HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Great Lunch at Del Posto

k
kathryn Dec 17, 2010 12:07 PM

Just got back from a birthday lunch at Del Posto. Gorgeous room. Wonderful service. Live piano playing Christmas standards, and Christmas decor all throughout. It felt very festive without seeming too stuffy.

Onto the food.

Started with amuse of:
- stracciatella, a roman egg drop soup that we could have eaten a bowlful of, wonderful parmesan flavor
- crispy saffron risotto with edible gold dusted on top, absolutely ridiculous presentation!
- puffy mortadella in pastella, a mini-bologna panini... or, rather, meat cream puff, as we dubbed it. My least favorite but not really bad.

Loved the whipped lardo and butter, piping hot bread, I had the herbed focaccia. The lardo just melted into the bread.

Started with the Carne Cruda (wagyu tartare) with Truffled Salsa, Parmigiano-Reggiano & Shaved Porcini. Very rich, fatty, a bit of watercress in there as well and capers I think. Incredibly rich. Delicious and decadent.

Husband had the lobster salad with Broccoli Rabe & Dried Orange. It was covered in an orange colored sauce that was described as spicy (there was additional pepper paste on the side for you to customize to your liking) but ended up less spicy (and a bit more bitter) than I'd expected. Huge chunks of lobster, cooked well. We inadvertently did a surf and turf for these two antipasti.

Then I had the pumpkin cappelacci with browned butter and sage. Really nice pumpkin flavor, not overshadows by the butter or sage. It was definitely more delicate than I'd expected, and refined. Four big raviolis, serve nicely al dente.

My husband's seared duck breast was great, too. Apician Spices, Savor alla Francescana & Lovage. Meaty, fatty skin, cooked medium rare, flavorful, two generously sized pieces. It was finished with a foie gras reduction, placed at the table, to make things even more ridiculous.

Palate cleanser of sour apricot ice cream over candied nuts with candied orange peel on top. Lovely and the flavors really changed as you ate this -- complex and layered.

Then they brought me a flourless chocolate cake with a candle and flowers on top and "Happy Birthday, Kathryn" written on the plate! A clever server intercepted husband while I was in the restroom and confirmed it was my birthday. Wonderful surprise! I chose to get it wrapped for later. (Good lord.)

For dessert, my husband chose the Spezzata di Castagne Warm Plum Macedonia, Crushed Chestnuts & Yogurt Gelato. Nice combinations of flavors and the cake had a good crumb to it. Very seasonal. But I liked mine more.

Mine was the Chocolate ricotta tortino with Sicilian Pistachios & Extra Virgin Olive Oil Gelato. Loved how they drizzled the olive oil on top at the table. Tasted like a dark, rich, perfect Ho Ho rolled in lovely green pistachios, but the best pistachios ever?

The petit fours were too much almost.
- warm bomboloni with orange cream, husbands's favorite
- polenta tart with raisins and apples, I didn't really get the corn part until the end
- olive oil gelato pop covered in chocolate rolled in sugared almonds, wonderful
- chocolate and pistachio covered honeycomb, not what I expected as it tasted super smoky, but I really liked it
- candied grapefruit dipped in Amaretti crumbs, gorgeous red color/presentation
- caramel wrapped in edible paper, couldn't quite place the other flavors in the caramel

At this point I started getting a little woozy. And then they presented me with bonbons to go. Good lord! Right now both the chocolate cake AND bonbons are sitting in my fridge.

They sure know how to treat you right!

Before tip it was about $90 (no wine, and the $90 includes the supplements for the beef tartare and lobster), and felt like a steal, given all the extras they gave us.

-----
Del Posto
85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

Extra Virgin
259 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. LeahBaila RE: kathryn Dec 17, 2010 12:12 PM

    Lovely review, Kathryn. Happy birthday! :)

    1. p
      peter j RE: kathryn Dec 17, 2010 12:15 PM

      Great review, and Happy Birthday! So, do you like Del Posto more than Babbo?

