Very disapointing lunch @ Del Posto
OK, so this was about three weeks ago. I didn't get a chance to vent until now because I haven't been on CH much lately. I *know* judging a restaurant by its lunch isn't most fair, but shouldn't it be up to a certain stadard? Especially if it's a NYT 4-star restaurant - based on my lunch, I found it incredulous that DP indeed has four. Others, maybe I wasn't a fan of every single place but could at least see its merits, but not at DP. I'm guessing maybe the kitchen was off that day, a B-team maybe? Many dishes were either very salty or very bland. For instance my orechiette, bland with the pasta gummy and unrefined. Swordfish was too salty, as was my husband's tortello puzzone. Beef and truffle carpaccio was totally not worth the supplement, no discernible truffle taste (probably was canned) and beef was cut way too thickly - is that Italian style? Someone educate me if that's the case. Desserts were pedestrian at best (spezzata for me, tortino for husband.) Breads were good, but the butter couldn't have been high quality - tasted like Land O' Lakes. I thought the lard was disgusting, but I know it's a personal preference and it has its fans. I don't drink wine but my husband loves wine so requested wine pairing and he thought it was terrible, overpriced for what it was and didn't compliment the dishes. He actually said it was the worst wine pairing he'd had at a fine dining restaurant. Didn't think the service was up to the four-star standard either - water glasses went empty for prolonged periods of time, most importantly I barely touched my orechiette (literally had two bites, I thought it was that bad) and the server didn't even inquire if I'd liked it - he only asked "are you taking it home?" Would never happen at EMP, JG, Le B...
Lamb was cooked perfectly and my cocktail was delicious, but that was about it for positives other than its lovely decor and background music. Worst $250 we've spent at a restaurant in a long, long time (yeah, I know it's only $49/person for 4-course, but after wine pairing, a couple cocktails, tips, tax, it came out to be right around $250.)
So, does everyone else love this place? Was our experience strictly anomaly?
I get the sense they instituted the prix-fixe lunch because they feel obligated to. It shows in the service we got (no wine list offered, had to chase waiter down to ask for one - what, you don't want more money??). Food was fine, but I can't remember what we had, so nothing terribly memorable.
With the recent price hike, I wouldn't bother, personally.
I had a disappointing lunch there, too, but it was nowhere near as bad as yours, merely not consistently great, and I specifically remember that the duck turned out to have been too underdone, which is why it was really overly chewy in the middle, a technical fault that should not have happened at that level of restaurant. I posted at the time that I thought the overall deliciousness and consistency was better at the meals I had had at Lupa, and at least one other hound sought to pooh-pooh that remark because Lupa is in a different price category, which was kind of my point. Even the tartuffo at Del Posto, which was delicious, was smaller than and not any better than (and possibly not as good as - so my brother though) the great tartuffo at Lupa. That's based on one meal, but given that I have other choices for high-end Italian food that please me, I haven't been tempted to give Del Posto another try. It was enjoyable enough for me, despite its faults, but your meal sounds like a horror.
I actually see the thread you're talking about below - and I see we're not alone, at least :)
Find it interesting that the other poster also pointed out overt saltiness of the food and terrible service - obviously doesn't happen all the time, but maybe a little too frequently for the caliber that it's supposed to be?
Yeah, I've had pretty good meals at Lupa in the past, though my last one was kind of disappointing. Not nearly as bad as our lunch at DP though. So yeah, we definitely won't be going back for dinner - more for the fans!