Photos: Inside Marc Vetri’s Osteria in Moorestown

By Danya Henninger  |  November 14, 2013
Credit: Danya Henninger

Dining in Moorestown is about to get a major upgrade. On Monday, November 18, doors officially open at Osteria, a Marc Vetri restaurant modeled after the original Osteria on North Broad in Philly. The suburban outpost is very similar to its urban sister, with a dining room split by a windowed wall and a menu of updated Italian classics. We stopped in for a look at the nearly complete restaurant earlier this week.

  • Found on the north side of the mall relatively close to the parking lot entrance, Osteria is highly visible from the outside, with windowed walls, an outdoor patio area (it will open next spring) and its own entrance. There’s also an entrance on the inside of the mall, where the brickwork of the restaurant stands in sharp contrast to the fluorescent-lit industrial hallway.

  • Pinewood tables and benches fill the main dining room, which looks out on the patio on one side and looks into the bar through colorfully painted windows on the other. Above, Osteria servers take a knowledge quiz as they prepare to bring a new level of service to dining at the mall.

  • Credit: Danya Henninger

    On the other side of the windows is the long bar, with more than 20 seats. There are eight additional counter seats along the semi-open kitchen. As you stand here, behind you is a third room that can provide additional seating or - if the farmhouse windows are closed - become a private dining room for events and special dinners.

  • Chef de cuisine Mike Deganis, center, offers some of his cooks tips on butchering a pig. Deganis was most recently chef at Alla Spina, and worked under Jeff Michaud at Osteria Philly before that.

  • Jeff Michaud makes pasta with the help of an Arcobaleno machine. Now that Pizzeria Vetri is up and running and Brad Daniels is settling into his role as chef de cuisine of the original Osteria, Michaud is focusing his efforts on this new spot, the first Vetri Family venture outside of Philadelphia.

  • Brad Spence has also been spending a lot of time helping get the new restaurant up to standards, as has Marc Vetri himself. Though Vetri wasn’t around during our visit, he’s been putting in the hours. “I don’t know how he manages to be so many places and focus on so many things and do it all so well,” beverage director Steve Wildy says.

  • Richly sauced pheasant is layered with porcini bechamel and housemade pasta sheets to make individual lasagnas. Look for many items that used to be on the Osteria Philly menu to make a return here in New Jersey.

  • Thin-crust pizza will come from a custom Renato oven, of similar type to the one recently installed at Pizzeria Vetri. Oven-maker Renato Riccio visited last week to calibrate and make sure everything was running smoothly with the hybrid gas and wood-fired hearth.

  • More than 100 wines are on the list, and Catherine Fanelli will be sommelier. Formerly a server at Osteria Philly, she’s been training and studying for the position and is very excited for her new gig.

  • Miscela d’Oro beans from Italy are used to make the coffee and espresso, expertly hand-pulled from a vintage Faema machine.

  • After the finishing touches are done, Osteria will be open 5-10 PM, Sunday-Thursday, and 5-11 PM, Friday-Saturday. Lunch will launch a few weeks after opening. The mall will also soon be home to a brand-new Regal Theater with all-stadium seating and also an outpost of Jose Garces’ Distrito, slated for early 2014.

    400 Route 38, Moorestown Mall, Suite 1367, Moorestown, NJ; 856-316-4427