Monday, May 19, 2008

Del Posto

Abby moved down to New York last week to start here summer job at a law firm, so I went down to visit her this weekend. After being stuck in the Fung Wah bus in bumper to bumper traffic for several hours, I finally made it to NYC with about an hour to spare before Abby and I needed to meet Alex and Jane at Del Posto, where they were somehow able to get last minute reservations. Let me just begin by saying that this meal was absolutely phenomenal. From the service, to the setting, to the food, everything was on point.

When our cab pulled up to the curb, I opened up my door and started to stick my umbrella out to open it and shield Abby from the rain - it had been pretty dismal all day - and when I looked up I saw that the doorman has already beat me there. With his large umbrella in hand, he escorted us to the door (and later helped us get a cab).

Once we were seated, the waiter graciously answered our many many questions about the menu, and a somolier gave us some excellent recommendations so we didn't have to contend with the 60+ page wine list. We ended up choosing the tasting menu, so between the four of us, we were able to try out a fairly nice variety of items. Abby and Jane both ordered an appetizer called vitello tonnato crudo which consisted of three cubes each of raw veal and tuna as the centerpiece. Alex had an abalone salad, which may have been the best appetizer at the table, and I ordered the frutti di mare, which was a mix of raxor clams, scallops, and calamari. I thought it was excellent, but the abalone might be a more novel dish.

For the tasting menu, the whole table chooses two different pasta dishes to share for the first course, and we went with rabbit panzotti with pencil asparagus and black truffle butter and del posto agnolotti del plin with parmagiano-reggiano butter. The agnolotti was good. The panzotti was absolutely amazing.
The past skin was incredibly thin and delicate, providing the perfect casing for the smooth rabbit filling inside. The taste of the asparagus and black truffles was perfect balanced. I wish I could have eaten a whole plate full of this stuff.

For the second course, Jane and I both ordered grilled squab that was served with shaved white asparagus, cherries, and fava beans. I'de never had squab before, and I never thought that the lowly pigeon could taste so good. On the side, they serve a little cup with the squab's liver at the bottom and topped with a forcemeat made from the legs.
Abby ordered cacciucco, a fishermens stew, sort of like a ciopino, that was flavored with some type of bread sauce with salt cod. This dish had a great presentation. The waiter first brings the soup out to the table in a warm silver bowl and then goes and plates it at a serving table in the center of the dining room. The bread sauce is presented on the side in a silver pitcher so you get to add it an mix it together yourself. The sauce thickens the soup a little and completely transforms the flavor.
Alex ordered roasted pork loin that was served with a side dish that has sausages, garbanzo beans, carrot, and a pearl onion in some sort of broth.

For dessert, we ordered an assortment of different things pictures below. They were all very good, but, not having much of a sweet tooth, it was harder for me to get excited about these dishes.

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