PHLReview

photo credit: Rachel Lerro

Vetri Cucina image
9.0

Vetri Cucina

PastaItalian

Center City

$$$$Perfect For:Classic EstablishmentCorporate CardsDate NightDrinking Good WineFine DiningImpressing Out of TownersSpecial Occasions
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Vetri restaurants are iconic in Philly. If you need to eat the best pasta in the city that will excite you more than Garfield near a plate of lasagna, spend the night at Fiorella. And when you want the crown jewel of the empire, where you can sit back and experience a spectacular Italian dining experience in the heart of Philadelphia, Vetri Cucina is the place to be. 

The Center City restaurant always delivers a night of excellent service that feels like a curated hospitality version of a Spotify playlist. You’ll feel like the center of attention—so much so that you may forget that anyone or anything else in the cozy spot exists at all.

Vetri Cucina image

photo credit: Rachel Lerro

The $165 five-course tasting menu is a choose-your-own-fantasy adventure of decadence. It changes seasonally but the roadmap stays the same: pick a small plate, antipasto, pasta dish, and entree before getting your dessert. To begin, you can expect (and should definitely order) things like the renowned sweet onion crêpe drenched in a downright drinkable parmesan fondue. You should also try the savory Dungeness crab budino, served with a flaky gnocco fritto to make the most lavish Hot Pocket ever. 

The pasta is the star of the show, though, and the course with the most options to choose from (five). Once you taste any of them—especially the corzetti with pistachio tarragon pesto and briny clam conserva—you’ll realize that it’s the real reason why you’re here, and maybe the point of life. With every course being as good as the last, it’s like you’re collecting Italian restaurant Infinity Stones, and your only request will be to come back and repeat this dining experience over and over again.

Vetri Cucina image

photo credit: RACHEL LERRO

If your bank account can’t handle that, save up and go to Vetri for a celebration that you have in bold on your calendar. When you do, get the wine pairing that runs an additional $135. While they have a bunch of options by the glass and bottle, the pairing comes with the experience of hearing about the history of each wine—down to the grape types and if they like long walks on the beach.  

Vetri Cucina image

photo credit: RACHEL LERRO

Vetri Cucina image
Rémy Martin
Vetri Cucina image
Vetri Cucina image
Rémy Martin

Beyond the great food, it’s the incredible service that sets this restaurant apart. And that’s what makes it not only one of the best restaurants in the city, but a place where you would actually believe that there’s a genie in the kitchen granting life-fulfilling wishes in the form of Italian food.

Food Rundown

The menu here constantly changes, but this is a sample of some things you might eat.

Sweet Onion Crêpe With Truffle And Parmesan Fondue

This round slice of onion has been sauteed and caramelized so it’s both incredibly tender and sweet. Sitting in a pool of warm parmesan, you’ll be happy you didn’t eat all the complimentary bread early in the meal just so you can sop up all the cheese.

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Classic Split

When you can't choose just one, choose the split. You get to try both the creamy spinach gnocchi, which are addictive, and the brown butter and almond tortellini with a touch of truffle. You may be sad when it's over.

Corzetti With Pistachio Tarragon Pesto And Clam Conserva

This is the pasta you’ll tell your friends about if they’re not lucky enough to come with you. The delicate discs are smothered in a sweet, slightly earthy sauce, balanced by a sharp lemon flavor that's soaked into every crevice of the clams.

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Molten Pistachio Cake With Burnt Orange Gelato

The best dessert here. And it might just be the best you ever have. The moist, buttery cake is fulled with a warm pistachio glaze. It's balanced beautifully by the burnt orange gelato.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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