This year’s Fine Dining Christmas present to ourselves was lunch @Del Posto. The magnificent darling of the famous trio of Lidia Bastianich; Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali!
We decided on this venue after reading about the wonderful Prix Fixe Lunch they serve for $29.00! Yes, you read that right: $29.00!
It’s a choice of Antipasto; Primi or Secundo; and Dolce. See the menu here.
They also offer a 6 course tasting menu with or without wine pairings, it’s listed at the bottom of the menu.
Of course it was a big question if we would even make it there Wednesday, as we had a lovely snowstorm overnight! We went to bed resolved that we’d wake up and make the decision if we would trek in or cancel and reschedule. We woke up and saw that traffic was moving and planned our trip via subway and foot. We left our warm apartment around 11 a.m. and traversed the worst part of our trip, walking down our hill to the subway. Due to a construction project, that just started last month and will last 2 years, we had to walk a block out of our way to get to a different subway entrance, as the one we’ve used for 33 years is closed as part of the reconstruction of the overpass of Queens Boulevard.
Once in the city, the streets and most of the sidewalks were perfectly cleared, even the slushy corners weren’t as bad as we expected. We had booted up to protect our feet so while not elegant we were at least dry!
Upon arrival we were greeted by the coat check in the vestibule of the grand restaurant. We gladly gave her our coats, hats and scarves. Next we moved into the wonderful space. I grabbed these pictures from the restaurant’s Google Place Page, they don’t do it justice, in a word the space is gorgeous.
We were seated on a leather banquette with beautiful throw pillows! Actually in the picture there are three tables ours was at the top of the section. Our table was a corner of the banquette so we sat adjacent to each other vs across from or next to each other.
Water was the first offering, we chose tap, as we do most often now that I’m limiting my intake of carbonation. Next drinks or wine list was offered, wine list was requested. Having not decided on what to eat we chose to have a glass of VERMENTINO by Terenzuola Fosso di Corsano 2008 from Toscana. We had enjoyed a similar one before and selected it based on it’s refreshing qualities. It’s a full-bodied dry White and was a perfect foil to our first food.
Now comes the menu. The choices were all very interesting and inviting.
Before we could decide along came an amuse bouche! There was a trio of delicious looking bites. First a shot of an Italian version of Egg Drop Soup, a salty broth that warmed us nicely. Next were gourgeres-like morsels filled with Mortadella which reminded us of deviled ham, only sooooo much better! And finally crispy rice crusted mozzarella balls. Unbelievably delicious!
For our antipasto we chose:
Roasted Winter Vegetables w/Robiola Sformato & Truffled Hazelnuts
Warm Cotechino w/Umbrian Lentil Vinaigrette & Dried Fruit Mostarda
We each ate half and switched plates. The Cotechino was a beautiful pink color and perfectly prepared. The Lentils were tiny and cooked al dente and the dried Fruit Mostarda had just the right amount of heat to brighten your taste buds. The roasted vegetables were tiny morsels of winter root veggies and pears. Each crunchy bite was better than the last.
For Entrées we ordered:
Grilled Pork ode to Emilia-Romagna with Sunchoke Crema
& Aceto Conserva
Slow Baked Lamb alla Puttanesca & Garlic Tatsoi
Prior to receiving our entrées we consulted with the Captain about selecting glasses of red wine to compliment our meal. He asked what our entree choices were and suggested two different wines. For Nana’s Pork he recommended Valpolicella Superiore Marion 2004 from the Vento a very fruity red wine with medium body. And for my Lamb Dish he suggested AGLIANICO DEL VULTURE Laluce Zimberno 2006 from Basilicata also a medium bodied smooth palate pleasing wine. We enjoyed them immensely. His recommendations were based on being from regions close to where the style of the dishes we were enjoying them with were created.
The Lamb was three good sized morsels topped with the Tatsoi and draped with the Puttanesca. So in each bite you got a mouth explosion of flavors. It was truly the tenderest chunks of lamb you could imagine. The sauce was rich and full of flavor but didn’t taste overcooked, the olives and capers and tomatoes had distinct texture and nowhere near mushy.
The Pork was a lovely piece of meat, also very tender and yet held together with just the right amount of chewiness. The Sunchoke Crema was impossibly perfect. The only disappointment would be that it wasn’t a bowlful serving! And what dish isn’t elevated by garnishing it with the Balsamic reduction.
Both of us were over the moon with these choices and how well the wines complimented the meal. We truly thought it couldn’t get any better! But…read on my friends!
Next: onto dessert.
We knew we would be pleased, but wait there’s more! There were no bad choices to eliminate easily but finally we selected:
Chocolate Ricotta Tortino Toasted Sicilian Pistachios
& Extra Virgin Olive Oil Gelato
Butterscotch Semifreddo Melon Agrumata, Crumbled Sbrisolona
& Milk Jam
I can’t even begin to describe how delicious and beautifully presented these desserts were! I had the Chocolate Ricotta Tortino especially since I am a fan of Olive Oil Gelato, ever since I had it @OTTO! Nana loves all things Semifreddo so the Butterscotch version sounded incredible.
Along with our desserts, coffee. and tea came a surprise. On a cheese grater embedded in a wooden box with a drawer came two mini Bombolinis and yes, we could have devoured a plate of these! Perfectly cooked, sugared and filled with a cream filling to die for! Also on the grater were two Nut Crusted Chocolate Lollipops with more Olive Oil Gelato centers!
Then, Voila! Open the drawer and find four more awesome bites, two small mini-citrusy tarts, smaller than a vanilla wafer, and two of the most decadent cocoa powdered truffles! Yummmmmmmmmmm!
Satisfied would be an understatement. We were there for 2 1/2 hours enjoying our experience. It’s pretty obvious to me, that the whole concept is to entice you to rejoin them for dinner, which of course would be a bit more then $29! But what an awesome meal we had and we certainly are saving our pennies for a return trip. Our glasses of wines comprised 50% of the meal, but that was our expectation. They were neither the least expensive nor the dearest glasses on the menu! The bill is presented on Letter Head, what a novel idea! Two could dine here for an elegant leisurely paced lunch for less than $90 with no problem.
The service was impeccable and never intruding. We sat in a very comfortable banquette where we had ample room for a jacket and bags. We observed that at the freestanding tables they provided an ottoman for the diners to place their handbags on. Now that’s classy! Every person who came to our table smiled and politely asked to clear or pour water or crumb the table, when asked where the restroom is, they do not tell you or point, they take you to the restroom alcove which is located behind this staircase. We also took a quick look downstairs at the private dining rooms and seemingly endless walls of cellared wines!
Del Posto, never change, we had such a wonderful lunch and truly want to enjoy another meal there very soon! I truly recommend Del Posto for a great dining experience!