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What to order at Del Posto?

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lisette Aug 20, 2007 07:40 AM

Having dinner at Del Posto tonight. Any recommendations on what to order? We are a party of 14, so I don't know if we'll be able to convince the masses to have the tasting menu...

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    Daniel76 RE: lisette Aug 20, 2007 08:31 AM

    What I would do if I was going with a party of 14 to Del Posto is, take the 3 grand you are planning to spend at Del Posto and throw half of it in the river.. Then go to a less expensive better place..

    Seriously, I went there a few times and always left disappointed with a sense of being cheated.. Dont get any of the 100 fish or steak plates.. The crab pasta is really good I remember..

    Whatever, get the Molto Mario cookbook, make a couple of the pasta dishes out of his book and chances are you will have a better dining experience at home.

    1. k
      kobetobiko RE: lisette Aug 20, 2007 08:52 AM

      I have to respectfully disagree with previous poster. I am not sure how he could manage to spend just $3K with 14 ppl. In my numerous experiences, Del Posto would cost at least $100 per person. Even with the Enoceta menu it would still be impossible to spend less than $60 per head there.

      Anyway, been to Del Posto quite a few times, and had tried both the enoceta and regular (tasting / a la carte) menus. With 14 people I will not recommend the enoceta menu as the choices are so limited. A la carte will be great as each of you can get to choose something different and share. And you don't have to be restricted that the entire table participates in the tasting menu.

      In general, all the pasta dishes rule. I think the pasta dishes there are as good as (if not better) than Babbo, and these two places to me are always the top 2 places to get pasta (well, the high end pasta I should say) in Manhattan. In particular, I found the gnocchi to be noticeably better than most restaurants in the city. With 14 people, you can almost order off the entire pasta menus and share!

      The risotto dishes are for 2. I always like the pasta the most, but they are worth trying as you have a big party to share.

      As for antipasti, a bit more sophisticated than the Babbo's presentation, but flavorwise they are still bold and a bit rustic IMO. Other than the salads which I found to be a bit ordinary (but then I am not a veggie person), other antipasti are great.

      As for the secondi, i have to agree with Daniel76 about the "anything" for 2. They are really not special and mediocre IMO. I was quite surprised to see that their fish entrees (turbot) turned out to be excellent (my impression of Babbo was that the meat and poultry were better...)

      Then dessert. Oh was I surprised by how good the desserts they had!!!! RGR mentioned that they got the pastry chef Nicole Kaplan (sp??) from EMP, and I have to say they got the right chef! The desserts were excellent! I love the ice wine granita that came with the millefoglie. But if you are a chocolate lover, then the choco desserts will not disappoint.

      Service was attentive, but I wouldn't say it gave me the "warm" kind of feeling. Definitely more stuffy than Babbo. Oh, before I forget, they give out plenty of amuse bouche, and I really like the lardo that comes with the bread basket. (ok, my mom did not like it, so I assume you need to love lard to love it....)

      Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful dinner!

      8 Replies
      1. re: kobetobiko
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        Daniel76 RE: kobetobiko Aug 20, 2007 09:33 AM

        3k for 14 ppl works out to about 215 bucks a head..

        1. re: Daniel76
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          kobetobiko RE: Daniel76 Aug 20, 2007 09:40 AM

          Hi Daniel76,

          Sorry for my absent mind. Yes, you are correct. That said, I think $200 per head (with tasting menu and wine) is on par with any fine dining restaurants in town. I completey agreed with your comments on the "something for two" dishes - they were definitely overpriced and not worth it (the simpliest preparation with a not so great piece of meat).

          Just wondering, what else did your order at Del Posto that made you feel so strongly against it? I respect your comments and am by no means trying to say you were wrong. It just that we had such different expereiences and I am just curious to know why...

          1. re: kobetobiko
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            Daniel76 RE: kobetobiko Aug 20, 2007 10:08 AM

            I have ordered the duck breast, the sweetbreads, many dishes.. I am not strongly against it where I think the place is terrible.. I just think its over priced, over hyped, and pretty average.. If the place was a third of the price I would think its a pretty decent place.. Still nothing exciting at all..

