First time at Del Posto
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
The menu changes fairly frequently, but there are some mainstays for sure. One thing I've found is that they're pretty solid with crustaceans - and octopus, if there happens to be an octo dish on the menu. Also, every time I've had lamb there it's been excellent, often one of the more stand-out dishes.
In my experience their pork presentations (for entrees) tended to be a little more exciting / creative than what they do with beef. That said, I'm noticing the beef entree now comes with a "Spicy Tongue Stew" which would certainly get my attention.
Among your two pasta choices, if "Yesterday's Lasagne" is one of them, it's pretty great.
Not such a huge fan of the pumpkin cappellacci - a bit too sweet for my taste, borders on a dessert,
The spaghetti and garganelli are both always on the menu, it seems, and both quite solid.
For desserts, it's hard to go wrong with anything - Brooks Headley just got a well-deserved James Beard nomination for Best Pastry Chef this morning. I consider his goat cheese with celery sorbet to be one of the best desserts in the city (and since he never takes it off the menu, probably others agree...) - I'd be brave (if you're not normally adventurous) and order at least one of his vegetable-based desserts, for sure - I think there are three on the menu, currently.
sgordon gives good advice. Del Posto does a great octopus, probably second only to Le Bernardin. Opinions are mixed on the lasagne, but I liked it. I also really liked their orrecchiete w/lamb neck ragu. The famous spaghetti w/dungeness crab is very good - but personally I like the version at the NoMad better. Desserts are outstanding.
If you're going with bottles, I'd say make sure your dishes match somewhat for each course so they'd so nicely with the same wines.
Hm. Of the Antipasti, I'd probably do the lobster or the vitello tonnato as the other app, as I think the citrus in either would nicely complement the celery in the octopus dish.
For the second primi, you probably wouldn't want to do something delicate (i.e. the spaghettu and crab) that would be overwhelmed by the lamb - the veal agnolotti would be my choice. Another bold, meaty one.
For secondi, probably stick with bigger, bolder meats over fish since you've already gone meaty with the pastas. I'd probably go with the duck and pork, maybe the lamb or beef. Up to you.
They actually have a decent selection of half-bottles, so you could pair a different wine with each course. A white (say, the Gini Soave / $40) for the antipasti, a mid-bodied red (maybe a Chianti, there's one for $45) for the primi, then something bigger for the secondi - they have a Gattinara for $60, made from the same grape as Barolo but a darn sight cheaper, and that'd put you only $5 over your $150 limit. If you can go a little higher, there's a couple of Amarones in the $90 neighborhood.
Otherwise... I'd say start with a half-bottle (or two glasses) for the first course and then find a red full bottle that'll stretch across the next two nicely. There's a Quintarelli "Primofiore" for $110 - I like his wines a lot, and his reds go very well with hearty, meaty fare.
It's a big list, though, and it really depends on what you order. The somms are really good there - tell them your budget, they'll have good suggestions without trying to upsell you through the roof.
A very deep and broad wine list. Of course the first question is what are you going to order. In your budget range, there is quite a selection. I'm pretty good with French wines, especially in Burgundy, but am not a conversant with Italian wines, although I do know some about them. But when I was there, I relied on the sommelier staff to help me narrow my choices and they were very knowledgeable and quite helpful. I'd just go with the flow, order what looks good on the menu, and then call for the sommelier.
That being said, it looks like a few of the lower level Barbaresco's with a bit of age on them from Produttori are in the price range. If you want something with a bit more body, careful selection in the Barolo's can find some bottles from lesser producers. And some of the lesser known wines on the list doubtless are relative bargains to those if you know your way around (and I confess, I do not).