Dining at Del Posto is like transporting back to the classic New York City (think Mad Men era, but without the cigarette smoke). The piano player is playing "As Time Goes By". Crisp white linens adorn the tables.
And the best part of this fine dining escape? The bill was only a fraction of the normal cost because we ordered Del Posto's weekday fixed price lunch deal ($29 per person for a 3-course meal). Like the lunch deal at Jean Georges, we enjoyed a wonderful meal with impeccable service.
We started off with a complimentary amuse bouche trio: Saffron Suppli (crunchy fried risotto balls with molten cheese center, and dusted in edible gold leaf), Mortadella in Pastella (a soft, melt-in-your-mouth mini ham sandwich), and Stracciatella (Roman egg drop soup, which tasted like the most comforting cup of chicken soup).
The bread basket was filled with house-made breads: mini baguettes, bread sticks, olive bread, and rosemary focaccia. All freshly baked and perfect with the airy butter and whipped lardo.
My husband started off with the Warm Cotechino with Umbrian Lentil Vinaigrette & Dried Fruit Mostarda.
This dish is right up my husband's alley: earthy, savoury, hearty. Its rich flavors were complimented by his first wine (Bardolino Superiore Corte Gardoni Pradica 2008). He had opted for the wine pairing (a steal at $15 supplement). The sommelier actually deviated from the standard "fixed price lunch wines" and properly paired each of his courses. The Bardalino was slightly fruity but the light acidity cleansed the palate.
I decided to start with Lidia’s Lobster Salad alla Catalana ($10 supplement): All lobster, no filler. It was fresh and clean, like summer on a plate. The large chunks of lobster sat on a light tomato sauce.
To my husband's delight, the sommelier paired his entree with this Etna Rosso Biondi Outis (we think the vintage was 2006). He was going to buy a glass of this wine anyway because he wanted to try a wine from the Mt. Etna area. This Outis from Biondi, Mt. Etna Sicily, was more like a pinot noir. It was mineral
driven, easy to drink, and well liked.
driven, easy to drink, and well liked.
The wine was paired with the Orecchiette with Lamb Shoulder Sausage, Crispy Morels, and Minted Soybeans. The pasta and meat were tender while the crispy morels added a nice texture and umami flavor.
The presentation of my entree was so beautiful. I ordered the Halibut with Late Harvest Radicchio, Pancetta, Bagna Cauda and Campari. The mild white fish was perfectly cooked, as it softly flaked. The campari added some sweetness, the bits of pancetta added some salt, and the radicchio (whose bitterness was mellowed by being roasted) added a nice flavor and texture.
My husband's final glass of wine in his pairing was this sparkling Elio Perrone Moscato d'Asti Sourgal 2009. This moscato dessert wine was fruity and went well with the dessert (specifically the ricotta cheese).
His dessert was the Chocolate Ricotta tortino with Sicilian Pistachios & Extra Virgin Olive Oil Gelato. Having first enjoyed it at Babbo, we knew we'd like the extra virgin olive oil gelato. The tortino was surprisingly light.
I ordered the Tartufo al Caffe with Dark Chocolate, Sant Eustachio Coffe & Candied Lemon. My husband loves having an espresso with a lemon peel and this dessert seemed like his espresso, but in tartufo form. This was one of the best tartufos we've ever had!
Just when you thought you were full, out came even more (complimentary) goodies! We loved the presentation of the petit fours. On top of the grater were:
2 warm Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts) with vanilla-orange crema pasticierra
2 dark chocolate-dipped Honeycombs (my favorite) which tasted like mini smores to me (but lighter and not sticky)
And then our server pulls out a drawer from underneath the grater to reveal:
2 drops of candied grapefruit dipped in Amaretti crumbs and caramel had a nice bright, tart flavor
2 Lemon-Polenta Crostata (little tarts).
And our final complimentary treat was a small take-home box of chocolate truffles.
Del Posto is located at 85 Tenth Ave (btwn 15th and 16th Sts) in NYC.