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Advice on Del Posto Requested

j
Jammin Joy Aug 23, 2011 08:53 AM

We have early dinner reservations for 4:30 this coming Sat. prior to attending "Sleep No More". Our issue is that fine dining is one of our favorite Manhattan experiences, but we are also light eaters/drinkers. The tasting menu is out of the question for us. And I don't really understand what is included in the five-course option, but feel it is probably too much as well. How can the two of us get the biggest taste bang from this experience without ending up uncomfortably overstuffed and miserable for the rest of the evening? This applies to wine as well. Two glasses apiece is probably the limit. Will the staff be reasonably tolerant of our sharing as many courses as we think we can handle? How would you structure this meal amongst two diners?

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

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  1. sgordon RE: Jammin Joy Aug 23, 2011 09:29 AM

    I believe Del Posto is only prix fixe now, so you can't just order plates a la carte. You're each going to get an app, two types of pasta to share (small portions), an entree, and a dessert, as well as various (small) amuse-bouches and mignardaises.

    If you can go ALC (I'd call and check first) and don't want to eat much, just get a couple antipastis, and one pasta and one secondi as your entrees. Mind you, expect the individual course prices to be VERY high if going ALC. Most prix fixe places want to encourage you to go for the whole experience, don't really make it worthwhile to do otherwise. If I had to guess, I'd bet they'd charge mid-twenties just for apps and mid-forties for entrees, somewhere in-between for pastas. Curious, though - if you do ask them, report back!

    16 Replies
    1. re: sgordon
      j
      Jammin Joy RE: sgordon Aug 23, 2011 10:07 AM

      Thanks for prompting me to call, sgordon. Here's the skinny.... A la carte dining is not available for groups larger than five. We will be able to order a la carte, but the prices are indeed heady!! Antipasti: $30. Primi: $35. Segundi: $45. Dolci: $20. So forewarned is forearmed!! Any recommendations from amongst the following?
      Antipasti:
      lobster salad (reviewed previously as chewy)
      raw veal and tuna cubetti
      carne cruda
      prosciutto

      Primi:
      spaghett with dungeness crab
      lobster risotto
      gnocchi con pomodoro
      garganelli al ragu bolognese

      Segundi:
      charred wild salmon
      wood-grilled lobster
      sliced duck breast
      grilled pork

      Any thoughts would be most appreciated.

      1. re: Jammin Joy
        t
        thegforceny RE: Jammin Joy Aug 23, 2011 02:22 PM

        Donner at del posto is not a good choice for you if you don't have the appetite nor wallet.

        HOWEVER....I literally just got back from lunch there, which is the same menu for $29, though one chooses btn primi e segundi, not both. Reserve the latest possible time for lunch there, take your time, hang out on the Highline with your big bellies, then head over to SNM.

        Other places in the SNM hood: Co., Txikito, Ovest. Don't know if they open early enough for you though if you're doing the first entrance to SNM.

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        Txikito
        240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

        Ovest
        513 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001

        1. re: thegforceny
          loratliff RE: thegforceny Aug 23, 2011 05:29 PM

          Agree with trying for a lunch res. SNM is pretty active—lots of movement—so I wouldn't want to go on a full stomach.

          1. re: loratliff
            rose water RE: loratliff Aug 23, 2011 06:46 PM

            I don't think they have the $29 lunch prix fixe on weekends

            1. re: loratliff
              j
              Jammin Joy RE: loratliff Aug 23, 2011 06:51 PM

              Lunch would be a preferred option, but, unfortunately, we're talking Sat, so no lunch. For those of us from out of town, who are inevitably in NYC on weekends, missing those reasonably priced fine dining lunches is a bummer.
              But $$$s isn't really the issue, capacity is. Any thoughts on say the carne cruda, the spaghetti with dungeness crab and dessert - no secondi?

              1. re: Jammin Joy
                t
                thegforceny RE: Jammin Joy Aug 23, 2011 07:53 PM

                Apologies for that error on my part. (Sat). The meals offer so many delicious niceties it is a lot of difficult-to-resist food. It starts with 4 amuses bouches, 3 item bread basket with lardo and flavored butter, two or three courses, dessert, then mignardises of small truffles and gelato pops. And all of it is wonderful!

                We both had the garganelli al ragu bolognese as primi. I started with a summer salad with sheep's milk ricotta dressing (fresh, lively, almost raw vegetables artfully arranged). My friend had the lobster salad: about four 2-inch knobs (nobs?) of lobster in a light tomato sauce, almost gazpacho-y. (The lobster was a bit chewy, not overly sweet meat. It was OK to me. I eat a lot of New England lobster though.) The color of the garganelli was hypnotic: dark emerald green. Lightly-sauced, beautiful, symmetrical tubes that sometimes allowed the ragu to hide within. It was not a heavy ragu at all. If the dinner portion is larger than the lunch you might be in trouble!

                Just do it and have a great time! Walk the Highline afterwards. And once you enter the SNM space you will be in the bar area listening to live music and getting into the spirit for a half hour or so. You'll be fine. You are in for a great evening.

                I LOVED SNM... Went twice in fact...

                1. re: thegforceny
                  j
                  Jammin Joy RE: thegforceny Aug 24, 2011 07:45 AM

                  Thanks, everyone! We'll definitely hit the Highline either before or after dinner, if Irene holds off. Great idea!! Our annual visit to Manhatten begins tomorrow and we can't wait!!!

            2. re: thegforceny
              k
              kathryn RE: thegforceny Aug 24, 2011 09:29 AM

              Txikito is definitely open early enough for you to eat around 5 or 5:30pm and get to SNM on time. That's what I did our first time at the show.

