Vetri Cucina opened in 1998 through the collaboration of Chef Marc Vetri and business partner Jeff Benjamin. In 2005 Chef Vetri was named Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic by the James Beard Awards. Frankie last visited here in 2014 and although the menu has changed the format is still the same and the giant mural of Chef and others is still on the side of the building. The 3 story building has the Vetri dining room on the first floor with private parties, classes and events taking up the higher 2 floors. The lights are lowered, music is in the background, old wood floors are opposite Italian chandeliers with the glasses on the table also being Italian. They offer all diners a 4 course fixed price menu where you choose from several options. You can add an add several supplements for a fee. Wine pairings are available but the sommelier was able to help us pick a great bottle to go with our meal. Service is fabulous with great pacing and portion control. I highly recommend this place.
An amuse bouche of chicken liver mousse on savory pie crust was topped with pistachios. It was a terrific bite.
The bread service consisted of sourdough slices and house made focaccia with house cultured butter. Both were light and doughy nice breads with crisp crust.
We added a Foie Gras pastrami on toasted brioche and mostarda supplement. Rich smokey flavors were in the foie gras topped with the sweet apple mostarda and all on the crisp buttery delicate brioche. This was an ultra rich plate of indulgence – just bursting with flavor and lovely textures. The pastrami seasonings mixed perfectly with the foie gras for an absolutely wonderful plate of food.
Squab en croute with rhubarb agrodolce was served next to a small salad. The squab was perfectly cooked in a delicious crust and went well with the dressed greens. It was very good.
Venison carpaccio with artichokes alla giudea was tender thin slices of cured venison. Lemon garlic brought out the flavor of the meat along with the tasty artichoke pieces that were nutty and delicious. Another great plate.
Spinach gnocchi with shaved ricotta salata and brown butter were amazing balls of lightness. The wonderful texture was perfectly paired with the buttery sauce. This was lick-the-plate delicious.
Tagliolini with foraged mushroom ragu contained chanterelles, maitakes and other wild mushrooms. The perfects lines of pasta captured the tasty mushrooms and were excellent highlighted by tasty cheese. This one had lots of flavors and was also very good.
Pork Coppa Roast with pan roasted baby radishes and bottarga was full of flavors. The tender pink pork was fatty enough to be tasty and juicy. The bits of bottarga added another component of taste. The baby radishes were also quite good.
Grilled strip steak with maitake trifolati was made with Pennsylvania beef. The maitake was crisped and really complemented the beef. A good sauce added even more flavor that also blended well with the dressed salad bit. Parts were a bit salty but that was easily remedied by mixing more parts together. Here portion control was more than I could eat.
A transition course was a pineapple and rosemary sorbet topped with a crostini. The flavor was more pineapple than rosemary but that was fine by me. It was refreshing and a good transition.
Molten pistachio cake with strawberry-black pepper gelato was amazingly good The really tasty strawberries were perfect with the lovely cake and ice cream. Pistachios were sprinkled on the cake to add more flavor. It was great.
Chocolate gianduja mousse with passion fruit and hazelnuts was a chocolate shell. Underneath was passion fruit topped with chocolate cake and chocolate mousse. Candied hazelnuts were on the side and were outstanding. So much flavor and texture in this one made it really fun to eat and savor. Yum.
Final treats were a chocolate marshmallow and a tart of apricot and polenta. Both were good but the tart was my favorite.