#53 Osteria, Philadelphia (Margherita)
Nominated for the Best New Restaurant award by the James Beard Foundation in 2008 and winner of the James Beard Foundation’s Best Mid-Atlantic chef in 2010, Osteria has some super credentials, and quite a bit of hype to live up to. Marc Vetri, Jeff Michaud, and Jeff Benjamin conceived the idea while on a trip in Tuscany, and you have to be glad they followed through. The pizza at Osteria is very traditional (and you’ll want to order a margherita as your baseline (tomato, basil, and mozzarella), with a gourmet twist, offering pies like Polpo, made of octopus, tomato, red chile flakes, and smoked mozzarella, or Lombarda, with baked egg, Bitto cheese, mozzarella, and cotechino sausage for a creamy and mild flavor. And the wine list isn’t half bad either, with more than 100 Italian wines to accompany your award-winning pie. Osteria’s success and acclaim just recently spawned Pizzeria Vetri a 30-seat restaurant in Philadelphia's art museum district, the first of the Vetri family restaurants dedicated exclusively to the art of authentic, Italian pizza-making. Expect it to get consideration in years to come.