              The bigger issue for me personally would be trying to run up and down stairs during SNM in footwear appropriate for Del Posto. In addition to having a full stomach as others have mentioned!

              I think I wore heels and a nice dress last time I was at DP, which is exactly the opposite of what you should wear to Sleep No More. I wore shorts and a t-shirt my 2nd time at SNM, having learned my lesson due to the fake stage blood and running around.

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

              Txikito
              240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

            3. re: Jammin Joy
              sgordon RE: Jammin Joy Aug 24, 2011 08:47 AM

              Yowch. Those prices are crazy high. But then I suppose at a place like that they're trying to encourage you to go for the full meal. My one question would be whether you get all the "extras" (amuses, mignardaises, etc) when going ALC. That could make it worth it, theoretically. But paying $35 for a pasta course in isolation... not so much. You might leave feeling the food was good, but overpriced.

              As to what's on the menu - it's a bit different than the last time I was there - but of what you have listed I can vouch for the raw veal & tuna, the grilled lobster, and pretty much any of the pastas. They're across-the-board good, generally. I propbably wouldn't go for the prosciutto, as it's more than likely just some proscuitto with a couple basic accompaniments - very good proscuitto, I'm sure, but nothing you couldn't buy in a store and put on a plate yourself for less. I feel the same way about ordering caviar in a restaurant - all they're doing is opening a can, really. If you're going for less than a "full Italian" meal, go for something that'll show the chef's artistry rather than just good sourcing.

              Not sure how up-to-date the menu on the website is, either. I noticed things like ramps and morels on it, which we're kind of past the season on. And the "Springtime Minestrone" seems a bit odd when we're knocking on Autumn's door.

              1. re: sgordon
                j
                Jammin Joy RE: sgordon Aug 24, 2011 10:51 AM

                On the attire issue... my plan was to be a bit underdressed/comfortable, but presentable. A crisp white shirt, dressy belt on top, but with black leggings and sturdy shoes under the table. Sounds like the fake blood is definitely an issue for the white shirt. (Thanks for the Heads Up on that!) We're staying on the UES and want to spend the day in the vicinity of The Strand and the Rubin so we need to dress for a long day of walking and browsing. I suppose my husband could check his jacket at SNM, but that still puts his shirt and trousers at risk.
                Good point on the proscuitto. Several years ago, we had a full dinner at Babbo and then dashed off to the opera. Trying to fight the food and wine to stay awake thru The Magic Flute was brutal. That said, I'm pretty committed to Del Posto with its ****.
                Just trying to figure out a way, with your help, to pace ourselves.

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

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

                1. re: Jammin Joy
                  t
                  thegforceny RE: Jammin Joy Aug 24, 2011 12:00 PM

                  No one I know got splattered with blood. Don't worry about it. It's not like they throw a bucket on the entire room.

                2. re: sgordon
                  j
                  Jammin Joy RE: sgordon Aug 24, 2011 03:37 PM

                  On another thread, just saw a recommendation by uhockey to skip Del Posto in favor of Babbo. We had good experiences at Babbo in '06/'07, but one truly wretched time in '09. I vowed never to return. Was that a fluke?? Going to Del Posto in hopes of experiencing something similar to the wonderful antipasti, primi and dolci of Babbo, but without the obnoxious patrons; surly, harried service and lackluster execution of the dishes we previously enjoyed.

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                  Babbo
                  110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

                  1. re: Jammin Joy
                    sgordon RE: Jammin Joy Aug 25, 2011 06:56 AM

                    I like them both - they're just different experiences. Del Posto is more refined, the ambience is dolled up. Babbo is extraordinary, one of NYC's true treasures - but it's a neighborhood joint at heart. Just a very, very, very crowded neighborhood joint that it's impossible to get into without a month's advance notice.

                    Service has always been up and down at Babbo. You can't go in with fancy-pants expectations because that's not the intent of the place. Service should be friendly, sure, but it's such a madhouse I tend to cut them a little slack if they're a touch abrupt, especially if dining in the bar area.

                    As to execution - I've never had issues with it.

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

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

                    1. re: Jammin Joy
                      t
                      thegforceny RE: Jammin Joy Aug 25, 2011 10:27 AM

                      you're not getting into babbo this saturday. Depending on number in your party, you could dine at the bar by arriving right at opening.

                      1. re: thegforceny
                        j
                        Jammin Joy RE: thegforceny Aug 28, 2011 02:24 PM

                        Ah, well.... Best laid plans and all that.... Irene took care of Del Posto and SNM. Dining was catch as catch can. Best meal turned out to be brunch at Balthazar. What troopers!! Steak tartare at Orsay, pastrami Reuben at Katz's and French toast at E.A.T.met expectations for deliciousness. Had to try Katz's for myself given the extended debates about the pastrami on this forum. Sure it's packed with tourists, but don't know where you would find better pastrami.. Beware of the peekeytoe crab app at Cafe Boulud. It was shockingly bad! Mediocre gazpacho there, too. Partiallly redeemed by the ethereal, warm madelines.
                        Thanks all!! We'll try to re-book both Del Posto and SNM in the coming weeks.

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                        Cafe Boulud
                        20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

                        Orsay
                        1057-59 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10021

                        Balthazar
                        80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                        E.A.T.
                        1064 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10028

                        1. re: Jammin Joy
                          k
                          kathryn RE: Jammin Joy Aug 28, 2011 06:37 PM

                          Alas! Sounds like you had fun in spite of Irene though!

                          If you like peekytoe crab, BTW, the lemon aioli crab toast at ABC Kitchen is excellent.

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                          ABC Kitchen
                          35 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

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