• Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Del Posto Lunch

Next Level Lunch
January 13, 2014

The inside scoop: We’ve said it before, and we meant it. We’re loyalists. Especially when it comes to Mario Batali and the Bastianich family. We crave Lupa’s cacio e pepe on a weekly basis, and Babbo’s branzino with Meyer lemon confit is an essential in our culinary repertoire. So when Del Posto in Chelsea opened, we knew it would quickly make it into our rotation. While the $115 dinner prix fixe might not always fit the budget, the $39 prix fixe three-course lunch is one of the best deals in the city. Both meals fall under the 4-star New York Times rating – only 5 restaurants in NYC currently hold such distinction. We suggest you make a reservation, even the day of, as they only seat a section of the dining room for lunch. (With the market at over 16,000, every table also seems to be full these days. We’re not complaining.) Walk-ins can get lucky with cancellations and a full menu at the bar.

The space: Its 24,000 square feet of dark wood, a formally dressed waitstaff and white tablecloths could be a big, fancy steakhouse in any other city.  But for New Yorkers, it’s a civilized change of pace from the shoebox restaurants that are part of our normal lunch circuit. This is the place you take your out-of-towners, your parents, your closing dinner (yes, we’re using pre-2008 Wall Street terminology) or just yourself for a gourmet meal. Lunch is more sedate, whereas dinner is about lively conversation, the sommelier working overtime among the tables and the loud clink of glasses.

The menu: Lunch is a three-course prix fixe – which actually ends up being five-plus courses with the bonus appetizers (which usually include an arancini or soup of some sort, a lobster sandwich or mini roll and a third unique bite) and the extra desserts brought to close out the meal. And we’d be remiss not to mention the bread course. Even those with the greatest willpower typically succumb early on in the meal. Standouts on the menu include the chilled lobster antipasti and the heritage pork trio secondi. For an extra $10 per person, you can get a pasta course for the table. Our favorite is a rich veal agnolotti, with sweet pea, espresso and salty grana padano to offset the sweetness of the dish. Desserts are unique. Go the traditional route with a chocolate-cherry tartufo or choose something more savory like the sfera di caprino, a light and refreshing celery and goat cheese dish.

Del Posto, 85 10th Ave., 212-497-8090, delposto.com

(Photos courtesy of Del Posto)