Vetri is the most famous restaurant in town, it’s been called “Possibly the best Italian restaurant on the east coast” by Mario’s Batali, some even claimed it’s the “best Italian restaurant in America.” Getting a table was difficult, but I managed to squeeze myself in on a Monday on that same morning. Bearing that much hype, it’s almost bound to disappoint in some ways…?
I love the exterior, it looks like a small, lovely neighborhood bistro. The interior is small, and the ambience is a bit too dark at night…I could barely see my food.
Their menu sounds very inspiring and unpredictable (and constantly updating). I wanted to try everything! You can do half-portion of the pasta to try more.
Golden Sweet Onion Crepe with White Truffle Fondue 14 This is like French onion soup as a pastry. The cheese and onion flavor are so strong that I couldn’t tell the truffle. It’s very tasty but I was expecting something more unfamiliar.
Stuffed Tagliatelle with Foie Gras and Sweet Onions. It sound more interesting than it actually taste. It was overwhelmingly loaded with oil and cheese that I couldn’t really taste the foie gras. The cheese flavor (a very strong, stinky kind) is too dominating. The portion is too tiny that I couldn’t really get much impression of.
Chestnut Fettuccine with Wild Boar Ragu. This one totally blew me away~ perhaps because I’m a lover of chestnut and fettuccine. The wild boar flavor is strong and gamey, but the fresh chestnut pasta compliment it well, making it a full and rich dish. I wished I’ve ordered the full portion.
Spinach Gnocchi with Shaved Ricotta and Brown Butter. The texture is incredible: light, soft but not melty. It’s delightful to chew on these little things, though the small portion left us unsatisfied.
Mille-Feuille. Not the best I’ve had (the custard could have been more flavorful but it’s still very good.
So there’re hits and miss in my experience, and the price vs portion did end up bothering me a little (I was expecting absolute perfection?) Their pasta tend to be a bit too greasy (and too much cheese) for my likings. Best Italian on East Coast or America? Not for me. I still think Italian food is more enjoyable in a brighter, warmth environment with bigger portion in general. However I do find the menu very inspiring and interesting, so I’d definitely want to come back.
1312 Spruce St. Philadelphia, PA 19107