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“Simply Sublime”
Review of Vetri

Vetri
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Ranked #74 of 4,388 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $50 - $80
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: City Center East
Cross street: 13th Street
Transit: SEPTA routes C, 27, and 32 stop at Broad and Spruce Streets. SEPTA route 23 stops at 12th and Spruce Streets. PATCO High Speed Line stops at Broad and Locust Streets as well as SEPTA's Broad Street Line. Regional Rail stations are located at Market East (11th and Market) and Suburban Station (16th and JFK).
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Simply Sublime”
Reviewed August 31, 2014 via mobile

Very much enjoyed the tasting menu here which is the only option, Intimate atmosphere and caring, attentive service make for a wonderful evening. The food is both delectable and creative.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Catapano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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276 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Whitehall, Pennsylvania, United States
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“In my top 5 all time meals”
Reviewed August 23, 2014

My partner bought us tickets for Book of Mormon in Philadelphia for early August 2014, and said I should choose a restaurant. After interviewing several friends, I settled on Vetri - I am always intrigued by tasting menus, the more adventurous the better. Vetri was perfect - they allow you to make a few selections after viewing the potential courses for the meal (e.g. I hate/am allergic to this and that food; I really want to try this course), and once you are finished (I really wanted to try the braised octopus and had no qualms about anything; my partner said he'd rather not have any sweetbreads), we were in Chef's hands for a six-course meal, plus a small appetizer plate with some cured meats, some baked creations, and a cold vegetable selection with a balsamic glaze. There are no a la carte options and everyone dines for a $155 base price at the time we were there - perfect for us, as I mentioned above. They also offer a selection of two optional wine pairings - my partner and I each selected the "brighter" option ($90 instead of the $130 more "aged" option). Finally, they welcome you with a glass of Prosecco (which may be another $10 or $12, I'm not sure).

What was striking to me about this place vs. other tasting menus we've tried was that we each received a completely different meal! That made the experience more authentic to me; it was like Chef was really hand-crafting two separate dining experiences for us based upon just the two minor preferences we had mentioned. I know that is probably an illusion; I'm sure plenty of his dishes would segue flawlessly into one another - but it made me feel more like I was eating a handcrafted creation rather than something off an assembly line.

It's been several weeks, so I unfortunately do not recall all of the courses, but some highlights:

My first course, "La Caponata," consisted of three small bites - one made with fennel (which I normally despise for its licorice flavor but I must say I loved how he muted it here), one with zucchini, and this amazing heirloom tomato concoction. I have no idea how it was made; my best guess is some kind of wizardly emulsion of the freshest heirloom tomato reduction and olive oil, but it looked like a bright orange truffle on the plate; it had a jellylike consistency and it was the most amazing concentrated explosion of heirloom tomato flavor on my tongue.

Other memorable courses included both pasta courses (the first, including spinach gnocchi and tortellini, contained the best gnocchi I have ever had; the second, my braised Spanish octopus, was just the perfect combination of rich and briny), and the entree (I had turbot on a crispy polenta cake). The dessert was also to die for, consisting of both a sorbet and a chocolate souffle; preceding it/along with the sorbet were some amazing kitchen made chocolates and candies.

The wine pairings were thoughtful and unique - there were some blends I had never sampled in the past, along with some vintages I'd never even heard of (then again, I'm no world-class wine snob).

One of the best things about the evening was the service - due to the notorious Friday night traffic into Philadelphia (we live approx. 90 minutes away, and that night it took us nearly three hours), we arrived thirty minutes late for our reservation, and in danger of missing the first act of our show if we lingered as long as they try to ensure their guests do for comfort. They wasted no time accommodating us, ensuring we left with just enough time to get to the theatre and into our seats before House to Half.

It was a tremendous meal, environment, and evening. You can tell Chef really cares about what he's putting together, both in presentation, taste, ingredients, and novelty. There is nothing I cannot recommend about this restaurant. It's on the expensive side, sure, but it's worth every penny and probably more. I only wish we had restaurants of similar quality and inventiveness closer to home.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Paul K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
49 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great food if you like this style of dining”
Reviewed August 18, 2014

Our recent dinner at Vetri's was a chance to return to one of best restaurants in Philly. Since our last visit, they have changed to a tasting menu at a fixed price. Each small plate in our dinner was very good--but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. Some may like the variety of 3 or 4 different pasta dishes along with a variety of appetizers including soup. Many of these used a fair amount of cream. We would have preferred to order a single appetizer and main dish. Desserts were outstanding, but you have to like chocolate and gelato. I am sure that many find this style of eating to their liking. We did not. Be warned that the price of the meal for 4 people was almost $900 with only 1 glass of wine for 3 of us (designated driver did not drink any alcohol). In fairness, the restaurant does call you and explain what to expect in both food and price. We have eaten at other Vetri restaurants in Philly and they are excellent and much lower priced. He is a great chef and his flagship restaurant does give him a chance to show-off his creative culinary skills.
We will not go back anytime soon.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Richard D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
127 reviews
96 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Fabulous food with impeccable service in a quiet environment”
Reviewed August 18, 2014

Every bite was close to a perfect bite. The best was the signature spinach gnocchi. But truthfully, every course was incredibly enjoyable. The food is prepared with a care that shows; not only in presentation, but in extraordinary taste. Each flavor is complimented by several others on each plate. Although this restaurant only offers a tasting menu with four courses, there are several more than that. The light and luscious chocolate polenta cake was an awesome end to a fabulous meal. Might just be the best restaurant in Philly. Since it's very expensive, it will be reserved for special occasions.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank henry6512
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Media, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
247 reviews
149 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Vetri wowed us again”
Reviewed August 10, 2014

Vetri is our go-to for our anniversary and once again, it didn't disappoint. Their service is exquisite. They know their customers and adjust accordingly. They welcome you with prosecco and small snacks. Their bread and olives are delicious. Then you sit back and let them do their thing--which is deliver small plates of some of the best food you'll ever taste paired expertly with excellent wines. You are paying for the food, service, and the whole experience which for us makes us return (at least) annually--and to anticipate the return for almost that long. Our favorites (onion crepe, almond tortellini and spinach gnocchi) remain so and other highlights this trip were the goat, kampachi crudo, duck ravioli, and the cafe affogato for dessert. We already cannot wait to return again!

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Heather S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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