      -----
      Babbo
      110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

      Del Posto
      85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

      1 Reply
      1. re: peter j
        k
        kathryn RE: peter j Dec 17, 2010 08:12 PM

        Hard choice. Del Posto is where I'd go to feel pampered. I'd take my parents there. But Babbo? That's where I'd take my friends. Very different atmospheres.

        -----
        Babbo
        110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

        Del Posto
        85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

      2. ttoommyy RE: kathryn Dec 17, 2010 12:25 PM

        Great review. We have a $150 GC for Del Post and will have to get there soon. Haven't been for a while and your review makes me want to go even more. Happy Birthday!

        1. erica RE: kathryn Dec 17, 2010 12:34 PM

          Great report of what sounds like a fabulous meal. Happy Birthday to a valuable chowhound!

          1. ellenost RE: kathryn Dec 17, 2010 12:45 PM

            Great report, and Happy Birthday Kathryn!

            1. famdoc RE: kathryn Dec 17, 2010 01:17 PM

              Great report.

              Previously, I reported on my own lunch excursion to Del Posto, not as eloquently as you, however.

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7425...

              The good news here is that a lunch table can be scored with little advance notice, can be reserved on opentable.com, if you please and costs only $29 ($44 with wine pairings).
              Delightful restaurant, best deal in NYC.

              -----
              Del Posto
              85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

              2 Replies
              1. re: famdoc
                u
                uniqueusername RE: famdoc Dec 17, 2010 01:30 PM

                I actually went along on the day after thanksgiving with my husband on the basis of your very well written review, and it was delicious! They said that they don't do the wine pairings anymore though, which was a shame, but we each had a well chosen glass instead for just a little bit more. We sprung for the full four courses, and left feeling entirely spoilt!

                Happy birthday Kathryn!

                1. re: famdoc
                  k
                  kathryn RE: famdoc Dec 17, 2010 08:14 PM

                  To me it looked like they are only using the right half of the first floor for lunch. Not the upstairs or the tables in front of the lounge area. Not sure why.

                  Our section was completely filled up by the time we left, around 2:45 or so.

                2. p
                  Pan RE: kathryn Dec 17, 2010 07:34 PM

                  $90 for two? Seriously? That just doesn't sound possible! My brother and I spent $90 apiece at Babbo and I thought that was a bargain for the quality. Tell me you didn't mean $90 apiece.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: Pan
                    u
                    uniqueusername RE: Pan Dec 17, 2010 07:45 PM

                    the prix fixe lunch is $29 for three courses (appetiser, primi or secondi, and dessert) or $39 for four - it's tremendous value

                    1. re: uniqueusername
                      p
                      Pan RE: uniqueusername Dec 17, 2010 08:44 PM

                      Thanks. I'll try to go there before the end of the month.

                      1. re: Pan
                        k
                        kathryn RE: Pan Dec 18, 2010 08:39 AM

                        Book quickly on OpenTable if you can -- I think the word is getting out!

                        1. re: kathryn
                          p
                          Pan RE: kathryn Dec 18, 2010 02:15 PM

                          Thanks, Kathryn. And I'm glad you had an enjoyable birthday!

                          1. re: kathryn
                            p
                            Pan RE: kathryn Dec 18, 2010 03:50 PM

                            I reserved for lunch on New Year's Eve, and confirmed that they do serve their normal lunch prix fixes on that day. I may try for an earlier cancellation.

                        2. re: uniqueusername
                          s
                          sumaya99 RE: uniqueusername Dec 19, 2010 07:43 PM

                          I have lunch reservations for this week, I'm interested in doing the four courses mentioned above , but I don't see it listed on the website or in serious eats' or Kathryn's reviews. Can anyone confirm or clarify if it's available.

                          1. re: sumaya99
                            famdoc RE: sumaya99 Dec 19, 2010 08:40 PM

                            Three-course is $29, $10 supplement for fourth course.

                        3. re: Pan
                          k
                          kathryn RE: Pan Dec 17, 2010 08:15 PM

                          We added two supplements to the lunch prix fixe and skipped the wine. Still, a steal!

