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Nov 23, 2012 06:26 AM

Italian Restaurants Comparable to Del Posto?

Are there any italian restaurants that are comparable to Del Posto?

In terms of their efforts to try to be high-end, elegant and "special occasion".

Thank you so much in advance for any input.

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    1. re: NYJewboy

      Because I have heard they have discontinued their a la carte and now only serve pricey 5 or 8 course prix fix... This simply will not work with our various dietary restrictions...

      1. re: elskin

        It's a prix fixe (four courses) but there are about a dozen options per course to choose from, more than enough to work with anyone's dietary restrictions. There are little amuses and pre-desserts as well, simply let them know when you make the rezzie what people's restrictions are and they'll be sure to cater/alter them as necessary so that everyone gets something. Pretty much anything except Hasidic-level Kosher would be doable as long as they know beforehand.

        1. re: elskin

          IMO Babbo is superior in terms of food overall, but certainly in the pasta dishes. However Del Posto might have better service and ambiance.

          1. re: elskin

            This is simply not true --

            Del Posto offers a five course "Il Menu Del Posto" which allows guests to choose from the full breadth of the a la carte menu, as well as an 8 course captain's menu, for which guests and their captains build a menu together collaboratively.

            Diners at Del Posto may still order a la carte if they are a party of four or less. Finally, if guests in a large party (five or more) have dietary restrictions, the captain will work to make sure that those diners are not held back by the tasting menu options.

            I hope you'll consider Del Posto -- despite the menu policies, I have also found the service to be extremely accommodating with options for everyone for every course, including the amuse and intermezzo.

        2. Marea is Italian, albeit seafood-driven, "high-end, elegant and "special occasion"."

          1. Personally, I find the food superior at Babbo to Del Posto, but if it's ambience you're after... DP would probably be the fanciest. The closest ones would be Marea, Lincoln, Ai Fiori...

            9 Replies
              1. re: plafield

                I haven't been to Marea or Lincoln, but the atmosphere at Scarpetta is a bit less formal than that at Del Posto or Ai Fiori.

                1. re: plafield

                  Agree with Pan, Scarpetta is not the same level of fanciness as Del Posto.

                  1. re: kathryn

                    What about quality of food/experience between Del Posto and Scarpetta? Price seems pretty comparable, yes?

                    1. re: plafield

                      Portions at Scarpetta are large--such that my husband and I usually share an entree. Or even skip entrees after bread, appetizers and pastas. So it's not directly comparable.

                      1. re: kathryn

                        What about quality of the food? Comparable? Which would you choose/recommend for a special dinner for someone visiting NYC for a weekend?

                        1. re: plafield

                          In my 4 meals at Scott Conant establishments, they've gone 4 for 4 in serving me delicious meals that I thought were worth the price. Del Posto is 0 for 1, and I don't plan on going back. It is quite fancy, if you care a lot about that - it has a very luxurious interior, and there is a pianist playing while you eat (or at least there was when I ate, but he made noticeable mistakes and repeated a song, I think "Thanks for the Memories," while we had lunch, so for professional musicians like my girlfriend and me, the live music didn't add much to our experience). And many hounds rave about the place, but they made serious mistakes, like undercooking the duck to the extent that its texture was fibrous (there was another mistake, but I don't remember for sure what it was - I believe there was sand at the bottom of something like a zuppa de verdure, but I'm not positive I remember this exactly). So that's all for whatever it's worth, but if I were picking between the two places, I know which one I'd choose.

                          All that said, of the Italian restaurants I've been to so far in New York, Ai Fiori is my favorite.

                          1. re: plafield

                            I think the food at Scarpetta is a bit heartier, at Del Posto more refined. That said, I prefer Babbo to both.

                            I think Scarpetta is a smidge overpriced for what they serve. They're very good, but at times the prices are higher than Babbo's even. I find about half the menu items to be anywhere from $5 - $10 higher than I'd think they should be, personally. As lauded as his pomodoro is $24 (or is it $26 now?) is utterly ludicrous for it. That's a $19 plate of pasta, at best, given the portion size and that it's not terribly complex. Maybe $20 given that it's admittedly the best (restaurant) pomodoro in town.

                            But I've never had a -bad- meal there, for sure, and the bread basket is... well, it's probably the best in the city. That stromboli is kind of kick-ass. So, added value on that end makes up for the higher-than-they-should-be prices on the other.

                          2. re: kathryn

                            food is good, portions are not large

                  2. I've yet to find an Italian restaurant in NYC that even comes close to the ambience and service of Del Posto. Given what other posters have said about the looseness of their menu and willingness to work with dietary restriction, I would just go to Del Posto. Buon appetito!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ttoommyy

                      Thanks everyone. A number of things posted here clinch it for me. My husband is a professional musician and unless the music is seriously good, live music while eating is a total drag. And while we certainly enjoy a cushy upscale ambiance, from what I can see, Scarpetta isn't a super casual, red checkered table cloth place and looks very comfortable and special occasion enough if the food is as good as people report it to be. And the best bread basket in NYC? I'm there just for that. While Babbo is tempting for the quality of the food, it's not going to be a hard rock, raucous kind of occasion (never mind not wanting to do the hoop jumping for a res) so we'll have to save that for another time.

                    2. My favorite Italian restaurants, which I all like better than Del Posto are in no particular order:

                      Ai Fiori