Since its opening in 2007, Osteria has carved out a singular niche for itself.
Here is a luxuriant Italian restaurant that’s atmospheric but casual, urbane but rustic, roomy but intimate, relatively affordable but always impressive. It’s a destination dinner for a romantic weekend getaway that could also serve neighbors an upscale pizza on a weeknight, and it rises to all the occasions in between.
James Beard Award-winning chef Jeff Michaud conjures sublime pizza, pasta and grilled meats, coaxing out their flavor with richly rewarding results.
Diners remember the first time they taste his chicken liver ragu or grilled octopus because they’re palate-imprinting moments. A renowned wine cellar, housemade charcuterie and seamlessly dialed-in service only gild the porchetta lily. Like his mentor, Marc Vetri, Michaud delivers enchantment at every table.
Chef and co-owner Jeff Michaud got his start at Osteria, back when it was opened by Marc Vetri.
James Beard Award-winning Chef Jeff Michaud conjures sublime pizza, pasta and grilled meats, coaxing out their flavor with richly rewarding results.
Together with fellow renown chef Michael Shulson, he purchased the restaurant in 2017.
The menu has changed only incrementally. Stunning Neopolitan and Roman pizzas with toppings like baked egg and cotechino sausage come directly from the wood-fired oven. Delicate pastas are stuffed with robiolo cheese and royal trumpet mushrooms or tossed with beef cheek, caramelized onion and banyuls vinegar.
Mains might include a braised rabbit served over polenta in an earthenware dish or a whole roasted duck with mostarda glaze.
For dessert, housemade gelati and the polenta “budino” topped with gianduja mousse and candied hazelnuts are Osteria classics. The bar pours Italian aperitifs, classic and new, while an eminently stocked cellar assures a robust selection of more than 400 Italian wines.
In Italy, osteria are casual, down-to-earth affairs, and this Philly-born-and-bred establishment somehow keeps that spirit while still looking like a place to see and be seen.
Set in a former garment factory on North Broad Street, the restaurant feels like a world unto itself, a distinctly loft-like yet unfussy setting with exposed brick, soaring windows and a color palate seeped in warm reds.
The central stainless steel open kitchen showcases some of the genius at work. Private parties can be staged in the kitchen, wine room or glass-enclosed patio.
Osteria is a luxuriant Italian restaurant that’s atmospheric but casual.
— Photo courtesy Osteria
A rarity in the restaurant world, Osteria has remained on the top of best-of lists for more than a decade.
Long before Philly’s pizza boom, it was one of the few restaurants that served a charred crust, and the kitchen continues to take the long way with a dedication to heritage and labor-intensive techniques.
Even through ownership changes, Michaud’s steady prowess has ensured that diners can return and fall in love with Osteria all over again.
Osteria has remained a favorite in Philadelphia for more than a decade.
— Photo courtesy Osteria
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