Study the few restaurant success stories in our business, and the reasons for staying power may not immediately be clear. Why a concept resonates, and how it stays relevant, is even harder to understand when so many fail with so much working to ensure the opposite outcome.
In Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink’s story, one I’ll venture has a lot in common with Philadelphia’s Osteria, success can be defined by a zone in which we are challenged daily to hover, vibrating like an atom, staying true to original vision while innovating just enough to stay one click ahead. Without the microscope, this molecule is fresh, simple, pure equilibrium. With the right lens, things are – must be – in constant motion. Everything is fair game, under review. Responding to shifts in the environment, proactively evolving. But not too much!
Next month, when Michael travels to Philadelphia for the annual Great Chefs Event, Marc Vetri’s flagship culinary philanthropy event to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand and the work of his Vetri Foundation, there’s another reason to celebrate — a brotherhood. It’s coming up on the 10th anniversary of the James Beard Award winning chef and restaurateur’s Osteria, which, like Michael’s flagship, he opened in 2007 in a not-yet-neighborhood that was to become one. Over 10 months, the restaurant is welcoming 10 simpactico guest chefs for a dinner series celebrating this milestone occasion, and Michael is the second to cook (Marco Canora kicked things off in May.) The format offers guests an opportunity to savor what the restaurant does best with James Beard Award winner Jeff Michaud at the helm, with a culinary love letter from the guest chef — one dish from each, per course. Marc and Jeff have done multiple dinners at The Genuine Hospitality Group restaurants; Jeff for his cookbook launch at Michael’s Genuine in 2014, and the two have taken over Harry’s Pizzeria® for its Chef Pop Up Series in the years prior. It’s about time Michael does his part for the first time! Make your reservation ASAP while you still can, at 215-763-0920.
The second restaurant to join the Philadelphia Vetri Family fold, Osteria, as its name would imply, draws its inspiration from traditional osterias found in Northern Italy, and is the realization of a dream Vetri Family partners Jeff Benjamin and Chefs Marc Vetri and Jeff Michaud had while standing amongst the grapes of the Ca’Marcanda vineyards in Tuscany. Since opening in 2007, Osteria has become one of the country’s most critically acclaimed Italian restaurants, receiving a 3-out-of-4 bell review from the Philadelphia Inquirer, and earning Chef Michaud the 2010 James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic” for his work helming the kitchen.
Convivial and inviting, Osteria’s heart is its open main kitchen from which its award-winning menu of antipasti, homemade pastas, house-cured salumi, authentic Neapolitan and Roman-style pizzas, wood-grilled meats, seafood and decadent desserts are crafted. Signature dishes include Chicken Liver Rigatoni with cippolini onions and sage; the Lombarda Pizze with baked egg, bitto cheese, mozzarella and cotechino sausage; and the House-Aged Rib-eye “Fiorentina” for two. And like all Vetri Family restaurants, complementing this menu is a fine selection of wine, handcrafted cocktails and craft beer.
Can’t make it to Philly? Follow our travels and watch the dinner unfold at #Osteria101010.