                          1. re: kathryn
                            famdoc RE: kathryn Dec 18, 2010 03:28 AM

                            Did they really eliminate the wine pairing? We are booked for lunch in early January and were looking forward to doing the wine pairing. During our previous visit, we were seated next to a couple who had chosen the wine pairing and the sommelier was pouring some very interesting wines. In any case, the wine we chose was a pinot blanc from the Friuli Venezia and was very economically prices (I believe it was in the mid-$40 range).

                            So, to all those respondents who can't believe that a couple could eat lunch at Del Posto for less than $100, including tax and tips, I say go before the price goes up. It's bound to do so.

                            -----
                            Del Posto
                            85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                            1. re: famdoc
                              k
                              kathryn RE: famdoc Dec 18, 2010 07:59 AM

                              I didn't see one offered on the menu but I also didn't ask.

                        4. k
                          kathryn RE: kathryn Dec 18, 2010 08:38 AM

                          Thanks all for the birthday wishes!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: kathryn
                            f
                            Ffromsaopaulo RE: kathryn Dec 18, 2010 02:39 PM

                            Excellent post, as always. I'll try to check Del Posto in a few months.
                            So happy birthday to you, Kathryn!

                            -----
                            Del Posto
                            85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                            1. re: kathryn
                              daffyduck RE: kathryn Dec 19, 2010 10:26 AM

                              great review. happy birthday Kathyrn!

                            2. goodhealthgourmet RE: kathryn Dec 18, 2010 03:04 PM

                              lovely review, and Happy Birthday! i want that sour apricot ice cream palate cleanser...

                              1. owlwoman RE: kathryn Dec 20, 2010 11:04 AM

                                Also wishing you a Happy Birthday fellow Sag., enjoyed your review and glad to hear it's as good a meal as we had this past summer. Bummed about the wine pairing though, it was a great deal!

                                1. p
                                  Pan RE: kathryn Dec 31, 2010 02:12 PM

                                  I had lunch at Del Posto today as part of a party of 3 - my girlfriend, my brother and I. I will dissent somewhat from the high praise for this restaurant, by saying that the quality of our meals depended greatly - and, in my opinion, overly - on what we ordered.

                                  I'll go course by course.

                                  The amuses were the same as Kathryn's, I think. The Stracciatella was described to us as egg drop soup. It very strongly concentrated, and I thought it was delicious. I liked the risotto a good deal, too, though the gold was unnecessary (but isn't it always?). My brother thought the mortadella in pastella, if that's what it was (I thought it was a pastry of ricotta cheese infused with ham or something, which would have been the mortadella - I didn't hear all of the description from the runner) tasted like spam, though I liked it better.

                                  My brother and I ordered:

                                  Lobster SALAD Fra Diavola with Broccoli Rabe & Dried Orange (supp $10)

                                  My girlfriend ordered:

                                  Roasted Autumn VEGETABLES with Robiola Sformato & Truffled Hazelnuts

                                  I think we all considered the autumn vegetables superior to the lobster salad, which though good, was too chewy and definitely not worth a $10 supplement. We couldn't find the sformato in the vegetables, but the vegetables themselves, the truffle oil, and the sauce that I suppose was made from the sformato were all individually and collectively delicious.

                                  Only my brother and I had primi, but we shared them with my girlfriend.

                                  My brother got:

                                  Pumpkin CAPPELLACCI with Brown Butter & Sage

                                  I got:

                                  Whole Wheat TONNARELLI with Spicy Cicerchie, Fried Rosemary & Shaved Bonito

                                  I thought the capepellacci were delicious! My brother would have preferred for them to be more savory; they were almost dessert-like. But I consider that a small criticism.

                                  My tonnarelli were interesting, and I felt they were good and a successful fusion dish.

                                  For secondi, my brother and I ordered:

                                  Seared DUCK Breast, Apician Spices, Savor alla Francescana & Lovage

                                  My girlfriend ordered:

                                  Wild Striped BASS, Warm Late Harvest Radicchio Salad, Bagna CaƓda & Campari

                                  The bass was cooked perfectly, the radicchio leaves were great and, I believe, had little bits of bacon inside, and in general, her dish was delicious.

                                  Our duck, while good, was too chewy and fibrous. My brother dealt with the problem by asking them to cook it a bit longer, and that solved the problem, but I criticize the restaurant for serving duck that was too rare to be optimal.

