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And that wine list! They don't have things no one else has -- they just have more of everything (Italian) than anyone else has. Huge selection of cuvees and vintages. They aren't giving the wine away -- but who would expect them to? We had a bottle of Marissa Cuomo's top white cuvee and (smarting from missing their producer night at Anfora on Tuesday) Foradori's top red cuvee -- from 1999! It's great to have access to stuff like that.

 

Although the room is noticeably quieter and less crowded now that they've removed a bunch of the tables and elimated the lounge dining area, it's still that room. My dining companion kept repeating over and over that it felt like we "were on vacation from New York." My problem remains that it seems like you're on vacation to New Jersey. The piano player for some reason was not annoying. Service, although very present, was good.

 

Why why why did we not go to Anfora? We're dumb.

 

The New Jersey feel is exactly what I hate about the atmosphere here.

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It's the Fall Preview issue of New York magazine, and there's a profile of Batali's new Meatpacking District place, Del Posto.     More Fall Preview food stuff

Actually hiring their CdC did

Wow. I don't disbelieve you in any way but those rates are pretty unbelievable.

Great lasagne, then. $145. Right.

 

I could have done a dish-by-dish dissertation, but I find them even more boring to write than to read. I picked out things I thought were representative. The fact that I didn't jump on anything as really bad should indicate that nothing was. It is expensive, to be sure.

 

Also, the lasagna was a bad dish to pick out to focus on in a way, because it's so much more familiar home-cooked than most of what we were served (although if you could see it, you'd see that it's very labor intensive -- it has many many very thin layers.).

 

Also, you're one of the people who don't love Italian food to whom this restaurant could never really appeal.

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First- easy on the jersey jokes some of us are proud to be from there and in a street fight we win! :lol:

 

Two- I have much respect for Mark he is great and one of the nicest guys you meet in this crazy business. But Its still italian food and at its roots its not 4 star cuisine. Its not meant to be. its liek sayign portuguese food is 4 star cuisine. Not a chance. Can you do it sexy and beautiful no doubt. But i just dont see it as that. maybe its stuck in my head that way. I love italian food to and im sure i would love del posto i just cant get over the hump. Again no disrespect to a well respected man its more about the cuisine then anythign else.

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The thing is that here, it's not even sexy and beautiful.

 

I could imagine 4-star Italian. I could even imagine 4-star Portuguese. But you'd have to luxe it up, and fancy it up, and modernize it up. (Thirty years or 35 ago [if you were old enough to care], wouldn't you have said 4-star Spanish was impossible?)

 

Del Posto doesn't do that. It serves deeply traditional food that, for all the fanciness of the room and the service, is basically rustic.

 

I like it well enough now. Hell, I'll come out and say that I like it a lot. But I don't see the four stars.

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My only argument to that is by refining it you by definition change it to no longer being italian or portuguese. If you label yourself as say an italian influenced restaurant then that gives you the room to refine and make it 4 stars. Its a difficult task to claim authenticity and say your 4 stars. Im not saying it cant be done some how but i just dont know how either.

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Are you saying Combal.Zero isn't an Italian restaurant? Or are you saying Chef Scabin is allowed to cook like that and still call his food "Italian" because he's an Italian in Italy, whereas if an American chef cooked Italian food like that here it would no longer be Italian food?

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But the source of the craziness in Spain is almost entirely Catalan, and that has a long tradition of craziness and relatively little that is recognizably "Spanish". Traditional Spanish cuisine has been mostly stagnant just like traditional Italian, but it relies much more heavily on great ingredients and that allows for a clearer way for upmarket restaurants to distinguish themselves. Italian tends to either become French or just be pointlessly expensive. (and I'm talking recognizably Italian food, not if someone were to serve a mozz balloon covered with olive oil and tomato powder)

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haven't we had this discussion before?

 

(I think its def related to the catalan stuff, but I also think some of it has to do also with the sort of openess that arrived post-franco and the real desire in the both the pais vasco and catalunya to sprint away from Madrid and towards avant-garde stuff in everything)

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Not to be troublesome because I generally agree with the sentiment of the recent discussion, but what of the Italian 3 stars in Italy? From what I can gather, not all of them are Frenchified and plenty of critics think that they warrant the 3-star designation. Is the implication merely that, because of the rustic nature of Italian food, ultra high-end Italian is exceedingly difficult to accomplish but not impossible?

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1. Forget Michelin ratings in Italy.

 

2. To me -- and really this is totally idiosyncratic; there's no reason for anyone else to feel that way -- four NYT stars have come to require innovation as well as simple excellence. That's why I don't think Lutece would get four stars now, as it did in the '70s and '80s. That may also be why Masa got four stars and Yasuda only got three (although never having eaten in Masa that's only speculation). I think the award of four stars to Del Posto represented a change from the practice of the last 20 years (as well as a divergence from the food community consensus).

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The question that interests me is, is the food at Del Posto worth three (or whatever) times the going rate at Spasso?

 

And yes, I know that discussion's been done before, so that's largely a rhetorical question.

 

I'll probably never dine at Del Posto unless I have a huge psychic shift. I hope to get to Spasso within the next month so there's a start on my answer.

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