From the Magazine: Can Wild Boar Save the Suburban Mall?

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In the March issue of Philadelphia magazine, Vicki Glembocki looks at the state of malls in the area, including the Moorestown Mall. Developers are betting that celebrity chefs like Marc Vetri and Jose Garces can resuscitate malls by offering high-end dining in a landscape of Boscov’s and Sears.

But will customers bite?

Can Wild Boar Save the Suburban Mall? [Philadelphia Magazine]

Three Bells for Osteria Moorestown

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Craig LaBan has tons of praise for Marc Vetri’s Osteria outpost at the Moorestown Mall in New Jersey. Not the least of which is the cheaper wine prices. But other dishes stand out as well.

My ultimate Osteria splurge, though, is the $36 lobster spaghetti, a dish so intensely infused with lobster-ness – the sauce enriched with tomalley and roe, plus a stock fortified with shells – that casual seafood pasta eaters might not love it at first. But with the tender meat from a 11/2-pounder twined up in the al dente strands, a flicker of spice, brandy, and basil lighting the sauce, it was soon impossible to resist. (Plus, it’s no longer available in Philly.)

Three Bells – Excellent

Osteria Moorestown: A Vetri marvel at Jersey mall [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Osteria – Moorestown [Foobooz]

Happy Hour Starts at Osteria Moorestown Tonight

osteria-nj-400Osteria Moorestown is rolling out happy hour tonight. The happy hour or more precisely, happy hours run from 3 to 6 p.m. and include drink specials plus free bites to eat. Grissini with pecorino and prosciutto, polenta panino with taleggio and porcini mushrooms and pizza al taglio will all be available free of charge.

Drink specials include red and white wines for $5, Menabrea beer for $3.5 and $7 specialty cocktails.

And with happy hour at Osteria Moorestown being a seven day a week deal, it’s worth noting that the Regal Moorestown 12 is now open for business. Osteria happy hour followed by a movie? That’s a solid date night.

Osteria Moorestown [Foobooz]

Osteria Opens in Moorestown

osteria-moorestown-400Marc Vetri, Jeff Benjamin, Jeff Michaud and Brad Spence open Osteria at the Moorestown Mall today. Like the Philadelphia location, Osteria offers house-cured meat, handmade pasta, pizza and entrees of meat, fish and vegetables.

Mike Deganis is the chef de cuisine at the Moorestown Osteria. Deganis was formerly the head chef at Alla Spina. Desserts are overseen by pastry chef Dominique Piscetella. Vetri Family beverage director Steve Wildy oversees the  100-bottle wine list.

Read more »

Jose Garces Joining Marc Vetri at the Moorestown Mall

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Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) announced during an earnings call that the Moorestown Mall is getting another well known Philadelphia chef. Jose Garces will bring his third location of Distrito to the mall. Garces is joining Marc Vetri who is opening Osteria at the mall later this year. In addition to Osteria and Distrito, PREIT has landed Firebirds Wood Fired Grill as it seeks to add more draws to the South Jersey mall than just shopping. The Distrito announcement brings the number of spoken for liquor licenses to three. Moorestown, which had been a dry town, awarded PREIT four liquor licenses at the mall.

>More on Vetri’s Osteria project at the Moorestown Mall »

Marc Vetri on Osteria Moorestown

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Hyper-local news site, the Patch sits down and talks to Marc Vetri about his plans for opening Osteria at the Moorestown Mall.

Among the most interesting tidbits:

  • Opening in the fall of 2013.
  • 5,000 square fee.t
  • Bigger bar area.
  • Marc Vetri did consider opening a version of Osteria at Revel.
  • Vetri has had other discussions with PREIT (the mall operator) regarding opening restaurants.
  • Although many restaurateurs worry about location, location, location, Vetri believes in, “make something that people want to go to and they will come.”

Chef Marc Vetri Chats About Plans for Moorestown Osteria [Moorestown Patch via Grub Street]

Marc Vetri Signs Lease for Osteria Moorestown

Marc Vetri has just signed a lease to bring Osteria to the Moorestown Mall. Vetri’s name has been dangled as the carrot for Moorestown residents, who last year voted to overturn the town’s liquor ban by offering liquor licenses at the mall.

The path was cleared for the licenses just three days ago. Last year’s referendum had been struck down by a Superior Court judge who said liquor licenses could not just be restricted to just the mall because it was an example of zoning by referendum. The Township Council then created an ordinance restricting alcohol to the mall and nearby East Gate Shopping Center.

With the ordinance unanimously passed, the four liquor licenses were awarded to PREIT, which owns the mall. No formal word on who will get the other three liquor licenses.

Marc Vetri [Twitter]
Council: Alcohol OK at Moorestown Mall, East Gate [The Patch]

Vetri to New Jersey?

Moorestown Mall owner PREIT has announced it has a signed letter of intent with Marc Vetri to open a restaurant at the New Jersey mall. Michael Klein reports it would be a scaled down version of Osteria.

PREIT is attempting to upgrade the Moorestown mall by adding high-end dining destinations. Moorestown is a dry town and a November ballot measure would allow PREIT to purchase four liquor licenses for the mall at $1 million each (twice what a recent liquor license in Cherry Hill went for).

So in November will Moorestown voters be lured by the promise of prosciutto di parma topped pizzas and encouraged to vote to allow the mall to offer liquor? With the threat of rising property taxes or cuts to schools and local services, four liquor licenses for the mall seems an attractive option for creating revenue. Having a chef of Vetri’s status onboard is one heck of an ace-in-the-hole.

Vetri signs letter of intent for Moorestown Mall [The Insider]
Guaranteed Revenue [Courier Post]