I’ve recently had a wedding ceremony at the city hall with my now wife (the real “wedding” will come later in the fall somewhere outside of New York). We were both thankful to have some of our best friends show up as witnesses to the ceremony and wanted to celebrate this happy day together at lunch. Since it was a weekday, Del Posto seemed like a great option, with its still mind blowingly affordable (of course, in a comparative sense compared to the other fine dining institutions in the city) three-course prix fixe at $49 per person and the consistently elegant Italian cuisine that would’ve pleased anybody. Recently, the restaurant made headlines when its longtime executive chef Mark Ladner departed to open a casual pasta chain. His lieutenant, Melissa Rodriguez, subsequently took over the kitchen. Was the commitment to excellence still there after this major shuffle? I’m happy to report that Del Posto still remains one of the best Italian restaurants in the city.
What always struck me during a meal at Del Posto is the wonderful balance of flavor and texture each dish displays. There is no over-the-top attempt to wow the diners with exotic ingredient or technique and yet you know on first sight that the kitchen isn’t settling but constantly striving to bring the refined Italian dishes to your table. For my appetizer, wagyu beef carpaccio was sensational in its texture of raw meat accompanied by olives, lemon and salsa verde to add just the right amount of flavor on top of it. I stole a bit of lobster with artichokes from my wife, and it was another outstanding dish that I could totally see myself ordering next time I’m at the restaurant if it is still available then. The restaurant still does a single pasta tasting for $10 per person, and we went for the decadent bauletti (think agnolotti in terms of shape) with Roman sheep’s milk ricotta and black truffle butter that displayed a ton of rich flavor to bring satisfaction to everyone at the table.
Compared to the appetizers and pasta, the secondi dishes were not as perfect, but not far behind either. My striped bass with farro verde and black trumpets mushroom could have moderated slightly on the seasoning, but the fish was otherwise more or less roasted perfectly. A bite of lamb chop with golden chanterelles, white beans, rosemary and yogurt sauce that I stole from my wife was also slightly off on the flavor, but again there was no question that the meat was cooked very well. Del Posto has always been strong with its desserts, especially its panna cotta dishes. I absolutely enjoyed the sweet pea one last time I had visited, and this time the coffee panna cotta with cinnamon cereale and burnt orange was also very delicious. Compared to the panna cotta dish, the ricotta and lemon tart with sheep’s milk gelato tasted a little bit more predictable.
Del Posto is always going to be a great place to have a weekday lunch because it’s a lot easier to make reservations and definitely far less crowded, and the dining space is still one of the most romantic in the city. The service was as impeccable as ever, and we splurged on a couple bottles of excellent Italian brunello among many excellent Italian-focused wine selections to celebrate our marriage with the witnesses. Next time I come back with my wife, I’m certain we’ll reminisce our ceremonial lunch here with fond memories.
- Creativity: 8.5/10
- Execution: 9.0/10
- Ingredients: 9.0/10
- Flavor: 9.0/10
- Texture: 9.5/10
Address: 85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
Telephone: (212) 497-8090
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