Italian: Del Posto

Eating Out

As a collaboration among Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich (of Lidia’s Italian Kitchen) and Lidia’s son Joseph, Del Posto offers more than your typical Italian fare.  Set in a cavernous space in the Meatpacking district, Del Posto offers top-notch service along with its cuisine (case in point – my eating buddy’s purse was offered a chair. Really? Really.) I recently took advantage of Del Posto’s prix fixe lunch menu.  At $29 for antipasto, entree and dessert of choice, it is a fairly economical way to get an idea of what this restaurant is all about.

We were first presented with amuse bouche:

I’m not exactly sure what the top left morsels were, but I believe there was pork involved, ‘nuff said.  We also got a seafood salad in crispy pastry, and a chilled tomato soup in a celery salt-rimmed cup.  I admit I licked all around the cup.  Come on, you know you would too.

I don’t usually document the breadbasket, but the presentation of two spreads warranted it – especially when one spread was lardo.  Even if you don’t speak Italian, I’m sure you can guess what it is.  And it was scrumptious!

Our first antipasto was the Warm Cotechino with Umbrian Lentil Vinaigrette & Dried Fruit Mostarda.  Cotechino is a fresh pork sausage; this presentation was accompanied by a dried fruit compote – I believe the fruits were cherries and prunes.  The cotechino was warm and slightly spicy, nicely balanced by the compote.

Our second antipasto was the Insalata Primareva della Terra.  A spring garden salad is usually pretty run-of-the-mill; however, Del Posto’s take on it was beautiful.  See for yourself:


Flowers in my food often confuse me – is it a bouquet? Am I supposed to eat that blossom?  But my eating buddy put the salad away pronto, so it looks like this dish was both pretty and yummy.

Our first entree dish was veal agnolotti with ramp butter.  Agnolotti is a stuffed pasta.  In this case, you could tell at the first bite that it was freshly made, and the ramp butter was delish! (I loooove ramps!).  However, I kid you not, I took the picture below before taking any bites.  I count 17 agnolotti, each being the size of a Starburst.  I ate as slowly as I could and finished it in 5 minutes. Sad.

We also had the Halibut with Caponatina, Crunchy Fregola & Moorish Spices.  Caponatina is a stewed eggplant, celery and olive mix, while fregola is similar to couscous.  The halibut was tender, juicy and not over cooked, while the caponatina was flavorful but not overwhelming to the fish.

We had quite a few options for dessert, and the four we ordered did not disappoint.  You’ll see that they’re all very different, so your liking will depend on individual taste.  I will say that each was well-balanced in terms of flavor and texture – you can’t go too wrong with any of them.  In addition to Lidia’s Sweet Pea Cake with Local Strawberries & Strawberry Gelato (first picture), we had:

Sfera di Caprino with Celery & Fig Agrodolce & Celery Sorbetto

Featuring goat cheesecake balls and celery sorbet, this unconventional dessert was both rich and refreshing.

Tartufo al Caffe with Dark Chocolate, Sant Eustachio Coffe & Candied Lemon

There was nothing too outrageous about the tartufo, but its dark chocolate flavor was intense. A definite must-try for coffee or chocolate fans.

Butterscotch Semifreddo with Melon Agrumata, Crumbled Sbrisolona & Milk Jam

I LOVE semifreddo.  You can almost see the creaminess oozing out of the photo.  The butterscotch wasn’t too overpowering (I was afraid it would bring back memories of those bright yellow candies) and I wanted to lick that caramel milk jam of the plate. I didn’t, but I wanted to. Maybe next time.

To top off our extravaganza of desserts, we were presented with a complimentary dessert sampler.


From left to right, that’s candied grapefruit with caramel and amaretti crumbs, a sweet/savory fruit tart, bombolini (orange vanilla cream mini doughnuts. I had one and had to close my eyes for a few seconds), and chocolate olive-oil popsicles.

If you’re looking for a departure from your typical pasta and red sauce Italian fare, Del Posto is worth a sample.  Taking traditional ingredients and creating new presentations, the chefs yield some delightful surprises.  I admit the ambiance was a little *too* fancy for my everyday comfort.  Then again, I’m not a particularly fancy girl, and if I must pretend fancy-ness for a few hours to revel these scrumptious dishes, it’s worth it.

At $29 for the Prix Fixe lunch, it’s worth a try.

Del Posto
85 10th Ave. (at 15th St.)
212.497.8090

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    PartyPlannerGal
    July 20, 2010 at 1:00 am

    Wow, all that amazing food for $29!!! Unbelievable. LOVE celery salt – I totally would have licked the rim 🙂

  • Reply
    THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE
    July 20, 2010 at 1:34 am

    That's the way I did Del Posto too. And I actually loved it. I dined in the inoteca and I think I liked it better than I would have liked the regular menu. Probably shouldn't have admitted that 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelly @ The Startup Wife
    July 20, 2010 at 1:36 am

    That looks AMAZING. Now I just feel depressed about making dinner. (Korean vegetable pancakes. And maybe salad if I'm feeling ambitious. Sigh.) Someday I will make it there and try that lunch. YUM. Until then I'll live vicariously by drooling all over my keyboard staring at your pictures.

  • Reply
    lavenderpug
    July 20, 2010 at 1:45 am

    the prix fixe lunch sounds like a MUST DO!

  • Reply
    Mrs. Hot Cocoa
    July 20, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Ohmahgad. $29? I am so there the next time I'm in town. And 4 desserts? You are a girl after my own heart.

  • Reply
    Laura
    July 20, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I'm chiming in – you got all of that for $29? Holey moley! Amazing.

  • Reply
    Jina of JAC Beauty
    July 20, 2010 at 11:33 am

    o what?!? Is it only $29 this week for RW or all the time? Thanks for the recommendation~~ Sounds like my kinda food~~

  • Reply
    BigAppleNosh
    July 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Just want to clarify that it is $29 for one antipasto, entree and dessert (and amuse bouche and dessert minis).

    What's pictured here is 2 antipastos, entrees and 4 desserts 🙂

  • Reply
    BigAppleNosh
    July 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Oh, forgot to respond – Jina it is $29 for the prix fixe lunch all the time, not just during restaurant week 🙂 (unless they change it in the future, let's hope not!)

  • Reply
    mintedlife
    July 20, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    OMG. It seriously looks amazing! I would have licked the salt off too. 🙂

  • Reply
    Alycia (Crowley Party)
    July 20, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    um yum. nuff said.

  • Reply
    Ghenet
    July 20, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Looks SO YUMMY!! I'm so excited about your blog because I'm a New Yorker who LOVES food! Can't wait to try some of the places you've suggested 🙂

  • Reply
    Morgan
    July 20, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Is it lunchtime yet? Everything looked so delish (even though I will admit that I didn't know what half of it was by the names). I need to get to NY to try all of this amazing food sometime!

  • Reply
    Try Anything Once Terri
    July 26, 2010 at 1:55 am

    I am thoroughly jealous that you got to go here. I've been trying to find my way over there for awhile now. Also your camera is pretty hot.

  • Reply
    BigAppleNosh
    July 27, 2010 at 4:50 am

    @Terri I'd definitely recommend it! It was pretty easy to score a reservation on Open Table. And I need to go back and check my photo details, but I believe I didn't even use my "fancy" cam for these pics – it was just the good ol' Canon powershot 🙂 (really gotta figure out how to use the fancycam)

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