This is an obvious statement to those who know me…I am from Connecticut.
The pizza in Connecticut is damn good. Extraordinary. In my area I never have to search too far for a great slice. No place has ever made me forget about Connecticut pizza until now, and sorry New York City, I completely forgot about you after my recent trip to Philadelphia and to the just one week old Pizzeria Vetri.
For my Connecticut peeps who need to know the name “Vetri,” listen up! Marc Vetri is THE guy when it comes to the Philly restaurant scene and Italian cooking in general and his namesake eatery, Vetri, is a Top 50 Restaurant in the U.S. as chosen by Gourmet. Even Mario Batali sings praise about Marc Vetri. I first heard his name on Twitter when on a whim I Tweeted a handful of well-known chefs to see where they eat when they are in Philadelphia. Two that wrote me back within minutes were Aaron Sanchez and Michael Symon. Both echoed the same suggestion; that I needed to go to a Vetri restaurant.
Years ago I went. Going to his pizzeria concept, a no-brainer. Heck, I eliminated another place just so I could eat here!
|A portion of the 30 seat dining area.|
Early buzz was that Pizzeria Vetri was packed every day since its opening so now it was just a matter if we’d be able to get in! Luckily we showed up on a Sunday at 2 p.m. when the Eagles had their first home game of 2013 and we got right in.
We jumped right into ordering and the other Dudes trusted me to make the choices. I decided on the classic Margherita and the Crudo; prosciutto crudo (uncooked, if you didn’t know), bufala mozzarella, and Parmigiano. Damion was a little zoned out after the Philly Half Marathon but Rob and I kept remarking about Vetri’s dough. It was just so light and was cooked through without being dry. It was easily the lightest, tastiest dough I have had in a very long time, maybe ever. Vetri’s dough paired with fresh ingredients is heaven.
|Just posting this makes me want to make the two hour plus drive to Philly for more.|
Other pizza creations we discussed were the Marinara (oregano, crushed San Marzanos, garlic, olive oil), the Quattro Formaggi (gorgonzola, mozzarella, smoked provolone, Fontina), and one that looked so good I almost wanted to ask another customer for a slice, the Salsiccia (fennel sausage, roasted fennel, tomato, mozzarella).
To go with our pizzas, our waiter suggested a salad with ingredients roasted in the restaurant’s wood oven. We were sold even before we knew what was in it. The salad consisted of sliced prosciutto cotto (the cooked version), with roasted corn, chanterelle mushrooms and green beans and ricotta salata. The oven roasting really brought out the richness of the chanterelles and the sweetness of the corn, which made me think, “Who the heck needs lettuce in a salad anyway?” More than a week later and I still want this salad every day. You will agree.
|The salad I would like for lunch right now. No seriously, can this be FedExed over?|
To cap off an already great experience, we knew about Pizzeria Vetri’s desserts; fried pizza dough with citrus fennel sugar, the Cookie Jar (pignoli, almond cookies, chocolate biscotti, pistachio gnocchi), and one more item that we HAD to have…
Soft serve. Yes, a pizza place with homemade ice cream. The only two flavors are the only two flavors that are necessary; fior di latte and cappuccino. I thought I was going to be in the predicament to choose one over the other but I was delighted when I was told a swirl was possible. Fior di latte soft serve is made from cow’s milk mozzarella but for taste, think along the lines of creamy/vanilla. Coffee lovers will want the swirl, I recommend it, but the fior di latte on its own would be spectacular. No toppings necessary here, folks, just go for it.
|This may sound odd, but the soft serve was colder than cold.|
|Rob taking the perfect spoonful.|
After the meal, we were asked if we wanted anything else. For a second I seriously thought about it. Call me “obsessed,” but I almost ordered another pizza in which case another swirl of soft serve would have been ordered.
Taking into account how I felt and still feel about the pizza at Pizzeria Vetri, and the salad, and the soft serve, then you combine that with top notch service, reasonable prices, and a formidable craft beer selection, well…now I’m just pissed off that I don’t live in Philly.
Until next time, Pizzeria Vetri. And when I dream.
1939 Callowhill Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130