Are there any "must haves" at Vetri?
I'm sure the menu changes, but are there any "must haves" or "signature" dishes on the menu that you'd recommend we order for a first-time visit? I gather it's a tasting menu but you can still pick and choose to some extent?
Looking at the current menu, I can say that these items were on the menu the first time I went there in 2002. I have had all of them at one point or another, and they are the stalwarts.
Sweet onion crepe
Spinach gnocchi (probably the signature pasta dish)
Chocolate polenta souffle
If something really looks good to you, you can request it (or if something doesn't appeal to you, let them know). Wine pairings are by the course (sometimes two courses) and are usually very good - if you and your dining companion(s) get diferent items for a course you'll get different wines.
Loved the sweet onion crepe, spinach gnocchi, and almond tortelini, but I wasn't a fan of the capretto (too rich). We got different dishes and wines for each course, so we traded plates and glasses after eating half, which worked really well to try a lot of different things.
There was also a lot of wine (1/2 glass pours for each course as part of the $90 pairing), in fact too much if you are driving, so I left a lot on the table. But the wine pairings were excellent.
I also think the pacing could have been a bit slower...2 hours for a meal like that seems on the quick side to me (especially with that much wine!).
But a very fine meal and great service.
Happy birthday to me!
We enjoyed (see photos):
~Stuzzichini (appetizers) with Prosecco (pastrami-spiced foie gras on toast was killer!)
~Vegetables with basalmic crema
~New Jersey tomato and corn tortino
~Piedmontese carpaccio with figs
~Sweet onion crepe with truffle fondue (Vetri classic)
~Four Story Hill duck stuffed with chorizo
~Spinach gnocchi with brown butter (Vetri classic)
~Almond tortellini with truffle sauce
~Agnolotto with pistachio vellutate
~Lorighittas with Frutti di Mare
~Culirgones with corn and chevrot
~Roasted lamb with Nebrodini and Moliterno
~Capretto with stone-milled polenta (Vetri classic)
~Pre-dessert of blackberry and sorbet
~Pre-dessert macaroons, etc
~Cheese course, including Époisses de Bourgogne & amazing an sweet green pepper marmalade
If you don't mind sharing, what was your final price per person? Do you feel that you got a value for your money? I'm considering Vetri for my anniversary but I read a review on Yelp that someone spent $700 for two people! I want to know what I'm getting into before I make a reservation! BTW - your pictures are great! Happy b-day!
The tasting menu is now the only menu option at Vetri, it's $155 per person, so you're looking at a minimum of about $400 including tax and 20% tip, with no wine. The least expensive wine pairings are $90pp, so that would get you up to around $650. If I were you, I'd go somewhere else, my most recent visit to Vetri left me feeling ripped off, with food not as good as Osteria's, amateur service, and as PhillyBestBYOB mentioned, a rushed pace.
I am another who finds Osteria way overrated with an attitude. Unfortunately a recent visit to Amis was even worse than my last Osteria experience. "A miss at Amis" review. I note all the great review on Vertri and as I have not been there and will most likely never go I listen and remain mute. My speculation is that I would enjoy most items there but as noted by others feel both rushed and ripped off. For me value is equal with good food and service.