A Cut Way Above Your Usual Mall Munch
It was a cool Friday night, and our taste buds were hankering for something new and different. We’d heard about a new crop of restaurants in the Moorestown Mall, and decided to check out Osteria. Owned by well-known Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri, the restaurant has a warm modern vibe, great food and caring service. You’ ll want to put this one on your “must try” list for sure.
The restaurant has an interesting (if not overly long) selection of wines by the glass. The featured appetizer when we went was a grilled spring vegetable platter. We asked if the dish could be shared, and our server suggested pairing it with the cheese plate. What a great idea that was! There was a colorful selection of spring vegetables (including silky-smooth beets). The cheeses were paired with a selection of house-made jams, with suggestions from our server as to which jams worked best with a particular cheese. If the cheese plate is available when you go, don’t pass it up. And take advantage of our recommended cheese-jam enjoyment suggestion: take a little bite of cheese, let it lounge around on your taste buds a little bit, and then add a little spoonful of jam.
After such a wonderful start, we could not wait to dig into the main course. If you say please, they will even let you buy some of the jam to take home-which is why there is now a full container of luscious pear-cardamom jam resting in our fridge until an English muffin materializes.
John had a nicely seasoned roast pork that had been cooked in a “pig roast” style, while I chose the spaghettini with lobster. Both entrees were very flavorful, and I particularly loved how well the light tomato sauce married with the lobster broth. Then again, I have never met a lobster I didn’t like.
We should have quit while we were semi-full, but the gelato and sorbetto flavors sounded too good to pass up, John had a deep blue blueberry gelato, while my request for half passion fruit and half strawberry sorbetto was cheerfully accommodated. The blueberry taste shone through without being cloyingly sweet, and the sorbetto was rich, creamy and gone in a flash.
Our son and his girlfriend had visited Osteria before us and found that the service was a little less attentive than it could have been. We had a wonderful experience with our server (Brandon), who patiently answered my numerous questions about various dishes—because I am (as my kids call me) the Riddler.
Our local mall really needed a shot in the arm, and it has gotten a tremendous boost with the opening of Osteria. We are hoping for continued success for the restaurant—and we know that we’ll be back.
400 New Jersey 38
Beth Christian subsisted primarily on cheeseburgers and liverwurst sandwiches during childhood and refused to try most new foods. Her culinary horizons were expanded during her college days in Schenectady, New York, where she learned the joys of trying slow-simmered Italian dishes, Szechuan cuisine, and everything in between. When not engaged in the practice of law in Monmouth County, Beth is busy scouting out interesting restaurants, farmer’s markets and food purveyors near her home in Burlington County. Beth’s primary dining sidekick is her husband John, but she also enjoys having her daughter Meghan, son Michael and her wonderful friends come along for the ride. Email Beth at BChristian@JerseyBites.com.