#BestMeals2013: @marcvetri @VetriCucina @sommillionaire @PaoloCantele @1WineDude

This meal, back in November of this year, was simply one of the best of my life. 1WineDude blogged about the wines we drank here.THANK YOU, again, Paolo! I love you, man!

doggy bone

Above: Marrow served atop a bread “bone” and sprinkled with bottarga.

The food at Vetri in Philadelphia is simply breathtaking. I had the great fortune to dine there last night with my great friend and client Paolo Cantele (and I’ve just posted food photos on his blog CanteleUSA).

bonci verdicchio

There were many extraordinary wines poured last night but the one I can’t stop thinking about was the Bonci 1998 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, selected by my friend Steve Wildy, the restaurant’s wine director (one of the sweetest and most gifted people in the trade).

This fifteen-year-old expression of Verdicchio seems to be drinking at its peak (and perhaps has more years ahead of it): rich and complex, it was such a great example of an indigenous Italian grape (one of the few) that benefits from small-cask aging. It was a brilliant choice by our sommelier and I loved its unctuous mouthfeel.

adam leonti chef

But the most extraordinary thing was how the staff — front and back of the house — literally danced around us.

That’s chef de cuisine Adam Leonti (above). When he saw that we tasted a Lazio wine (among the many wines we were served), he whipped up some pajata, a dish in which the digested mother’s milk of a calf is cooked in its small intestines, a classic of Roman cookery (he didn’t know that I am a huge fan of the dish and have written about it on many occasions).

Here’s the dish…


One of the best meals of my life…

Check out the other food photos on Paolo’s blog.

And a heartfelt thanks to Marc Vetri, Adam Leonti, and Steve Wildy for opening the doors of your wonderful restaurant to us. A truly sublime meal that I will never forget…

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