Osteria has been on the list for a while, their dishes they post always look mouthwatering and I have heard a lot of positive reviews on this spot. Plus, it is Italian so you can’t really go wrong with pasta, right? We grabbed a last minute reservation on a Friday evening and set out for a fun night! When we got there however, the restaurant was completely empty – we were the only guests, which looking back was probably the red flag we should have left. A few people came in while we were eating, but not many and the majority ordered a pizza – another red flag we should have paid attention to.
To start we grabbed two appetizers – Parmesan Arancini ($16) and the Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs ($16). The arancini, while it had a nice crispy outside and flavor – was not served hot or even that warm like it should have been The pesto and tomato sauce it was served with were both ice cold as well. This however was my favorite dish and I would give it an 8/10. The meatballs, while they were piping hot and so was the sauce, were barely stuffed with any cheese. They were also a bit lacking in flavor and moisture. The sauce helped with the flavor and made the meatballs less dry. Overall, would rate these a 7/10. We aren’t off to a super great start here and unfortunately the next sections for mains and dessert don’t get much better.
For the mains, I chose the Cacio E Pepe ($18) with Gulf Shrimp ($10) and my husband got the Veal Osso Bucco ($46). I have lots to say here, so let’s start with the Cacio E Pepe – this is a pasta with a strong black pepper and parmesan sauce and flavor. Their version was tossed with spaghetti. So first off, the presentation – I thought for this nice of a restaurant, the presentation was lacking. It was a pile of pasta that had melted cheese on top with the shrimp just laid around it – like c’mon try a little harder. I was shocked when it was placed down in front of me. Now to the actual taste – the pasta was way over cooked and the sauce was pretty thick. It did have a nice peppery flavor, but it also had this melted cheese on top that glued the pasta together. To me the only thing edible here was the shrimp – I barely touched the pasta because it was just so bad – I could have made much better at home for much less money. I would give this a generous 4/10. The Osso Bucco my husband had, had a hefty price tag, so I had high expectations. It was served with parmesan risotto and vegetables. The risotto was cooked well with a lovely flavor. The veal however, while the sauce had a rich flavor, the meat was dry. It should be so tender and juicy it almost melts in your mouth from being slow cooked – it was almost like they cooked it just enough to not need a knife or didn’t cook it with enough sauce to really ensure the moisture was locked in. The vegetables should have also been soft and tender, but they were still crunchy. The only saving grace of this dish was the sauce it came with – so overall I give it a 6/10.
And lastly, dessert. Chocolate sounded divine, so we went with the Flourless Chocolate Torte ($10). This was served with gelato and pistachios. I expected this chocolate torte to come served warm, right? Well it was not – it was ice cold with the cold gelato – so a bit too much chill for me. The torte itself was pretty good – it was super dense and a rich chocolate. SInce it wasn’t warm though I have to take some points off and give it a 7/10.
I had been so excited to try this place, we both were, and I was very disappointed with my experience with the food. The service was phenomenal though – let me make sure to mention that! Our waiter was amazing and so nice! The food just didn’t meet that bar where it should be, especially with the price tag on the dishes. I am not sure if they were having an off day, had a new chef, or what, but I expected much higher quality than what we got. Maybe they are only good for their pizzas? To view their full menu, click here. If you’ve had a better experience here I would love to know about it – leave me a comment!