Restaurant Recommendation» Osteria

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Jeff Michaud and Marc Vetri impressed Philadelphia a decade ago when they opened Osteria, but this rustic Italian spot hasn’t lost any of its luster. “This restaurant is really a true osteria. We’re very family-oriented, so private dining menus are served family-style. We want to transport you to Italy,” says Elizabeth Flamini, general manager.

Indeed, the look and feel is straight out of Italy with simple farmhouse tables and a menu that spotlights northern Italian cooking. The appropriately named Wine Room shares views of the wine cellar and is tucked away in the back of the restaurant. While it has large windows looking out over the street, the blinds can be pulled down for those groups who want extra privacy. The Wine Room accommodates 30 guests for a seated event or up to 45 for a reception-style event. 

Those who want a more open-air ambience should head straight for the patio, where a greenhouse-style roof encourages a light and airy feel yearround. Private menus of three, four or five courses are customized for groups and even allow for up to two choices per course. 

The ultimate hideaway within Osteria is the Kitchen Table. It’s for intimate groups and available after 6:30 p.m. only, since the space is used as a true workspace during the day. That table you’re eating on? They were rolling handmade pasta on it just an hour ago. You’ll walk through a dark and narrow hallway where wait staff bustle about, but once you see the flicker of the candlelight, you know you’re in for something special. Nestled between mixers and kitchen equipment, the stainless steel table seats eight to 14 guests for a truly unforgettable experience. Note to movie scouts: This place is perfect to shoot that scene where the mafia dons congregate to discuss their illicit business. It’s a place you won’t soon forget. 

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