Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Big O

Last Tuesday, I turned 30. On the 30th. Big birthday! And to mark that special occasion my husband gave me something that I really needed. Something to make me feel great, to relax, to engage all the senses and release all anxiety.

A really good meal.

Osteria has has enjoyed a lot of buzz since its opening by virtue of its owner, Marc Vetri, whose reputation in the Philly foodie community would allow him to open a hot dog cart and receive a five star rating. He took a chance on an up-and-coming North Broad location (walking distance from our house, added bonus) and the Vetri appeal has lured even the most uptight of Main Line moms and Rittenhouse royals across the great Spring Garden Street divide. His reputation made them step out of their comfort zone, but its the food that keeps them coming back.

The weather has just turned officially Fall-like and the reclaimed wood, deep orange hues and warm lighting makes Osteria an ideal locale for this time of year. The food was hearty yet light, flavorful yet simple. In honor of the house specialty, I too stepped out of my comfort zone and into the world of cured meats. Happy I did. We also sampled the "cruda," which could be described as sushi Italian-style - yellowtail strips marinated in olive oil and spices. But the highlight of our meal had to be my entree, the everyday lobster and homemade pasta special. Absolute perfection.

Our waitress was helpful and friendly, which proved especially important here because there are numerous Italian words on the menu that were unfamiliar, particularly with the dolci (desserts). She was able to explain everything clearly and give recommendations based on your preference for sweets and flavors. So bravo, Marc Vetri, for bringing this oasis to North Broad. Fairmounters thank you.

Osteria, 640 North Broad St.

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