The 2009 Philly Mag 50: Restaurants 1 to 25

4. Osteria
4. Osteria
Fairmount | Italian | Entrée: $21–$30
Last Year’s Ranking: 1

There are tons of reasons to love Osteria, the rustic Italian gem belonging to Marc Vetri, Jeff Benjamin and Jeff Michaud: the smell of spiced sausage as pizzas are pulled from the oak-burning oven; the happy clanking of forks and cacophony of conversation that set this place apart from the more reverent vibe of big sister Vetri; the solicitous sommelier whose joy in life, it seems, is to bring you tastes from the well-thought wine list; and the food. Oh, God, the food. Last time, we loved the pork cooked on a spit, the soft, fatty deliciousness of roasted pig juxtaposed with a crackly bit of skin; the time before that, gnocchi so light they were more like a pasta soufflé, embellished with a crunchy strip of pancetta; and countless crisp-crusted pizzas before that. And while entrées can be a tad inconsistent, almost two years in, the magic hasn’t even begun to wear off. Osteria still thrills. Order: The octopus salad, which is lemony, lightly charred, and just the right amount of chewy.640 North Broad Street, 215-763-0920.

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Photograph by Jason Varney


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