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Del Posto


Jason Perlow
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The last several posts reveal a difference in subjective taste about something that goes far beyond any differences you usually see here in subjective judgments of food.

We have our differences about food here, but there's a pretty good general concensus about what's good and what isn't. Even when I disagree with people's evaluations, I can usually understand why they like or don't like something.

But I have to say that I can't understand anyone's not finding the interior of Del Posto borderline offensive. On the other hand, Bryan and oakapple probably can't understand my response to it.

Edited by Sneakeater (log)
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The last several posts reveal a difference in subjective taste about something that goes far beyond any differences you usually see here in subjective judgments of food.

We have our differences about food here, but there's a pretty good general concensus about what's good and what isn't.  Even when I disagree with people's evaluations, I can usually understand why they like or don't like something.

But I have to say that I can't understand anyone's not finding the interior of Del Posto borderline offensive.  On the other hand, Bryan and oakapple probably can't understand my response to it.

I don't find it offensive. I just don't like it. It sounds like the parts of the restaurant that I did find offensive have been toned down a bit.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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OK, went there tonight; my partner and I plus another party, total party of 4.

Slightly below 'ordinary' and certainly not worth the price. Maybe at 1/4 or 1/5 the price, for a neighborhood place, it would be ok. Certainly not a 3 star (NYT), stretching it maybe a 1 star NYT. The sommelier introduced herself by saying "I'm not that knowledgeable about wines, but I'm learning" and the waiter adoped a superior, haute attitude without obviously knowing much. When I inquired about the bollito misto. he replied "Its not the season for it" said the headwaiter. "Not the season for boiled meats? What kind of silliness is that?" I asked. He had no reply.

It went downhill from there. An ordinary first course (I frankly forget what I had....and for a main course, a forgettable venison that was as ordinary as anything at a corner less than authentic trattoria).

For $250 p/p, I should have had a better meal than I had. Leave this place to the B&T crowd. Quite forgettable.

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OK, went there tonight; my partner and I plus another party, total party of 4.

Slightly below 'ordinary' and certainly not worth the price. Maybe at 1/4 or 1/5 the price, for a neighborhood place, it would be ok. Certainly not a 3 star (NYT), stretching it maybe a 1 star NYT. The sommelier introduced herself by saying "I'm not that knowledgeable about wines, but I'm learning" and the waiter adoped a superior, haute attitude without obviously knowing much. When I inquired about the bollito misto. he replied "Its not the season for it" said the headwaiter. "Not the season for boiled meats? What kind of silliness is that?" I asked. He had no reply.

It went downhill from there. An ordinary first course (I frankly forget what I had....and for a main course, a forgettable venison that was as ordinary as anything at a corner less than authentic trattoria).

For $250 p/p, I should have had a better meal than I had. Leave this place to the B&T crowd. Quite forgettable.

I dont know.. Just incase anyone has any confusion about my feelings.. I think Del Posto is a step in the wrong direction for the Batali Brand..This place is the most average and most over priced in the collection..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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I posted a while back about a negative experience at Del Posto (all around terrible). Anyway, I wrote a letter to Joe, Lidia, and Mario and Joe responded and invited me to come back.

We went back with our original party, as their guests, and had a good meal. I still don't think that the service merits four stars, or anything close to it by Daniel/Per Se/JG standards, but it had certainly improved (no doubt the circumstance of our dinner played a role in this).

I really liked the appetizers and salads best. Because it was a full tasting we only had one pasta (garganelli), which while good was not on Babbo/Lupa par in terms of transcendental tastes, and I still think the $50 risotto is totally silly.

Halfway through the meal we decided to supplement the wine pairings with a 1990 Barbaresco which was very enjoyable. This decision was partially due to guilt about the fact that I still couldn't envision Del Posto having a space on my restaurant roster and partially because they were serving us only young wines from the Bastianich properties (understandable).

Anyway, the dining room was full and I felt that having us back was a gracious gesture. Of course when it came time to talk to Joe, he had left for Babbo to entertain some VIPs.

My feeling is that the owners there are too talented to not make something special out of the place, sooner or later.

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My feeling is that the owners there are too talented to not make something special out of the place, sooner or later.

Its getting a bit late in the game to really re-engineer the place.

Left as it is, it will either survive on tourism and B&T crowd (didn't ultimately work for Rocco) or will slowly wilt until not enough people go there. Or work as a place for the leftovers for Morimoto and Craftsteak. In NYC, the "sooner or later" timeframe isn't all that long a time period.

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Left as it is, it will either survive on tourism and B&T crowd (didn't ultimately work for Rocco) or will slowly wilt until not enough people go there.  Or work as a place for the leftovers for Morimoto and Craftsteak.  In NYC, the "sooner or later" timeframe isn't all that long a time period.