            In terms of the casual side ot Del Posto, which is almost half the price, I still think its over priced and too limited for my liking..

            1. re: Daniel76
              k
              kobetobiko RE: Daniel76 Aug 20, 2007 10:22 AM

              Hi Daniel76,

              Thanks for your reply. I completely understand. I agree that some dishes are indeed overpriced from what they are. I justify the price with the environment (while I hate stiffness in restaurants, some of my friends really like the "scene"...sigh....) and the ease of reservation. I enjoy the pasta at Babbo but I really don't want to go through all the hoops or the super early dinner to score a table.

              Agree with the limitation of the enoteca menu. Tried it once and that's enough.

              1. re: Daniel76
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                Abe Froman RE: Daniel76 Aug 20, 2007 12:16 PM

                $45 for 4 course tasting, concidering the quality of dishes available on the Enotaca menu, does not seem that out of line to me (and I am not a big spender). It's not an amazing savings or anything, but I have walked away several times totally satisfied that I "got what I paid for". Throw the excellent bread basket in there and I have walked away each time downright happy with the experience.

                1. re: Abe Froman
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                  kobetobiko RE: Abe Froman Aug 20, 2007 01:28 PM

                  Hi Abe,

                  Agree with the value you get for enoteca menu is incredible, but just that the selection was small. If you have a few people and each orders something different, you pretty try everything on the enoteca menu in one time.

                  You did make an excellent point about the bread! I never thought about it that way. Now the lardo makes the $45 menu an incredible bargain!! :D

                  1. re: kobetobiko
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                    Daniel76 RE: kobetobiko Aug 20, 2007 01:30 PM

                    The bread was my favorite part of the enotecca menu.. I have given a link to the time I reviewed entoecca with photos, but it was erased by management.. I had a few overly salty dishes and thought the service sucked..

                    Different things for different people..

                    1. re: kobetobiko
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                      Abe Froman RE: kobetobiko Aug 21, 2007 08:51 AM

                      Totally see your point... on the flip side, there is something to be said for eating the whole plate vs having a bite of everything once. Personally, I could not go to Enoteca once, have a bite of every dish and say "been here done that". And for me, there are some definite "repeater" dishes on that menu... the octopus and the calamari for instance.

                      Regarding service... yeah, it's been laughable for me too. have had our first glass of wine poured AFTER the first course twice now. I chalk it up in part to the people I dined with though, they hang on to the wine list and menus WAY to long. To avoid bad service, best practice is to know, more or less, what you are gunning for and encourage your party to do the same... works like a charm in most cases.

          2. MBShapiro RE: lisette Aug 20, 2007 09:55 AM

            I totally agree with daniel, in that you should go somewhere else. Del Posto is a mess of a high end restaurant.

            Knowing that that is probably not an option, just order some nice wine, and try to drink enough that you won't remember the food. Do not, under any circumstances, order the lamb. It was the biggest disaster of a dish i've ever seen. Literally, ever. The gnocchi is gummy, the gnudi, flavorless. I did have a nice mixed mushroom app and good dessert. And kobe is correct that the lardo is outrageous.

            Just sit back, enjoy your company, take in the gorgeous room, and don't expect much.

            3 Replies
            1. re: MBShapiro
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              kobetobiko RE: MBShapiro Aug 20, 2007 10:02 AM

              I am shocked to hear that the gnocchi was gummy! While sometimes I think their meat dishes are not best in town, I have never had such disaterous experience on the lamb or pork dishes. May be not exceptional, but never to the point of a "disaster". I have always consider the gnocchi at Del Posto and Babbo to be among the best in town, never an incident of gumminess. The gnocchi at the Modern Bar and EMP were what I considered as "gummy". Then again, I respect everyone's comments, and texture is sometimes a personal thing that everyone has their own preference. So I think it is good that the OP is getting both sides of the story to make the judgement.

