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Posted by Boswell on 05/07/2008
I was looking forward to going to Osteria since it was named the #1 restaurant in Philadelphia and after dining there I can’t see why. The décor and atmosphere were nice. It was quiet and we were seated promptly with a nice view of the garden. As far as the food goes, the marghertia pizza was pretty good. The pastas were disappointing and overpriced. They were nothing special in taste and the portion size was very small. Though the gelato for dessert was good we were deceived into paying for two of them, which lost points with the service. The experience was generally underwhelming and I would not eat there again.
Posted by feklar on 05/05/2008
I was a little underwhelmed when I first read about the menu, but I was offered the chance to go all expenses paidwine, appetizers through desserts and apertiffs. Overall, I stayed overwhelmed. It's pretty cool to try to bring Center City clientele north of Market and the building has been very nicely renovated (loud, though). We had pizzas, pastas, meat, salads, the cheese plate and dessert. I was indifferent to a lot of the dishesI like complicated flavors and twists on the traditions, but I felt they were trying too hard to be unique. The pastas were by far the best. I could take or leave the pizzasI'm not a fan of super-thin crust with a lean scattering of toppings. I didn't try the meats because none appealed to me. You get very small portions. This makes sense if you are ordering "Italian-style" with the expectation that pasta, etc. is only one small part of the meal, but it may annoy a lot of traditional American restaurant-goers. I would have rather had a larger portion of one of the pastas I liked than some of the possible meat dishes. Desserts were disappointing. I was ok with the cheese plate, but several of my companions did not like itit was mostly salty, hard cheeses.
Posted by Annonymous on 04/04/2008
Wine was delicious, although a very small portion and very expensive. Salumi plate...see above. Pasta...the best part of the meal. Fish....see salumi. Cheese tray....see fish. Espresso....very good. Atmosphere.....very loud.
Posted by Daniel on 03/19/2008
It took a few extra turns through some shady neighborhoods to get to Osteria from center city, but once there the atmosphere is very nice. Our waitress was initially extremely friendly, but instantly got cold when she realized that we weren't ordering second plates (fish, meat), only getting pizzas, pasta and side dishes. That hurt. The food is very good, with some interesting combinations (escarole with pomegranate and parm was great, as are the artichokes). The pizza is really good too. But it's also very pricey. Overall, I'd go again if someone else were paying, and the service could be consistenly friendly and less arrogant.
Posted by JDD on 03/05/2008
Well, after Philly mag rated it their number 1 of the "50 top Philly restaurants" we had to go. Service and atmosphere very nice. Food was unremarkable and a poor value. So we don't really know what Philly mag was talking about. We've had worse meals but we've also had much better for a lot less cash. The dishes we had were mostly drowned in olive oil. We both ordered the sturgeon as the main dish. We at least would have liked to see some green vegetables with the fish, not just a blob of fish stuck down in the middle of a plate drowned in olive oil. Mostly we left with the attitude show us the recipes, we can cook it as well ourselves, and there are a tone of much better places in the philly area to eat out.
Posted by Anonymous on 01/22/2008
My wife and I dined at Osteria last Saturday. All in all, it was an unpleasant experience. We arrived on time, for the first seating, and were placed in an area with heavy foot traffic. The breeze of customers and servers against the back of my neck continued throughout the meal. The music, rock, was overloud. Bad choice of music to begin with perhaps they were trying to muffle screams from the kitchen. Even if the place had been empty, the sound level would have exceeded 75 decibels. The servings were overpriced and small. My salumi platter was ill-conceived, a collection of paper-thin slices of extremely fatty sausages with nothing to cut the accumulations of fat on my palette. No mustard, no cornichons, nothing to cleanse the palette, nothing. I couldn't finish it. I would have ordered pizza, but they have no options for someone who is lactose-intolerant, which I am. The server offered no alternatives. My wife does not drink, so I ordered wine by the glass. The servings were obscenely small. For the price they charged, I should have received a quartino. Instead, I received between two and three ounces. I did like the wines, but they gouged me. My server was knowledgeable about the dishes, but could give no frame of reference. When I asked what "casueola" was and if it was in any way comparable to cassoulet, I might as well have been asking for the atomic weight of zinc. I ordered it anyway and it was delicious. The dolci were superb. My wife loved her chocolate flan. My cranberry sorbet was wonderful. Oddly, after a meal of meager portions, my serving was gigantic, way more than I could eat. I have other criticisms but those will suffice. All in all, very disappointing and very overpriced. I will not be back and I cannot recommend this restaurant to anyone.
Posted by Richard Feld on 10/04/2007
My wife and I are very good cooks and we are accustomed to fine dining when we do go out. Until now we have never been to the same restaurant more than a few times in a year. That all changed when Osteria opened. This restaurant is in a class by itself. We are working our way through the menu smiling all the way. Their pizza is to die for, better than our last trip to Rome. Every visit has been excellent by all measures and we recommend it to anyone who appreciates great creative fare.