Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The best lunch deal in town: Del Posto

Last fall, Sam Sifton gave Del Posto, the Bastianich/Batali mega-restaurant in the Meatpacking district, a 4-star rating  -- his first since he became the New York Times dining critic in 2009.  And while I generally believe rating systems with their stars, numbers, or other funny little icons to be inevitably flawed, I'm down with Sifton. After heeding a rec by my NYC neighbor who is a sommelier at the restaurant, I found Del Posto to be one of the best fine-dining experiences I've ever had. Of course, I'm the kind of person that is easily impressed by whipped lardo as a complimentary option to spread on your choice of three fresh-baked breads, cheese graters re-imagined as serving trays for dessert canapes with wooden pullout drawers revealing a second secret layer of more dessert canapes, and an off-menu children's entree of gnocchi with truffled butter. And did you see those gold-dusted cheese-risotto balls?

But on top of the exquisitely prepared dishes and drinks, the waitstaff also maintained a down-to-earth elegance, even providing a purse stool for our 4-year-old-friend's Dora the Explorer backpack. Later, our waiter conceded to the fact that most truffle oils are fake, including their own, enhanced by chemical compounds such as 2,4-dithiapentane to impart that certain je ne sais quoi - which, of course, did not stop that gnocchi from being inhaled like a plate of peanuts backstage at a circus show.

The damage:  $29 for a three-course lunch prix fixe. (Of course, the a la carte order of their hundred-layer lasagna is extra.) Info:, 85 10th Avenue/16th Street, 1-212-497-8090.


Anonymous said...

He was also right on money with his review of Collichio and Sons' dish of butter poached oysters.

Claudine Ko said...

How briny is "super briny"? I had an oyster risotto in Paris that caused my tongue to recede into my liver. And how does one poach in butter? Can you give me a simple recipe?