              1. re: kobetobiko
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                lisette RE: kobetobiko Aug 20, 2007 11:03 AM

                Wasn't really looking for an answer to the "should I go or shouldn't I go" question. As I said, we're a party of 14. This is a birthday party for a friend, I didn't choose the place, nor do I have the ability to change the location. I was just looking for some recommendations. So far, I see that most of the pasta dishes are good, the meats not-so-much. Any other thoughts?

                1. re: lisette
                  Foody4life RE: lisette Aug 20, 2007 11:30 AM

                  Have a nice apperitivo at the bar, enjoy your friend's birthday and stick with the pasta & vino. We've ordered the "two" or "three" pasta sampler for the table in past visits and have enjoyed the various preparations. I'm sure they'll prepare a wide selection for your party of 14.

                  Have to agree with the others above that this place isn't representative of molto Mario's best days at Po. Del Posto's too big to be anything but very overpriced and mediocre. A classic example is their Veal Chop for two at $110! We ordered it and were underwhelmed with the small chop and uninspired method of cooking.

                  While you're in the area, and for future get togethers - check out CraftSteak next door. Better all around for cuisine, decor, service and vibe!

            2. jamielynn RE: lisette Aug 20, 2007 01:39 PM

              lisette -
              I'm not affraid to come out and say I've had 2 very nice evenings there. I will agree that the pasta's are best. The meat is served very florentine style with nothing else on the plate (if i remember correctly). It wasn't the best (the veal chop), but enjoyable none-the-less.

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                SLAP RE: lisette Aug 21, 2007 07:11 AM

                The caprese salad is delicious to start. have some of the pasta's without a doubt. the orichiette are super. the tuna with veal sauce for a main.

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                  Daniel76 RE: lisette Aug 21, 2007 07:44 AM

                  So how was Del Posto?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Daniel76
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                    lisette RE: Daniel76 Aug 21, 2007 08:01 AM

                    I enjoyed it. For a large table, the service was excellent. The waitress was very knowledgeable.

                    There were 4 amuse bouche. My only complaint is that they bring them all out together (I would prefer they stagger them). There was a delicious corn soup, a blini with pork shoulder, an eggplant bruschetta dusted with porcini (the eggplant was more like a spread than anything) and crispy celery with a bland sauce.

                    We had the tasting menu. Not the grand tasting menu that is 7 courses for 150, but the 4 course (though it seemed like 5) for 85. You order your own appetizer, main and dessert and the table must agree on 2 pastas. I didn't think this was an unreasonable price for what it was.

                    I had the artichoke due for appetizer. It is a fried artichoke and one that is prepared with lemon and anchovy. Tasty, but kind of small. I wish I had had the caprese instead.

                    We ordered the spaghetti with crab and havanero oil. I thought this was very tasty, a real kick to it, although it looked like some of my companions didn't have much crab. Then we had some kind of spinach noodle with a bolognese. Also good.

                    For main, I had the turbot with sweet corn and chantarelles. It was delicious, perfectly cooked and a sizable portion. Several guests had the pork chop, which didn't look special to me. The hit of the evening appeared to be the cacciuci (sp?), which is like a bouilliabase.

                    I had to leave before dessert, so I can't say much about that. The wine list is extensive, but very expensive and the person who did our ordering didn't seem to rely much on the guidance of the sommelier, which I think was a mistake. Nonetheless, I thought the chianti she ordered was delicious and it was less than $100 a bottle (not easy to find on that wine list).

                    All in all, a good evening and the birthday girl had a wonderful time.

                    1. re: lisette
                      k
                      kobetobiko RE: lisette Aug 21, 2007 08:09 AM

                      Glad to hear your dinner went well, lisette.

                      If you want to try Del Posto again, you can try the enoteca menu for $45. I just looked at the enoteca menu and they have changed the dishes somewhat. The selection is wider and the dishes sound more intriguing (and they removed the dishes that I did not particularly enjoy, which is good). Certainly a good way to go fine-dining without breaking the bank!

                      1. re: lisette
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                        Daniel76 RE: lisette Aug 21, 2007 08:32 AM

                        Glad you enjoyed it.. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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