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Del Posto


Jason Perlow
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Spice Market = (now) bad food, location in a touristy/B&T nightspot area, packed.

(I personally don't think Del Posto is nearly as bad as Spice Market has become; nor that the proprietors of Del Posto have cynically abandoned any pretensions to running a quality restaurant, as those of Spice Market appear to have done.)

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I want to emphasize, for what it's worth, that unlike DutchMuse, I don't think Del Posto is bad. I would call it "good". Just no better than that.

(And, of course, on a completely personal level, the ambiance offends the hell out of me.)

Edited by Sneakeater (log)
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I would rank it with Spice Market in its "success mode."

Not having been to either, could you please elaborate?

A scene more than a restaurant - packs them in with tourists, celebrities etc. - as opposed to the food. But I agree with SE, the food at DP is good while the food at SM is a notch or two below that.

Rich Schulhoff

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

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eh...Spice Market was always about the sizeable bar scene. (no doubt it still is....but they probably haven't had celebs in 2-3 years....it's become a 100% B&T/tourist now).

there's no bar scene at Del Posto.

leaving aside the differences in food quality...they just aren't comparable.

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I agree with you Marc, it's a general success. However, it's not a success with the foodies or NY'ers who understand Italian food. I would rank it with Spice Market in its "success mode."
I agree with SE and Nathan that Del Posto has a far better reputation (among those "in-the-know" — whoever they are :laugh: ) than Spice Market.
Let's not forget the Times was obilgated to give it at least three stars since it was a Batali place at the time. As for Lape - well, no one is perfect. He also gave Chanterelle four stars a few months earlier than that. And as we know, very few people on this board would come close to agreeing with that.
Lape tends to rate just about everything a star higher than everyone else. His four stars are roughly equivalent to Bruni's three.

Del Posto got mixed reviews. That means that, whether you love it or hate it, you can find a critic who agreed with you, therefore (purportedly) demonstrating that all of the other critics don't know what they're talking about.

As for Michelin - it proves the point that it doesn't have a clue what it's doing in NYC - or SF for that matter.

Their other restaurants rated two stars or higher are: Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, Per Se, Masa, and Daniel. Surely you're not suggesting that all of those ratings are clueless? This has been picked to death on the Michelin thread, but it turns there's a pretty high correlation between their ratings and those doled out by other critics.

By the way, I'm no apologist for Del Posto. I gave 2½ stars (out of four) to my own meal there. I was not ecstatic, especially given the price. I am just pointing out that Del Posto has some legitimate fans. One must be careful about presuming that one's own view is correct, and all of the people who say otherwise just don't know what they're talking about.

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By the way, I'm no apologist for Del Posto. I gave 2½ stars (out of four) to my own meal there. I was not ecstatic, especially given the price. I am just pointing out that Del Posto has some legitimate fans. One must be careful about presuming that one's own view is correct, and all of the people who say otherwise just don't know what they're talking about.

I'm sure virtually every place has its fans and I respect all opinions. But I believe one thing is undeniable - that it never came close to living up to its hype. And that was the point I was attempting to make.

As for the comparison to SM - I was comparing the success, not the bar crowd. Both are "scenes" in different ways. DP gets a celebrity/tourist dinner crowd, while SM gets a Wall Street/tourist bar scene crowd who only eat when they remember.

Rich Schulhoff

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

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I believe one thing is undeniable - that it never came close to living up to its hype.

That is a very fair assessment. But it's worth recalling that Gramercy Tavern in its early days was also touted as a four-star restaurant, which never happened. But GT settled in as a very respectable three-star place, frequented more by special-occasion diners than foodies.
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Interesting info, I appreciate the responses. With regards to its pre-opening hype, itsn't it fair to state that it would have been literally impossible for it to even come close to living up to the hype?

"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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For the record I was never trying to disparage the restaurant nor its employees in any way, I was simply curious being that I am not local.

Additionally, I have a meal coming up at Mozza in LA, and while it is a vastly different restaurant in all facets it seems to be a place that is living up to its massive pre-opening hype so it got me thinking.

Edited by Swicks (log)

"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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Interesting info, I appreciate the responses.  With regards to its pre-opening hype, itsn't it fair to state that it would have been literally impossible for it to even come close to living up to the hype?

Possibly, but the DP people were responsible for the hype.

