Del Posto

85 10th AveNew York, NY 10011(212) 497-8090 delposto.com

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Having been to a gaggle of Batali restaurants I have to say he is all over the map for me, his record being 5-2. Del Posto just barely making it among the 5, as opposed to the 2. The 2 are Osteria Mozza in LA and Babbo in NYC. I found both to be highly inflated and mediocre at best, especially in light of the money you’ll be throwing down. The other 4 wins, all more handily than Del Posto, are Eataly, Lupa, Pizzeria Mozza and Tarry Lodge.

But I digress. Back to Del Posto. I find the décor to be very stuffy, particularly when you consider the neighborhood it’s in. It feels like it belongs in midtown or on Wall St., not the trendy Meat Packing District. But it is far from bad. Just out of place, if you ask me.

Now for the food. I was certain to do a little Yelping research before I arrived, and we did in fact do the lunch prix fixe adding one extra course and wine parings. So, we “did it right.”

The first thing to come was the amuse bouche, which definitely got things off on the right foot. It was in three parts, a gazpacho that was quite good, a fritter of sorts, that was excellent, and a crab puff pastry, that was a little salty, but I liked it.

For my anitpasti I started with the lobster, based upon a few Yelp recos and I have to say it was just eh.

For my primi, I also went with the Yelpster hype and chose the garganelle, which was definitely good, but not 5 star good.

For my secondi, I had the duck and shared some lamb both based, once again, on Yelp acclaim. The duck was just okay. But the lamb was fantastic.

And finally, for my dolci, I had the chocolate tortino- and yes, I Yelped that too. And that also, was just okay (further confirming why I left Yelp). HOWEVER, it was all of the other little desserts they brought that were incredible. There were these mini ice cream bar things that were a wonderful surprise as they exploded in your mouth. White chocolate oat clusters that made me wish I had just ordered a vat of those, and macadamia nuts rolled in chocolate and other goodness that I can’t seem to recall either, but keep in mind I was pretty tipsy by that point from all of the wine, which was well paired and quite good.

So, the final tally for me on Del Posto is that I liked it. Would I rush to go back? No. But I’m glad I went. I had a great time with great people. And the service was excellent.

3 teeth

Pizzeria Mozza

641 N Highland Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036(323) 297-0101 • pizzeriamozza.com & 800 W Coast Hwy. Newport Beach, CA 92663(949) 945-1126
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Considering the chef, Nancy Silverton, was just honored with a James Beard award, which is especially rare for LA (1998 was the last time, given to Wolfgang Puck), I felt compelled to make this my next review.

Now, I have actually eaten in two locations. The one in Newport Beach and the one in L.A. and while both were very good, I think the edge has to go to the original in LA. Partly do to the energy of the place. The vibe is so lively and fun you almost can’t help but enjoy yourself. Whereas the Newport Beach location feels a bit more highfalutin, which is odd for a pizza joint. But I’m guessing if you live in Newport Beach, a Batali restaurant is a pretty big deal.

Now, in terms of pizza in general, sad to say it, but California is woefully behind the rest of the country. Sure they brought us the whole California-style pizza thing, but if you want something more than toppings. If you want a sound foundation of sauce and crust, you used to have to hop on a plane. Well, not anymore.

Sure, you still have you fancy California toppings like the squash blossom pizza, which is friggin’ yum, but you also have your staples like funghi and quattro fromaggi and margherita- done with a culinary twist of course. But perhaps the true belle of the ball is the blanca pie with fennel sausage. Plus, everything is served with a staggeringly good selection of wines by the glass (and bottle) as well as birre.

Also, I just want to give a shout out to service as well. In both locations they were friendly, down-to-earth, helpful and attentive. The highfalutin thing in Newport only came from the crowd and the bar.

So, congrats Nancy. Much deserved. I’ve been a fan dating back to when Campanile was still in business. RIP.

P.S. This review does not include Osteria Mozza next door, which pales in comparison. Skip it. Trust me.

4 teeth