The problems seem fixable to me. Whether they will is a whole other story.

In any event, there are plenty of restaurants that are somewhat maligned by the food cogniscenti, but survive for years or decades nevertheless. Cafe des Artiste, One if By Land, and Tavern on the Green are the poster children in this department, but there are many others.

Besides, with three stars from the Times and four stars from Crain's, the reviews haven't all all been negative — as they have been for Crafsteak. We on eGullet tend to forget that there are an awful lot of diners (and not just the B&T/tourism crowd) that don't come to this website for restaurant advice.

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Left as it is, it will either survive on tourism and B&T crowd (didn't ultimately work for Rocco) or will slowly wilt until not enough people go there.  Or work as a place for the leftovers for Morimoto and Craftsteak.  In NYC, the "sooner or later" timeframe isn't all that long a time period.

The problems seem fixable to me. Whether they will is a whole other story.

In any event, there are plenty of restaurants that are somewhat maligned by the food cogniscenti, but survive for years or decades nevertheless. Cafe des Artiste, One if By Land, and Tavern on the Green are the poster children in this department, but there are many others.

Besides, with three stars from the Times and four stars from Crain's, the reviews haven't all all been negative — as they have been for Crafsteak. We on eGullet tend to forget that there are an awful lot of diners (and not just the B&T/tourism crowd) that don't come to this website for restaurant advice.

Mark, you are correct that many palces are able to survive and in some cases even thrive off their names for quite some time. I don't think that we tend to overestimate our influence on eGullet. Rather, I think we may tend to think that we more likely rerpresent at least a certain segment of the public and our opinions tend to reflect those of others like us who may not be posting here and that these opinions may have some bearing on the future of restaurants of certain aspirations.

What will happen to Del Posto? Only time will tell. For the most part it does not appear to have resonated with what I presume was at least part of its initial target audience. While it is possible that they may be able to fix that, it is much more difficult to do so after impressions have been formed. I keep reading this thread to see if they have turned the corner. While it seems they have made progress, it is still not at the point that I feel compelled to return.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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  • 2 months later...
I think this is a serious sign that they're trying to improve the place.

Well they need to generate some revenue to pay the monthly marble tile bill.

Edited by rich (log)

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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This is great news for this restaurant. I'll go anywhere Chef Kaplan goes.

That said, I had dinner a few nights ago in the Enoteca. On the one hand, the $41 four-course prix fixe (which now consists of your choice of any one item from each of their courses), with $19 wine pairings, is a great deal. On the other hand, the food is stilll maddeningly inconsistent. You might say, "how much can you complain for $41 for four courses?," but still, I've never had a meal in the Enoteca where more than one of the savories really stood out. Especially now that Nicole Kaplan is there, I'm going to keep going back -- you really can't argue with $41 -- but I wish it were better.

Mainly, though, I think it's ironic that I now go to the restaurant that was supposed to vault Italian food into the highest reaches of haute for its bargain pricing.

(PS -- I'm told the bolito misto cart is BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) (Only on weekends.)

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"(PS -- I'm told the bolito misto cart is BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) (Only on weekends.) "

I would go just for that.

I had an excellent meal in early December and the Bollito Misto was magnificent! It will be interesting to see how the desserts evolve.

It should be interesting as she's internationally renowned for making authentic Italian desserts and pastries.

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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Mainly, though, I think it's ironic that I now go to the restaurant that was supposed to vault Italian food into the highest reaches of haute for its bargain pricing.

I may have to think about going back - it sounds like they are priced more realistically. What is available with this prix fixe?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I may have to think about going back - it sounds like they are priced more realistically. What is available with this prix fixe?

The prices mentioned upthread are at the enoteca (the bar area). In the main dining room, it is still pretty expensive.

I understand. When I was there that was the part that I thought was egregiously expensive.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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"(PS -- I'm told the bolito misto cart is BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) (Only on weekends.) "

I would go just for that.

I had an excellent meal in early December and the Bollito Misto was magnificent! It will be interesting to see how the desserts evolve.

It should be interesting as she's internationally renowned for making authentic Italian desserts and pastries.

You mean no Tiramisu or Cannoli? I'm ok with that. Most pastry chefs who end up in Italian kitchens never specialized in Italian pastries and desserts - Gina DePalma at Babbo is a perfect example.

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I was told last evening that Mario rarely visits Del Posto anymore and that he's lost interest/desire (I'm not speaking financial) in the place - that Joe and Lydia have taken control.

Rumors? Reality? Can anyone confirm or deny?

Edited by rich (log)

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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Do people mostly go to the bar for the menu via a reservation, or are there many tables slotted for "walk ins?" I live in the 'hood and have often thought of going to the bar to have dinner. Have been to the dining room and was notably underwhelmed. But the bar menu is a different story.

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