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.