It's a happy fact that one of the best modern Italian restaurants in the country should land in Philadelphia, home of some of the best old-school ones. Vetri's pastas are the star of the show, but not a single item -- not one morel, not one meatball -- lacks some shimmer of greatness.
Bad Reviewer. Loved everything about Vetri. Couldn't wait to post about it, then I saw the negative review. Strange thing is the same person posted a negative review about Chloe, where we were on Thurs., and love it. Who is this negative reviewer? Why would you hate Vetri? Or Chloe? Are you a plant? Your review should be removed. Vetri is yummy. Service is top notch. Spinach gnochi haunts my dreams.
Most Over-rated, Over-Priced, Underwhelming Meal I Ever Had. I just don't get how this restaurant gets so many positive reviews. Honestly, this was probably the worst meal I've had in a long time. My food had no flavor. I left completely unsatisfied. I'm sorry but Mercato is far superior and much more affordable. I really just don't understand why everyone raves about this place. I'll never go back.
Not up to par.
Whoever named Vetri as the best Italian restaurant in the country has certainly not checked out Babbo's recently, let alone about another half dozen jewels in other US cities. What's the big deal with Vetri? My family and I had the 15 million tasting course last night (both in number and US dollars) and I was unimpressed for several reasons --
- There were phenomenal dishes (onion tart) but many were lackluster (spinach gnocchi, veal)
- Many were underseasoned (a big mistake in this day and age)
- I view a tasting menu like a symphony with one dish preparing the palette for the next, and so on. For a great chef (Robuchon, A Ducasse, Batali), there is a seamless progression and order of taste and experience. There was nothing symphonic about the courses and the whole appeared less cohesive than the actual "participants" in each course.
- Batali talks about the "tophography" of a dish, with different smells and flavors both separate and whole in one plate. There is no topography in Vetri's case. There are either very strong flavors and unappealingly subtle ones. The veal served on top of hot rocks had way too much flavor with rosemary while the dish before (cordu fish with only tomatoes and oilve oil) had way too less. How does one's palette take on a direction if the chef has it going every which way?
- Service was really not five star with the staff forgetting a lot of things requested by the patrons.
- The space is really not conducive to fine dining and hence to the tasting menu experience. I've been in Ma and Pa trattorias all over Italy with more space than Vetri's. If you want true tastings, try Per Se in NYC. If I'm going to sit in a restaurant for over 2 hours for the tastings, I don't want to feel like I was in a chicken coop.
Vetri...A meal beyond measure. Awesome dinner at this "must go" restaurant. Unusual, fresh food and terrific ambiance. A Philly treasure!
Best restaurant in town. Hands down..
I have been a long reader of CitySearch reviews but had been too lazy to get an account myself - but I read the unjust reviews below and got an account just now SPECIFICALLY for the purpose of writing about Vetri.
I've been to Vetri twice, once in fall 2004 and another time in April 2007 - over that 2.5 yr time span, they were consistently the best. Service can be a little slow there, but that is not a place you go in a rush. Go there and enjoy the freshly handmade pasta. You can't get that anywhere else. I've eaten all over Europe and Asia and been to 50 restaurants in Philly including the famed Le Bec Fin, Fountain's and Lacroix, and Vetri's beats them all in my book. Their gnocci, ear pasta with mushroom (forget the exact name) and lavender olive oil ice cream (which unfortunately is no longer served) are some of the most memorable delicacies that have graced my taste buds.
In case there are suspicions regarding my post being a potential PR scheme, I will say that I was not at all impressed by Osteria which is supposedly owned or started by the owners of Vetri. If you are curious as to what other restaurants I frequent or love, Overtures (BYO) is one of the best (food, service), Le Castagne is terrible (except for the gorgeous maitre'd they had in 2005), and Striped Bass, Washington Square and Positano Coast are at the top.
