Restaurant Week! Restaurant Week! Two words that put New York foodies into a tizzy! Where shall we go? Where can we get in?
The wishes of Fork and Spoon were granted this year by very coveted reservation for two for lunch at Del Posto, the oppulent Meat Packing District restaurant owned by Joe Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali.
Del Posto is beautiful….beautiful may not correctly describe it…..grand. Del Posto is grand. The interior is warm and inviting, marble floors and staircase, warmed by mahoghany colored walls, all with a charming Italian ambiance. Their flowers are exquisite.
The staff is mostly lovely and attentive and informative.
We were seated promptly. Bread and olive oil brought over, and because of Restaurant Week, bellinis were poured. On the down side, we were not asked whether we would like the regular lunch menu or the Restaurant Week menu.
The maitre d’ was gracious, and as you would expect from an Italian maitre d’, just the right amount of flirty. Our waiter, however, was very brusque, the busboys hustling to make you eat faster. Heaven forbid you put your fork down for a moment, they were swooping in to take your plate away.
After the bellini, we ordered iced tea to drink. As an aside, these turned out to be about 5 ounces of tea jam-packed with ice, and at an insulting $6 a glass. But once done, the glass was taken away without asking if, perhaps, we would like another.
The menu was simple. Which, when it comes to Italian cuisine, is fine. Sadly, the portions were very small, which was not condusive to sharing – but the Fork and Spoon always manage!
For antipasti I had Insalata de Tri Colore. The salad was good. But, quite frankly, it was a salad, and a tiny salad at that! There was nothing terrible about it, but there was nothing spectacular about it either.
Spoon had Affetati Misti for the antipasti. As you can see, a piece of salami, a piece of dried sausage, two very small pieces of prosciutto. This was accompanied by an overly toasted, 1 1/2″ in diameter piece of baguette. Oh, wait, let’s not forget the three leaves of baby arugula.
For primi Spoon had Garganelli Bolognese. The spinach garganelli, little quill shaped pasta, were perfectly cooked, and the Bolognese sauce good (this is supposedly Mario’s favorite sauce). The only problem with this dish was that there were, perhaps, 20 garganelli on the plate.
For the primi I had Pork Arista with Artichoke. So far this was the best dish. Delicious pork, covered in shaved artichokes. I am not sure if the pork was cooked in the true Tuscan Arista style, that is on a spit in a coal stove, but it was very tender and very good. The saute of artichoke was seriously good.
And of course, what is an adventure with Fork and Spoon without dessert. There were a choice of three dolci on the menu and the decision to narrow it down to two was difficult. Our very kind and flirty maitre d’ helped us in choosing two.
We had an Amaretto Budino with Vanilla Crema. Between the saltiness of the roasted almonds and the sweet caramle drizzled on top we were in heaven. The vanilla crema was sweet and a little sour at the same time. I could have eaten a cup of the caramel and almonds alone, but I digress.
The other dolci chosen was Torta di Ricotta with Black Currant Marmelatta. The marmelatta was divine. The frosting on the cake was good, but the cake was merely a means to get more of the marmellata onto your fork!!
The portion sizes on the dolci were perfect on any given day. They were so sweet and delicious that any more than what was on the plate would have ruined it.
I seriously hate being rushed while eating. I really don’t care that it’s Restaurant Week and that we are eating at a discounted price. The point of Restaurant Week is to allow people to try places they might not otherwise afford, and to allow them the same experience. If I had a very special occasion, I would definitely go to a restaurant I had a wonderful dining experience in during Restaurant Week. I am not sure I can say the same for Del Posto.
Although the lovely little gold box with two chocolate truffles handed to us on the way out didn’t hurt our opinion! A little chocolate can fix anything!
All in all it was very nice. I might like to try it again when there isn’t a restaurant week menu. I am sure Spoon would as well.
Del Posto is located at 85 Tenth Avenue in Manhattan.