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Aug 24, 2010 09:38 PM

Going to Osteria

Any Suggestions, I hear it is hit or miss, thanks

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  1. I don't know if it's hit or miss as much as that people seem to either love it or not. I've never had anything less than a stellar meal there. The vegetable antipasto is always delicious, and I love all the pizzas. The wild boar pasta is a favorite of mine (very comfort food feel if you're in the mood for that), and if they have any kind of roast boar special, it's always fantastic.

    1. My meal there was hit and miss. The pizza and pasta were great; the rabbit entreƩ was a miss.

      The chicken liver rigatoni with sage was one of the best pastas I've ever had--I still think about that flavor on a regular basis. My dining companion, who never eats offal, loved it as well.

      2 Replies
      1. re: barryg

        Ok, then I take it back. :-) I haven't had the rabbit in a couple of years, but when I had it, I loved it. Did you think there was something wrong with the preparation, or did you not like the flavors?

        1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

          The main issue is that it was overcooked and dried out. Other may like the dish as I have not had anything similar elsewhere, but IMO it was not prepared very well. It was served with all the bones in, which is not a problem in general, but it was also swimming in a sauce that made it very difficult to eat around the bones without getting lots of little one in my mouth and my hands messy. That wouldn't bother me if it was a great dish, but it didn't help the overall impression it left.

          I also didn't care for the dessert we had, which was some kind of cherry tort IIRC, but they told us that it was a new recipe the chef was trying out for the season change and I am not a dessert person in general, so I don't really hold that against them.

      2. I am in the "love it" camp. They have the best pizza in the city, it is a gorgeous space, and the boar ragu (over candele pasta) is to die for. If they have budino for dessert, don't miss that either. Truly in my top 10 favorite restaurants in the city.

        1. A general theme: the pastas, pizzas, and antipasti generally get great responses. The entrees get mixed reviews. When I went last, we ordered a couple antipasti, a couple pastas and a pizza. Had a great meal.

          1 Reply
          1. re: FattyFatMan

            I second what FFM says above. The house made salumi is wonderful. The pizzas are very very good. I recently had a stunning peach, crimini and lardo pizza. Great crust and great seasonal flavor combination.

            A specific dish to avoid. If they have as a "special" the roast pig, stay away from it. I have had it and it was incredibly dried out. Very disappointing piece of meat and they charge a fair amount for it.

            I generally eat an antipasto, pizza and a pasta. Sometimes will have a dessert (the Budino is spectacular).

            Have a wonderful time at one of Philadelphia's gems.

          2. I've been to Osteria about 3 times for dinner, lunch 3x and drinks and dessert once. It's nice to have such a nice place in such a surly part of town (I work there!). And the food, while good, often seems to wilfully underperform. The wild boar pasta *is* delicious but utterly oversalted, and my waiter said, "yes, we tend to oversalt our food." HELLO! You know this and you still do it??? The entrees are quite nice but not memorable, and for the price one is paying, that is not salutary. And the portions are MINUSCULE! (I say this as a small eater.) I love having the place around and want it to thrive, but in this economic time, they need to revisit their business strategy and their portions. None of their ingredients seems that expensive or rare; there has to be a more reasonable way of serving the food they do in portions and prices they matter. (Maybe they could pick a lesson or two from Parc which has become my restaurant of choice when I'm taking a guest out on an expense account.) That said, do admire the gorgeous LIz Kinder ceramics everywhere. She's a Philly potter of fame and her work made Osteria's fairly ordinary dining room radiate beauty. And speaking of dining rooms, try to sit in the side room (the glass sun porch). It's stunning and a lot more conducive to a conversation, esp. at dinner-racket time! ENJOY!

            1 Reply
            1. re: food diva

              We try to eat there once a month and we regularly order 2 antipasti, 1 pizza to share and a couple of pastas -- we think all the pastas are great but we prefer the ones that are very thin like the ravioli type things and the flat pastas like linguini or fettucini. We skip the entrees and the desserts but we usually have a big cup of their excellent coffee.