                                  For dessert, my girlfriend and brother ordered:

                                  TARTUFO al Caffe with Dark Chocolate, Sant Eustachio Coffe & Candied Lemon

                                  I got:

                                  Chocolate Ricotta TORTINO with Sicilian Pistachios & Extra Virgin Olive Oil Gelato

                                  The tartufo was excellent, but my tortino was really great! It was probably the highlight of the meal, and something that I certainly couldn't have gotten at Lupa and that was superior to the excellent tartufo that's my favorite dessert at Lupa.

                                  Post-desserts were olive oil pops (excellent!), bomboloni, very dark chocolate, and a little tart that was salty (my brother felt, too salty, but my girlfriend and I didn't agree, though it wasn't my favorite thing) and sour.

                                  Also worthy of note was the very nice, fruity but somewhat complex Vermentino the sommelier helped my girlfriend select.

                                  Del Posto is a very pretty place, and the pianist, though he was sometimes imperfect (though keep in mind that my all three of us either are or have been professional musicians) and also played "Thanks for the Memories" three times while we were there, was pleasant. Service was good, and I give a lot of kudos to the hostess for holding our reservation for a member of our party who was about 30 minutes late.

                                  But my overall feeling is that Lupa, though much less ambitious, has usually executed up to expectations in terms of things like the appropriate doneness for good texture of duck, etc. So, in conclusion, if you want to go to Del Posto for a pleasant experience, go, but understand that while you have the possibility of getting a great meal with high-end extras you won't get at a mid-priced place like Lupa, you also have the possibility of getting a meal that, while good, falls down in disappointing ways that shouldn't happen at a supposedly 4-star restaurant. My girlfriend was delighted with her meal, and maybe she had a 4-star meal. My brother and I, on the other hand, had 2-star meals, and I don't really anticipate going back, at least not any time soon.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Pan
                                    p
                                    Pan RE: Pan Jan 1, 2011 12:51 PM

                                    Replying to myself: Late last night, I had second thoughts about our meal at Del Posto, in the sense that I thought it was worth going there for the great things we had, despite the faults in their technical execution of others and attendant disappointment. But depending on what you order and how they make it on a given day, it might or might not be worth it to you.

                                  2. steve h. RE: kathryn Dec 31, 2010 03:55 PM

                                    Hi kathryn,
                                    Sounds like a wonderful meal. Belated birthday greetings.

                                    1. t
                                      tldmatrix RE: kathryn Jan 1, 2011 01:01 PM

                                      the stracciatella was the best soup i evr had
                                      http://teenchefteddy.blogspot.com/

                                      12 Replies
                                      1. re: tldmatrix
                                        g
                                        gutsofsteel RE: tldmatrix Jan 11, 2011 07:00 PM

                                        Will post more...but had a very disappointing lunch today at Del Posto, and thought the stracciatella was a cup of solid salt. Quite unpleasant.. So much of the food we had was poorly executed...very surprising and disappointing. The pumpkin cappellacci was like sweet baby food inside of an average pasta shell - the whole dish was a textural disaster..

                                        In a nutshell: glad I went for lunch, because now I"ll never go there for dinner.

                                        -----
                                        Del Posto
                                        85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                        1. re: gutsofsteel
                                          p
                                          Pan RE: gutsofsteel Jan 11, 2011 10:40 PM

                                          You had a much worse experience than I did, but your opinion goes up in my estimation because everyone has seemingly ignored my report and continued to give lunch at Del Posto effusive praise. Apparently, many people have had unmitigatedly great experiences there, but I found it difficult to believe that a restaurant that committed technical faults did it only when I was there.

                                          1. re: Pan
                                            ttoommyy RE: Pan Jan 12, 2011 06:52 AM

                                            "Apparently, many people have had unmitigatedly great experiences there, but I found it difficult to believe that a restaurant that committed technical faults did it only when I was there."

