever been. I was blown away by everything we had with the exception of the goat, which came out dry and stringy. Since there is so much love for the goat from others on this board, you might well enjoy it, but I myself will be requesting to skip it the next time I visit.
Other impressions to prepare you: It's a VERY small and intimate room, elegant in an understated way. Service is relaxed and friendly, but very professional. By all means go for the wine pairing--Jeff, the sommelier, really knows his stuff. Have a great time!
did you have the grande degustazione? this is the one they only offer on weekends or fri/sat right?
i was there on a weeknight a couple weeks ago and passed on the tasting menu partly due to, much like what nwinkler described, it's made up of dishes from the regular menu. i figured that if it wasn't going to be more unsual than what i could read before me, i might as well just pick all the dishes that i wanted to eat anyway. it doesn't hurt that the pasta came in half portions so on my own i had several. so i guess this is my encouragement to perhaps not go the way of the degustazione unless the grande one is where he gets the most creative.
but on that note, they did say to me right then and there that if i had any allergies/preferences/issues that they would accomodate me as best as they could. with advance notice as nwinkler is suggesting, i'm sure they could put together something really amazing for you.
I found my experience with the grand tasting menu was tailored to fit our needs. My boyfriend and I do not eat seafood, and the our two friends do. They also allow you to look at the menu beforehand, and the will work with certain things that jump out at you, things that don't. It is completely customized to each guest, and with the wine pairing we were floored, it was worth every penny - even if you do have a pregnant wife with you :) i'm sure she'll understand.........
With the grand tasting you will leave with a full tummy, that's for sure. It's a several hour experience, and the courses are adequately spaced to give you time to digest.
It's already been said - but it's an absolute must: spinach gnocci and the sweet onion tart are to die for! the goat was really outstanding also.
I'm heading there on Tuesday with a friend to celebrate our 30th birthdays, I am already planning out my meal! cannot wait!
Just going to chime in here - when you arrive they will give you a menu with more options than courses, you just tell them what you can't have and if there is anything you don't want to miss you can tell them that too. It is a lot of food (9 courses? - I don't recall and I have done it a number of times) but we took my 88 yo mother last year, certain we would get extra tastes as she has a very small appetite, and we got NOTHING, so quality wins out over small appetites! The wine pairings are a must. I don't know if Jeff Benjamin will be there or not (with the other two restaurants) but it really doesn't matter the new sommelier has worked with Jeff for some time and is more than competant (I am embarrassed I don't recall his name). Since you have never been I will also say to have the sweet onion crepe and the spinach gnocchi they are classic Vetri. If they have the veal cooked on the stone it was magnificent. Also the vegetable (likely asparagus this time of year) flan is to die for. The service is exquisite - relax, take your time and enjoy - remember Marc Vetri likes to think you are guests in his home when you are in this particular restaurant, it can really feel that way. Oh my - I think I need a reservation.
I went to Vetri last night, had the tasting menu (not the Grande as it wasn't available) coupled with the wine pairing. It was absolutely amazing, the service was impeccable from the wait staff to the sommelier. It was my friend's first time, and she is vegan. My tasting menu was tailored to not include seafood...
We were in food heaven. Each dish and wine pairing was better than the next. A+