To top off Stu’s week-long birthday bash, I took him out to a pizza dinner at Osteria. You may recall (since I have only mentioned it about 100 times) our pizza class with Chef Jeff Michaud, who is head chef at the restaurant. I figured that the best way to finish off Stu’s birthday gift would be to sample some full-size pizzas in the comfort of the restaurant that is so often raved about.

I had read alot of reviews and visited the restaurant’s website a bunch of times, but I still wasn’t sure what to expect. Alot of the descriptions mentioned that the atmosphere was  “rustic,” “welcoming”, and “casual dining.”  All three of these descriptions are true. The kitchen is exposed so that you can see all of the cooks making and baking the pizza right when you walk in. The decor is simple, but elegant and warm. We sat on a closed in patio off to the side which was spacious but intimate.

We started off with warm, delicious bread and olive oil.

Rustic, Indeed

Rustic, Indeed

For antipasti, we ordered a roasted vegetable platter with all sorts of  seasonal summer vegetables, each one prepared differently. Beets, peppers, potatoes, green beans, brussel sprouts, and some that we couldn’t quite place, all topped with fresh arugula and thickly shredded parmesean cheese. Delicious.

For dinner we each got, what else, a pizza. Stu selected the Lombara, a breakfast pizza of sorts, topped with the deliciously sweet red sauce, bitto cheese, mozzarella, cotechino sausage, and a baked egg right in the middle. It was very decadent and delicious!

Lombarda Pizza

Lombarda Pizza

The pizza that I chose is not listed on the website’s menu, as they have recently turned over to the summer menu and haven’t yet updated the site. My pizza was a white pizza with a few different kinds of cheeses, heirloom eggplant, roasted pine nuts, and golden raisins, saturated in an anchovy sauce. Our waiter was kind enough to mention the anchovies, which was omitted from the description on the menu. The pizza was very good, though I did crave the sweet basil red sauce that I opted to move away from. The eggplant was unlike anything I have tasted, and the pine nuts and raisins were a great touch.

White Pizza with Eggplant, Pine Nuts and Raisins

White Pizza with Eggplant, Pine Nuts and Raisins

Dessert was a small piece of sheep’s milk ricotta cheese. (Stu and I had quite a debate over the correct pronunciation of Ricotta. Leave your interpretation in the feedback, if you please.) The cheesecake was drizzled with warm honey, sliced apricot, and (more) pinenuts. It was a perfect ending to our meal and a great excuse to linger around a bit longer and soak up the atmosphere.

Ricotta Cheesecake with Apricots and Honey

Ricotta Cheesecake with Apricots and Honey

All in all, it was a fantastic evening. The space was incredible, the food was delicious and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Thumbs up to that!

Afterwards, we hit up Time’s whiskey lounge for some cocktails and a sampling of their extensive beer list. I went for a drink with elderflower liquor and white wine and Stu grabbed a whiskey and ginger ale type drink. We both finished off with Greenflash IPA’s.

Another great night out in the city with lots of food, plenty of drinks, and wonderful weather. What will next weekend hold?

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