I have been wanting to try Osteria forever so when I decided to come to Philly to see some friends for a weekend, it was one of the top must visit spots. The trip was meant to be one meal and I extended to 36 hours which allowed me to hit a few spots I really wanted to try. Went to Osteria with Stewart’s college friend Pete and his wife. My friend Mike goes to Osteria all the time and gave me very strict instructions on how to order, what to order and number of dishes per person.
We first sat at the bar for a cocktail to wait for our table. They had creative drinks but of course I couldn’t resist the spicy chili margarita. The bar is fun with a wall made entirely or wine cases.
Our table was in the atrium area which is lovely with its class ceiling with a view of the illuminated church.
I was worried that our friends would want to order their own dishes and wouldn’t be game for following Mike’s rules but they were. Naz, Pete’s wife always gets the same dish at Osteria so was a bit hesitant to try new things and thought we needed to order more than one of her favorite pasta but I followed the “rules” which were: skip the apps and go straight to pizzas and pastas which are the best things and then have the buddino for dessert.
What we ate:
The bread basked was very tasty with all baked in house.
Pizza lombarda: baked egg, bitto cheese, mozzarella and cotechino sausage. My favorite pizza and no wonder that is one of the classics in the menu they don’t change. The egg makes it really interesting and rich and the sausage was very tasty.
Pizza Cipolla: this is a seasonal pizza with caramelized onions, truffle and sottocenere cheese and according to Mike, the chef wanted to replicate the flavours of onion soup on a pizza. I don’t love caramelized onions as it makes things too sweet so preferred the other pizza.
Candele with wild boar Bolognese: this is the pasta my friend Naz always orders and she thought we should order two as she was afraid she wouldn’t get enough of it. But she loved the other pastas so much that in the future she may branch out and explore more. The candele is a shape I had never seen, long and hollow tubes which hold on to the Bolognese well. The boar ragu was rich, comforting and perfect for the cold rainy weather outside.
Spaghetti with black pepper sausage ragu and pecorino fonduta: we didn’t order this one and when I texted Mike with what we had ordered he said it was a big mistake. And then, it magically appeared on the table sent by the chef (I thought Mike had called but he didn’t). Was a very simple but extremely well executed spaghetti, al-dente and creamy with the fonduta but not overly rich. Very good.
Robiola postage stamp ravioli with royal trumpet mushrooms and thyme: thin and delicate ravioli filled with robiola cheese and swimming in a creamy mushroom sauce. The thyme tied it all together well. May have been my favourite pasta but I wouldn’t want a full plate just of this and that is why it is ideal to go with friends who are willing to share everything (and will let me order for the table….).
Maccheroni with smoked guanciale, brussels and lemon: the smoked guanciale was crispy and delicious and paired very well with the brussels and lemon. There was not really a sauce in the pasta but it may have been just tossed with the guanciale fat and the lemon and brussels. Absolutely yummy.
Polenta “budino” with gianduia mousse and candied hazelnuts: Mike said we had to order this and was “interesting” but not my kind of dessert. The polenta was at the bottom and was creamy and topped with the gianduia mousse which was very light. A bit too “one texture” for my taste but I am more of a brownie and sticky toffee kid of girl. The candied hazelnuts added some crunch which made it more interesting.
Butter pecan and maple semifreddo napoleon with pecan tuille: the chef sent this as well and was tasty with the fun textures of the tuille and the semifreddo but a bit too nutty for my taste. But that is a personal preference and not fair to judge…..
In Sum: no wonder our friends go to Osteria often, it is homey, comforting and very tasty. Perfect spot for delicious pizzas and pastas.
Osteria Philly http://osteriaphilly.com/home/
640 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, United States
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