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Del Posto v. Jean-Georges...

I'm leaning towards JG's but I haven't been to either. These two are the front runners for a birthday dinner in a few weeks with my girlfriend. Anyone care to share their thoughts on each place, or if you've been to both - a comparison of the two? Appreciate it.

As an aside, I'm not wed to one of these two places - what I'm looking for is a restaurant that offers a prix-fixe/set menu (i.e. The Modern, EMP-grid style) so if you have a suggestion I'd appreciate that too!

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  1. I think Jean Georges is incomparably better than Del Posto. Foolish NYT star-ratings aside, I don't think they're even in the same category.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sneakeater

      Mm - I've had a friend express the exact same sentiment - maybe he was right.. thanks.

    2. I would respectfully disagree with Sneak on this one. I think they're both good places, and I think a lot of the DP-dissing comes from the fact that to a LOT of diners "the best" always equals Haute French, so any time a French place is put up against an Italian one, the French will win.

      That said, I think of the big French Chefs in town JG is certainly one of the more interesting ones, although I've found a number of dishes there to be on the heavy side, especially when it comes to sauces - a little over-reduced for my taste on a couple of occasions. I find the room and service very, very stiff.

      I'm quite fond of DP, the food is fantastic, with a few real stand-out dishes, and I find the service and ambience MUCH nicer than at JG.

      Not sure who's in the pastry chair at JG these days, but I was never as big a fan of Iuzinni as others were - he was good, but not terribly adventurous to my palate, and I imagine they've kept things in his style. Brooks Headly at DP is one of the best, most creative pastry chefs in NYC though - very clever stuff, especially his vegetable-based desserts that all go beyond being any kind of gimmick and work brilliantly.

      8 Replies
      1. re: sgordon

        Not wanting to be argumentative (although I'M RIGHT AND YOU'RE WRONG), but do you really think Del Posto is as good as, much less better than, Babbo?

        (TOTALLY agree with you about Brooks Headly, though.)

        1. re: Sneakeater

          Not even remotely. Babbo is one of my two or three favorite restaurants in NYC, hands down. Del Posto is like the refined little sister who went to finishing school - pretty, very nice, but compared to the smokin' & drinkin' older sister just not as much fun to hang out with.

          Del Posto is great option for a "take the parents" kind of place (well, my parents would probably prefer Babbo, but you know what I mean...) - more refined ambiance, a little fancier-schmancier. For a birthday kind of thing, yeah, Del Posto could be a good call. I think the food's excellent.

          And their lunch deal is a frickin' steal.

          That said, there are other high-end Italian options that would be worth considering. Lincoln is great. Marea and Ai Fiori - I like both but also find flaws in both so neither are places I normally think of going.

          1. re: sgordon

            So here's how I look at it.

            It's the transitive property: Babbo (which I love) isn't as good as Jean Georges (IMO). Del Posto isn't nearly as good as Babbo. So Del Posto isn't nearly as good as Jean Georges.

            I get that Del Posto is fancy (and I have nothing AT ALL against fancy). But the food, while certainly very good, just isn't top-of-the-line. It's not bad. Not bad by a long shot. Rather, it's very good. I wouldn't tell anyone to avoid it. But it's not a great restaurant like Jean Georges can be. It's just not in that category. Babbo -- while also not making it into that category -- comes closer.

            1. re: Sneakeater

              Ah, that's where we differ: I don't consider Babbo remotely inferior to JG - in fact, I'd rather eat at Babbo than Jean-Georges almost any day of the week.

              JG... they have their moments, but it's nothing I really get excited about, and I find the ambience quite stuffy. So I'd put JG and DP on the same level - JG's more creative, for sure, but I prefer the ambience / service and (as mentioned before) desserts at DP.

          2. re: Sneakeater

            I don't eat at either place regularly enough to be an expert, but my last trips to Babbo and Del Posto (about a year ago) came within a few months of each other and in that instance, Del Posto was FAR better. I was actually rather disappointed in Babbo, since I had loved it so much in the past.

            However, in comparing JG with Del Posto, I tend to agree that the food is not nearly as refined at Del Posto. If you prefer Italian food to French, though, you might prefer it. The overall atmosphere at Del Posto is wonderful, IMO, and has maybe a little more romantic potential than JG.

            Other options: we just had dinner at the Modern for my birthday, and it was good but not stellar. Of the 8 courses we ordered, at least 3 were misses. I'd take JG over the Modern any day, and over Daniel as well. Have you been to EMP? It's a bit more expensive, but it was excellent when I was last there.

            1. re: biondanonima

              Really interesting responses so far - the opinions on Del Posto seem to vary pretty widely. My girlfriend just went to JG the other day for lunch and had a great meal - to be honest since the lunch is such a good deal I wonder if it's just better to go there for lunch one day and grab what seem to be the same dishes for much less...

              I've been to the Modern a few times, really like the experience overall but am looking to try something new. Also have been to EMP, but haven't been back since the menu change so that's definitely an option - thanks!

              1. re: strikeoutswinging

                Both JG and DP have great lunch deals - obviously smaller portions at lunch (at least on the entrees) but for those like myself who'd rather graze a few smaller dishes, that's just fine. And might as well mention Bouley's as well, $55 (last I looked) for 5 courses - amazing deal.

                Bouley could be another dinner option - lovely atmosphere and service, similar to JG in terms of the touches of Asian influences. I find the ambience much nicer, as well.

                A couple other options you might want to mull over:

                Jungsik - modernist Korean
                Corton - tasting menu only, but a little cheaper than the EMP experience
                Aquavit - people are finally picking up on the fact that there's been a new chef for the last two years, who's blowing away the older more famous guy...

        2. I had lunch at JG today and I found it once again just great.

          Food was delicious (Peekytoe Crab Dumplings with Celeriac-Meyer Lemon Tea and Arctic Char with Spiced Jade Emulsion and Tender Celeriac), service impeccable.
          I always loved their house made sodas and the chocolate dessert was un-adventurous but perfect for a chocolate lover.

          I'm not a real big fan of Del Posto (I went last december for luncg) but as an Italian I'm usually very skeptical and critic when it comes to italian restaurants and very easily impressed by other cuisine... ;-)

          1. I have to say I was to JG and DP. Love both of them. I don't think you can go wrong with either. JG service is more formal. Happy birthday.