Outstanding cuisine. Last night we had an exquisite meal at Vetri's and I felt the need to write a review having perused the last several negative reviews about the food. We opted for the six course chef's tasting menu with the wine pairing. The courses were each unique and delicious; the ingredients fresh. In fact, my boyfriend and I were severed different dishes for several of the six courses, which allowed us an opportunity to experience more than just six dishes each. The sommelier was fabulous and the wine pairings were truly complementary to every dish. As for the gnocchi, they are not the typical hard lumps of dough, but light and airy and clearly not popular with everyone. None the less, the meal was a wonderful experience and well worth the price.
Disappointing, Philly has much better restaurants even less expensive.
Although I do not usualy take time to review restaurants I felt it is a duty to do so for this one.
We went for our 6th anniversary on a summer Friday: that is chef degustation menu only and saturday closed. I wish I canceled when I thought about doing so after reading Henry's review (December, 06) on citysearch but unfortunately I did not.
My wife and I are well traveled and dined, food and travel are a major hobby of ours and we are not shy about places upward 150$ per person and celebrity chef restaurants.
We got there on time and our table was ready for us.
The service was a bit short of excellent as our waitress forgot to bring me the wine list when i asked for it and remembered quite a bit later. Moreover, they abuse sparkling water. For some reason they pour it violently into a pitcher loosing almost all character.
The menu is not extensive and a lot of the dishes are the same from years back. You can not choose what you want to eat but let the chef know what you do not want to eat;like allergies, restrictions, and let him do his magic. This is exactly what we did.
The portions are good and far from being tiny.
Most plates were overly greasy. For example, his famed Spinach gnocci tastes like mostly butter.
The main course was also disappointing: the roasted baby goat with butter on the side, or was it polenta?
Most courses were not impressively executed and from cheap ingredients: yes, there was foie gras, branzino and venison among others but we got the hen tortellini, porc terrine, etc... remember you can not choose. Even if you can, you are here for the chef to impress you without you making him do so.
I expect bread with the porc terrine, I asked for it and was told that it came afterward usually but they got it for me. Most disappointing, none of the dishes was memorable and one out of two deserts was good. Most small pastries at the end were good though.
The sommelier, his wine list and pairings are excellent. I wish him the best.
Best restaurant in the city. After reading the last 2 reviews I have to say something: do not trust them. I have worked in the business in the past (for 10+ yrs), and Vetri has in my opinion the best food in town. Absolutely nothing on their menu is less than excellent. Obviously some people writing reviews online do not know enough about food (please go to olive garden and enjoy the pasta there...)
Long wait, limited menu selections, terrible service. This was the most disappointing dining experience I have ever had. After reading all of the glowing reviews in various magazines, my husband and I were excited and called two months in advance to secure our reservations. We waited for our table for almost 1 hour and while this was not the most pleasant experience, the time only whetted our appetites for what we believed would be great dining - wrong! The menu was very limited and would excite only those who favor tripe, veal kidneys and other body parts I prefer to leave on the butcher' s floor. Only after the waiter presented the specials, was I able to find something that was not unappetizing, if not exciting - fettucine! So, while I waited for 40 minutes for pasta, I contemplated what kind of magic had Vetri been able to wield over pasta. At last, I was disappointed again - it was just pasta and not enough of it! Still hoping to find something to rave about, we eagerly grabbed the dessert menu, which offered absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. My husband had an olive oil cake that was heavy and insipid at best. I had a chocolate concoction that was on par with any lava cake in any eatery in the country. And to add insult to injury, the chef/owner, Marc Vetri chatted with every single table around ours, but never gave us a nod. Oh, well! the wine and cappucino were good, but not worth the agonizing wait or the wallet sacrifice.
Elegantly rustic Italian cuisine brings gnocchi up a notch..
Thirty-five coveted, closely placed seats fill the rich, warm interior of this much-lauded restaurant. Chef Marc Vetri frequently passes through the dining room, occasionally employing an antique meat slicer placed in the center. His menu rarely changes. Spinach gnocchi with shaved smoked ricotta, an onion crepe with aged Parmesan, and sea-infused langoustine and scallops are specialties. Vetri also masterfully challenges palates by transforming unorthodox ingredients such as baby goat and sweetbreads into earthy delicacies.
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