REVIEW #11

Del Posto

We ate downstairs (for group functions) at Mario Batali’s high-end Italian restaurant Del Posto on three or four occasions prior to eating a proper a la carte dinner upstairs and the food was uniformly horrible, sometimes inedible. So, following the New York Times’ award of four stars to Del Posto in 2010, it was with some trepidation and excitement that we set out to experience the restaurant properly. It appears that the subterranean stairwell operates as a kind of culinary Looking-Glass. The food in the main restaurant was so excellent that we were left wondering how it was possible to have such radically different experiences at the same restaurant. Perhaps the restaurant had simply been suffering from some growing pains before.

One acquires a sense of the restaurant’s ambition upon walking into its cavernous, opulent main room designed by Lisa Eaton Design. The food is conceived on a scale to match its grand surroundings, aiming to elevate high-end Italian cuisine to an equal footing with that of its French neighbors. In our view, it does not quite succeed by this standard, though it succeeds by almost any other. If it does not scale the loftiest perches of French haute cuisine, it is easily the finest Italian restaurant in New York; Lincoln Ristorante and Marea are the only real competition.

Dish after dish will stun you such as a carne cruda with truffled salsa, parmigiano-reggiano and shaved porcini (now served with shaved king oyster mushrooms), fresh fried calamari with spicy capers, ricotta pansoti with wild asparagus and black truffles and a wood-grilled lobster with artichokes, almonds and basils. The grilled veal chop with grilled salsify, cavolo nero, porcini roast and baraolo fondo for two is, unequivocally, the best veal chop we have ever tasted. The wine pairings selected by the sommelier from Del Posto’s enormous collection of Italian wines were exquisite. The service is generally outstanding, though do expect to wait on your table regardless of your reservation time. Forget what you may have heard about the Vegas-like spectacle of Del Posto and just go and experience it for yourself; it is thrilling to have an Italian restaurant like this in our city.

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INFORMATION

Chelsea
85 Tenth Ave.
New York (nr. 16th St.)
212-497-8090
Mon-Fri, 11:30am-2pm, 5pm-11pm; Sat, 4:30pm-11pm; Sun, 4:30pm-10pm
    Mario Batali, Chef
    Mark Ladner, Chef
    Brooks Headley, Pastry Chef
    Lisa Eaton Design, Designer

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    RECOMMENDED DISHES See All

    • Albalone carpaccio, with grilled asparagus and charred scallions
    • Carne Cruda with Truffled Salsa, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Shaved King Oyster Mushrooms
    • Fresh Fried Calamari with Spicy Capers
    • Ricotta Pansoti with Green and White Asparagus & Black Truffle Butter
    • Fonduta Anellini with Black Truffle Butter & Parmigiano
    • Veal Agnolotti with Tyrolean Speck, Grana Padano & Truffle Dust
    • Spaghetti with Dungeness Crab, Sliced Jalapeño and Minced Scallion
    • Ravioli filled with a chestnut and parmesean purée and paired with pigeon and myrtle
    • Wood-Grilled Lobster with Artichokes, Almonds and Basils
    • Veal Chop for 2 with Grilled Salsify, Cavolo Nero, Porcini Roast, and Barolo Fondo
    • Slow Baked Lamb alla Puttanesca & Garlic Tatsoi
    • Apricot Cassata di Gelato, Almond cake, Brown Sugar Meringue, Apricot-Moscato Brodo
    • Strudel for 2, Cranberry and Apple Strudel, Stracchino Gelato, Apple Cider Concentrate
    • Chocolate Ricotta Tortino, Toasted Sicilian Pistachios & Extra Virgin Olive Oil Gelato
    • Del Posto Chocolate Tree
    • Minted OCTOPUS with ‘Nduja, Giant Beans & Hearts of Palm
    • GOOSE LIVER – Stracciatella with Bitter Chocolate, Pistachios & Blood Orange
    • Black Truffle RISOTTO
    • Dover SOLE a la Francese with Caviar Sauce
    • Wagyu BEEF duo with Black Garlic & Chicories
    • Passion Fruit GRANITA