Since opening in 2006, Osteria has become more than simply the casual, more accessible sibling to Vetri. It’s become a showcase for talented co-owner/chef Jeff Michaud to produce inventive seasonal pastas and salumi, plus modern twists on rustic Italian cooking, from spit-roasted meats to superb wood-fired pizzas. It has also, in the process, become one of Philly’s best all-purpose restaurants, whether for a power lunch, big special event or an intimate night out over sublime antipasti with one of the area’s best Italian wine lists to wash it down.
Pizzas – Margherita; lombarda; pannocchia; mortadella. Vegetable antipasti; house-cured salumi; warm cheese sformato; baked sardines; porchetta tonnata; cotechino; tomato tortellini; lentil tortellini in capon brodo with cotechino; beet plin; chicken liver rigatoni; corzetti with clams; robiola francobolli; candele with wild boar Bolognese; rabbit “casalinga”; suckling pig special; roasted lamb shoulder with saffron beans and minted baby artichokes; artichokes alla giudia; pine nut and caramel crostata; budino; honey panna cotta. Dinner entrees, $24-$35 (Dry-aged ribeye for two, $100.)
A smart list of 36 Italian wines focused on small producers and rustic flavors, almost entirely under $50 a bottle. Several wines by the glass, great Belgian and local beers, and a nice grappa selection give the cellar value and character.
The room is a boisterous 82 decibels, but conversation is still possible. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)
Dinner Sunday through Thursday, 5-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, until 11 p.m. Lunch Thursday and Friday, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.