This past weekend brought both my mother and future mother-in-law, Pat, to Philadelphia (not to forget Mimi, Meredith's aunt), which meat we were eating out. Osteria on Friday night was great. Our table was perfect: central, but not too close to bathrooms, the kitchen, or waiter stations. To start, we shared a parma style pizza with mozzarella, prosciuto and baby arugula. The dough recipe is tasty and the in-house stone pizza oven delivers a consistent finish. Having worked in Osteria's kitchen for about a week, I had wanted to taste the chicken liver rigatoni. The liver is cooked down with aromatics and finished with a little cream (Lombardy style), and comes out to look like a dry bolognese. Pat and I both love chicken livers, and this presentation made it easy for Meredith to try this delicious offal.
Pat lucked out with the entree. She ordered the grilled lamb saddle with fava puree and mint. Absolutely wonderful...moist and fragrant. Meredith ordered the rabbit "casalinga" and I the spit roasted pork (various cuts). Although the flavors were there, both cuts were dry. Unfortunate. The wine, a medium bodied Sicilian, was fantastic after a moment to breath. Price points were great, but then again, it is Italian country style. I had a Taylor LBV port, and Meredith got the Blood Orange and Meyer Lemon gelati. The gelati were tasty, but WAY too sweet. Osteria is a great place in a great space, but if it ever wants its hands on another James Beard award, it needs to step up the details.