Sunday, December 12, 2010


That is what chef Marc Vetri's tasting menu at Vetri is called.  My friend and I went there on Saturday night, and what an experience it was.  To preface, Vetri is in the very top echelon of Philadelphia restaurants; I would hazard to guess that most critics, and people familiar with the Philly restaurant scene, would place it in the top five without a second thought.  I have been wanting to go for several years, and this dinner was a celebration of sorts -- I hadn't seen my friend in two years, and she and I both recently started our first real jobs this September.

The degustazione is a multi-course meal, prepared using seasonal ingredients, and in our case, complemented by a selection of wines paired with each individual dish.  Below is a picture of the menu; we were given a copy of the evening's menu, along with two huckleberry muffins for breakfast, which is pretty awesome if you ask me:

We did not have everything on the menu, just almost everything.  Again, nearly each dish (not course) was paired with a different wine (all from Italty).  Here is a quick rundown:
  • Prosecco as an aperitif
  • Three amuse-bouche: burrata wrapped in Kindai tuna; purple cauliflower dressed with olive oil; and brussel sprouts cooked with brown butter
  • Shrimp a la plancha on zolfini beans -- paired with a 2006 Cantina Terlano Pinot Bianco (Alto Adige)
  • Persimmon and scallop crudo -- paired with a 2009 Abbazia di Novacella Kerner (Alto Adige), a Riesling/Trollinger hybrid
  • Sweet onion crepe -- paired with a 2008 Paitin Dolcetto d'Alba (Piedmont)
  • Smoked pork shank, barley, and cabbage soup -- paired with a 2008 Tenuta Luisa Cabernet Franc (Friuli)
  • Spinach gnocchi -- paired with a 2007 Bramosia Chianti Classico (Tuscany)
  • Farfalle with lentil veloute and kale -- paired with a 2006 Iuli Barbera del Monferrato Superiore (Piedmont)
  • Cardoon risotto with castelmagno cheese -- paired with a 2008 Germano Ettore Nebbiolo d'Alba (Piedmont)
  • Pork belly ravioli with apples and brown butter -- paired with a 2008 Farnese Pecorino (Abruzzo)
  • Venison (cooked sous vide) with pear crema -- paired with a 2004 Bussola "L'errante" (Veneto), a Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend
  • Dover sole alla mugnaia ("miller's style") with spinach -- paired with a 2009 Niedrist Sauvignon Terlaner (Alto Adige)
  • A mango creme brulee as an intermezzo, pre-dessert!
  • Chocolate polenta souffle and butterscotch pudding with chocolate and streusel -- both paired with a 2009 Elio Perrone "Bigaro" frizzante rosato dessert wine (Piedmont)
So, if you include the amuse-bouche, we had 16 different dishes and 12 different wines over a three hour dining experience -- that borders on ridiculous (your borders for the ridiculous may vary).  My favorite dishes were the pork belly ravioli (ldo), pork shank soup, the spinach gnocchi, and the shrimp.  My favorite wines were the Germano Ettore Nebbiolo d'Alba and the Bussola "L'errante".  But I enjoyed every dish and every wine.   

Fantastic dining company, wonderful food and drink, a very knowledgeable, friendly, and sometimes quirky staff, all resulted in one of the best dining experiences I've had.  And now I feel ready to make a top-10 Philly restaurant list -- watch for that post soon!  

1 comment:

  1. The mind boggles as it contemplates the time and effort spent transcribing the menu, hahaha.