Rich Schulhoff

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

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Interesting info, I appreciate the responses.  With regards to its pre-opening hype, itsn't it fair to state that it would have been literally impossible for it to even come close to living up to the hype?

Difficult, but not impossible. Per Se was similarly hyped, and managed to live up to it.
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Interesting info, I appreciate the responses.  With regards to its pre-opening hype, itsn't it fair to state that it would have been literally impossible for it to even come close to living up to the hype?

Difficult, but not impossible. Per Se was similarly hyped, and managed to live up to it.

The difference was no one saw Keller running around saying Per Se was four stars before it opened - or had video of him standing in Columbus Circle waiting for the NY Times chief restaurant critic and daring him to show up.

Those types of things "enhanced the hype" and created some discomfort within the restaurant/foodie community.

Rich Schulhoff

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

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the sommelier said she was "just learning" (a direct quote) and recommended a $200+ wine because "I've tried that one and I know its good,"

Oh my, that's so bad I'm stunned.

I wonder how someone who could think that it's acceptable to tell your customer that your "just learning" or "I've tried that one and I know its good" could get hired for the postion of sommalier at Del Posto.

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I'm enjoying the revival of this thread and the debates it has sparked.

Count me in the "good, but not great" camp. I recently had a meal there in which I and two others were massively hooked up. Even so, much of the food was not the least bit remarkable.

The best of the pastas (often regarded as the Batali-Bastianich strong point) seem to only hint at the certain spark that the pastas at Babbo seem to have.

That said, though, I absolutely LOVE their six year aged parmigiano-reggiano, and I wish I could find a cheese shop that carries it.

And I have to say, the desserts under Kaplan are much improved. I would consider the one I ordered (not on the website; some kind of caramel cake with salted almond ice cream and some other things) as one of the best desserts I've had in any restaurant in the city, period.

Oh, and that female sommelier? Yeah, not the sharpest tool in the shed. I understand that I still have a lot to learn when it comes to wine, but please don't patronize me and tell me the wine you've suggested "goes with absolutely everything from the Alto Adige" :hmmm:

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Right; and if you have that type of treatment, it doesn't mirror what most customers experience. I'm sure many of us have special relationships with some restaurants, but one can't just patronize those places. To me, an experience like that (e.g. 'comped" etc.) doesn't count in terms of how good I feel a restaurant is.

Edited by DutchMuse (log)
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Right; and if you have that type of treatment, it doesn't mirror what most customers experience. I'm sure many of us have special relationships with some restaurants, but one can't just patronize those places.  To me, an experience like that (e.g. 'comped" etc. doesn't count in terms of how good I feel a restaurant is.

i agree 100%. the main point i wanted to convey was that if a meal with that kind of treatment is still found to be underwhelming (which indeed was the case for me), then the meal that most customers experience would seem to be even more so.

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The wife and i had dinner at the Enoteca last night. It was our first visit at all to Del Posto.

Aesthetically, it truly could be a transportative experience. As my wife said, we could be in a hotel lobby anywhere in Europe - for better or worse.

But then came the crowds. No offensive meant to anyone, but there were far too many jeans, far too many sneakers, and far too much chest hair for my likes - in a place that was supposed to be greatly upscale.

And then the food. We had a topsy-turvy meal - starting with a cheese course (quite good) and then pastas (i'll get to those in a moment) and then desserts (wonderful tiramisu and trio of lemon desserts).

The pastas - admittedly not meant to be the main part of a meal - were tiny. And the waitress should have mentioned that. Four bites of my foglie (?) and i was done.

And the wine ordering left a lot to be desired too. I asked the waitress if i could talk to the sommelier. She told me she knew a "fair amount" about the wine list and it helps her to "practice" by talking to customers about their wine wishes. I told her i was interested in a Friuilian white and further helped by offering some Friuilian whites on their list that i had had before and really liked.

Her first suggestion was to turn the page to Alto Adige...then i reminded her that i wanted to stick with FRIUILIAN whites...so she turned the page back...and recommended EXACTLY the wines I had told her i had had before and liked. VERY unhelpful.

At this point I should have summoned the sommelier, but didn't (my bad).

When the sommelier finally DID come to open with my bottle. He said this was a great wine from the "Colli Orientale". I was having a Lis Neris Confini which is decidedly NOT from the Colli Orientale. And I told him as much. "Oh", he said.

For a meal that cost over $200 for two, it just wasn't half as impressive as I had hoped and dreamed it would be.

I won't rush to go back.

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