                                            Funny how that can happen. :)

                                            1. re: Pan
                                              rose water RE: Pan Jan 12, 2011 07:50 AM

                                              Our meal there had some faults too, but the food was so awesome, and so inexpensive for the awesomeness of the food that the positives far outweigh the negatives. The negatives: the creamy bologna puff, the unfriendly unhelpful server who took over for our very friendly very helpful server just as i wanted to order and had questions, a mix up with our dessert order. They resolved the dessert issue by giving us a third dessert, and really each of the imperfections were not such a big deal.
                                              The crispy saffron risotto was delicious, the pasta perfect, and the desserts (ricotta balls coated in delicious crispy bits) and petit fours exceptional

                                              1. re: rose water
                                                g
                                                gutsofsteel RE: rose water Jan 12, 2011 08:02 AM

                                                Inexpensive is not an excuse for poorly executed food or service glitches. Especially in a restaurant of that caliber. Those "imperfections" are a big deal.

                                                We had numerous service glitches during lunch, and we were underwhelmed by a majority of our dishes.

                                                1. re: gutsofsteel
                                                  ttoommyy RE: gutsofsteel Jan 12, 2011 08:42 AM

                                                  "We had numerous service glitches during lunch, and we were underwhelmed by a majority of our dishes."

                                                  The same exact thing can be said about my dinner experience at EMP last year, but so many others would disagree with me. I don't think we'll ever all agree about any 1 place here on CH.

                                                  1. re: ttoommyy
                                                    p
                                                    Pan RE: ttoommyy Jan 12, 2011 12:58 PM

                                                    There have been a few other reports of underwhelming experiences at EMP, though, including one by me a few years ago (about a year after Mr. Humm became the Chef, I think).

                                                    1. re: Pan
                                                      g
                                                      gutsofsteel RE: Pan Jan 12, 2011 01:55 PM

                                                      When was your meal there?

                                                      1. re: gutsofsteel
                                                        p
                                                        Pan RE: gutsofsteel Jan 12, 2011 03:03 PM

                                                        My meal at EMP? Not positive; I think it was just over 3 years ago. I do know that Humm was Chef, and in fact, he came out of the kitchen and spoke with us.

                                                  2. re: gutsofsteel
                                                    rose water RE: gutsofsteel Jan 12, 2011 08:46 AM

                                                    I don't know. We don't do restaurants "of that caliber" often, and the imperfections were just that--none (minus unhelpful server) were that big of a deal. And the food was incredible--as a point of reference, it far surpassed what we had at EMP. And at $30 pp, and without the bulldozing effusiveness of the EMP service, I'll take Del Posto over EMP any day.

                                                    1. re: rose water
                                                      ttoommyy RE: rose water Jan 12, 2011 11:45 AM

                                                      "and without the bulldozing effusiveness of the EMP service, I'll take Del Posto over EMP any day."

                                                      Totally agree!

                                                      -----
                                                      Del Posto
                                                      85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                                      1. re: rose water
                                                        g
                                                        gutsofsteel RE: rose water Jan 12, 2011 01:56 PM

                                                        What did you eat at Del Posto that was "incredible?"

                                                        -----
                                                        Del Posto
                                                        85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                            2. famdoc RE: kathryn Jan 8, 2011 08:03 AM

                                              Our second visit for lunch...as good, if not better, than our first.
                                              From the moment you enter, you are treated well. Three-course remains $29, with a $10 supplement if you opt for a fourth course. Lots of nice amuses and petits-fours. There's something for everyone on the menu and many very well-priced wines on the list. Wine servers are very helpful at choosing an excellent wine within your budget.

                                              My prior opinion remains unchanged: this is one of New York's real bargains. Four-star food and service at two-star prices.

                                              1. h
                                                hungrycomposer RE: kathryn Sep 11, 2011 11:47 PM

                                                Thanks for the detailed report! Has anyone been there recently? Any thoughts? I am going for lunch for my birthday and wondering how the place is holding up.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: hungrycomposer
                                                  famdoc RE: hungrycomposer Sep 12, 2011 06:50 AM

                                                  I seriously doubt there has been much of a change in the quality of the lunch at Del Posto.
                                                  Have a great birthday. Enjoy your meal and don't fret about it in advance.

                                                  -----
                                                  Del Posto
                                                  85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                                Show Hidden Posts