Larry and I went to Del Posto for dinner last night. It was very good. A friend from Otto, Morgan Rich, is the wine director. He is wicked smart about wine and a really nice guy to boot. We also ran into two women who work at ‘inoteca. It’s a very small city sometimes. Hi Jen and Andrea!
We visited the restaurant late and sat in the bar area, so seating was a breeze. You can’t actually dine at the bar, but there is a small seating area just off the bar called the “enoteca.” The selection of items is a bit more affordable.
The service was great; the wait staff was friendly, prompt and helpful. And the food was fantastic. Larry and I ended up talking about all of the really fancy restaurants we have visited; we only do that because we are searching for comparisons. Restaurants we compared Del Posto to included Veritas and Per Se.
Larry and I had the tasting menu. As distinct from what the website displays, the tasting menu at the enoteca at the time was a choice of any antipasti, primi, secondi, and dessert. We did not have to have the same dishes. It’s a good deal versus going a la carte. The only snag we encountered was near the end of the meal. We went to get a glass of wine, but didn’t notice that the prices were for “tastes” and “glasses.” We assumed the prices were for glasses and bottles. Our mistake, but for what we paid for two glasses, we probably would have purchased another bottle of wine.
I took some photos during dinner. It can be a bit annoying for someone to take photos at all, so I didn’t use my flash. I apologize if the images aren’t of pristine quality.
Bread at Del Posto. We didn’t fill up on the bread, because you know: that’s how they get you.
My brother Larry. His new Google offices are only a block away
The item in the foreground is butter, the item in the background is lardo (or as we would say, lard). While I was glad to taste the lardo, I think it was a bit too meaty for me. I do like lardo in general, but one of my favorite things about lardo as a meat is its texture. The puree lost the texture that I love.
We drank a bottle of Rosso di Montalcino from La Torre (2003). Rosso di Montalcino are the DOC version of the DOCG Brunello di Montalcino. This was a wonderful wine with a very strong earthy smell and a rich cherry taste. As it breathed, the wine mellowed a bit. It tasted great with our food.
Larry’s antipasti: fried calamari. This was a great dish. The calamari were coated with a light batter. They were nice and tender on the inside; it was like they were grilled.
My antipasti: Warm three beans with Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese and mint
Larry’s primi: Gnocchi with Bolognese sauce. The gnocchi were light and fluffy–the best I have had since dining at the Spotted Pig. The sauce was rich and hearty. This dish was also a winner and will be perfect going into winter.
My primi: Bucatini all’ Amatriciana at Del Posto. The pasta was perfectly cooked, and the sauce was nice and rich. It was prepared well, but I don’t think it is a dish that I would get again. That being said, there was not a bit left on my plate.
I should pause here to note something a bit interesting. The portion sizes of all three courses was fairly large for a four course meal. We both felt that the pasta portions could have been a bit smaller. While I don’t think we walked out stuffed, it felt as if the Secondi was pushing a bit. Fortunately, we didn’t fill up on bread.
Larry’s Secondi: Sea bass. Some Italian restaurants have great pastas and poor second courses. That was not the case here. Larry’s sea bass was meaty and cooked perfectly. Again, it’s a great dish going into winter.
My Secondi: Sweet shrimp over polenta. This was probably the best dish of the evening. The shrimp were served out of the shell over a bed of creamy polenta seasoned with cilantro. It was light and refreshing while still being filling and rich.
Extra dessert: Poached pear. All evening, I had been looking at a giant dish that I thought contained pears soaking in liquor. It turns out that they weren’t pears. However, as an accompaniment to what was in the glass dish were poached pears sitting in an opaque silver bowl. So our server gave me a poached pair. The texture was perfect, and it was as sweet as a poached pear should be.
Dessert: Rum cake. The rum cake wasn’t soaking in rum–it was swimming in rum! As distinct from other cakes soaked with alcohol in the past, this one still managed to be light. The rum used was not harsh, and it dripped onto the rest of the plate. It mixed with the whipped cream and berries. Larry got gelato that I didn’t photograph.
The jar that did not contain pears.
We both had a wonderful meal at Del Posto. I think Larry’s antipasti and primi were better than mine, but I think my secondi and desserts were better than his. So once again we have tied in the dining experience.
I have been to Del Posto twice for drinks and enjoyed the experience both times. However, I had read so many mixed reviews in the past about Del Posto. (Check out some of the Del Posto reviews.) So I’ve been a bit nervous about eating at Del Posto–it’s not cheap. After having eaten there, I can definitely write that Frank Bruni’s review of Del Posto understated it’s friendliness and quality. While I agree with his three-star rating, I feel the restaurant deserved much more than a backhanded review. After this meal, I can say that I will be back.