Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Del Posto, New York

Another chef's food I have been longing to try, while in New York, is Mario Batali's. He has a total of eight restaurants + one wine shop in New York (as far as I know). Choosing one was not easy but I ended up deciding to go to Del Posto. It is located next door to CraftSteak, were we had been the night before (I will review it later in another posting), at 85 Tenth Avenue.
The restaurant is very elegantly decorated but still welcoming with a lot of dark wood and warm colors in the textiles.

On to the dining. We were seated promptly and after being handed the menu and wine list a basket filled with a varietal of still warm bread arrived. The olive foccacia was my favorite...
After that four small plates with amuse bouche were presented, Shrimp "Puff" (awesome!), Green Tomato with Jalapeno Cream Sauce, Tuna and Artichoke Tea Sandwich, and a Vegetable Broth Soup with Fresh Herbs. All very good!
For starter we shared the Porcini Mushroom, Arugula Risotto. This risotto was one of the best ones I have had since our trip to Italy four years ago. The arugula was pureed, and colored the whole risotto in a vivid green and gave it a nice peppery note, while the fresh porcini gave it a great earthy taste. The rice perfectly creamy with the right al dente bite to it. Excellent start!
For main course I ordered the Turbot with Sweet Corn, Chantarelles and Sangiovese. The turbot was a little bit over cooked but the accompanying ingredients made the dish shine. This was not great but never the less very good. My husband had the Pork Chop. He thought that was a little bit over done as well, but as he got toward the center it was more juicy and full of flavor.
For dessert we shared the Chocolate Souffle with Brandied Cherries and Espresso Gelato. Could not go wrong with this one. Souffle was warm and still slightly liquid in the middle, and the gelato made the perfect pairing. And as if this was not enough a cart of sweet treats arrived at the end of the meal were I had to taste an "Italian" Oreo, dark caramel, and a divine dark ganache in a chocolate shell.
After a delicious, although not perfect, meal we left this well worth to visit restaurant.

The wine: Drinking mostly California and other new world wines we had the sommelier help us pick out a wine for dinner. He gave a few suggestions and among them a Barbaresco, Ada Nada 1999 Valeirano (made from the Nebbiolo grape) that we ended up deciding on. It turned out to be a delicious bottle that paired well with all courses of our meal.

One point I have to make is that the service was a little bit off. At all points during the meal the service was slow enough as to where it was just raising the question "where are they?", and right then they would show up with more water, the dessert menu, or whatever it might be... (Coffee was served a the last couple of bites of dessert, whereas I prefer to get it right before dessert is served). Nothing that can't be corrected with just a few adjustments...

We had a very good meal here, the highlight being the risotto. I can recommend this restaurant with one reservation, the service. It is just a little bit off, not very noticeable, but still there.

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