Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Is that MORE Lard and Butter? Del Posto! Del Lardo! I love you!
Del Posto 85 10th Ave. nyc 10011 212-497-8090
I went to Del Posto last night.. And I could kiss Mario Batalli for all the joy it brought me. Being a downtown and BK kinda girl the fancy dining thing is always a little... uncomfortable for me.. feeling that I have to use my manners makes me wonder- can I enjoy the food? I mean whats a short rib without sucking the bone and whats a good pasta if you don't to use your bread (or your finger) to soak up the sauce.. mmming and slurping all the time.. but this was... not what I expected. We walk in. A suited man rushes to pull the door open. I am wearing flip flops.. Marble, brass, orchids, everyone wearing suits..linen linen linen carts carts carts! Wait. Was I just in the Chelsea Market? where am I? Can I actually eat here? Or will I feel that I am suffocating under a thick blanket of restraint??? We didn't have a reservation. But then the greetings, the smiles, the care, the gentle gracious gestures of the host and waitstaff eased any anxiety right away... We were seated in a banquette at the very back of the restaurant... I looked around the gigantic dining room with its 30 foot ceilings. A man played standards on the grand piano. Complete nostalgia.
After graduating from my mothers home taught etiquette classes.. my parents took me and my siblings to a french restaurant at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. We sat in a private dining room with a domed ceiling, name cards in silver holders, and more silverware than I had ever seen in my life. I remember it so vividly and mostly because of the giant carved ice swan that eclipsed the doorway halfway through the meal. This may be one of the moments that spoiled me for life.. I did enjoy the decadence but there is no rule for me - decadence cannot be defined by linen and silver. If it comes from a taco truck, from the french restaurant that graced the Fairmont Hotel in the late 70's and early 80's, or if its fried pork skin from Jalisco's in Oakland.... I want to taste it!! So here we are 2010 and I am sitting in the same way I was sitting back then. Feet barely touching the ground. Like a little girl. Unsure of what to expect, knowing what is expected of me, and not knowing if I will comply. I ordered a glass of Lambrusco to loosen up. It was the best Lambrusco I tasted all summer. Out came five types of bread with two small dishes that contained butter and... LARD! The playing field was immediately leveled. I have never been served lard as an alternative to butter and this was a shameless ingratiating way to make me completely comfortable! There was no comparison. The butter was boring. The lard was salty sultry with a hint of rosemary. And in the words of Rachel Zoe... I dhhhiiieeeddd. She is very Shakespearean that one.. Everything that followed was as fantastic as the lard... the tuna tartar completely wrapped in crunchy shaved black truffle. The dungeness crab pasta with jalapeno and red chili. The chicken which was butterflied, roasted, carved right in front of us, the leg and thigh sent back to the kitchen to be deep fried and returned swimming in cacciatore sauce. And then.. a landslide of desert. Two fried donut holes with cream centers, a rosemary cake with cherries and walnuts, a butterscotch semifreddo with dehydrated melon, raspberries and nectarine.. and a plate of 6 cookies.. I'm not kidding. We ate it all. And one glass of Limoncello. I was in love. I love food. I love to eat. And we got SERVED!
When I got home I found a the name of the Lambrusco which the hostess had written down for me*. It was late and I was tipsy but I had to find it.. I googled but no luck. I found the website of the vineyard in Italy and emailed them a very nice Lamabrusco Del Posto induced compliment. When I woke up the next morning I was pleasantly surprised to find this email in my inbox:
Hello Meghan !
thank you very much for your wonderful email.
It is always a pleasure to receive such compliments .
Regarding our lambrusco , you shuold talk to our NY importer (in copy), Mr. Enrico Battisti from Soilair Selection.
Enrico or Emiliano, please tell Miss Meghan where she can find some more of our lambrusco .
I hope you will have the opportunity to taste more and more of our La Battagliola.
Thanks again for your kind words!
I remain at your disposal if you need anything else
have a great day
Tel : +39 051 0929099
Cell : +39 335 495290
I mean really. Now I just want to go to Italy and meet this guy and tour this vineyard! How gracious and accommodating. From the minute I walked in the door of Del Posto until 10 mins ago when ate the Belgian rivaling chocolate they send you home with.. I was sailing on pure luxury kindness and great taste. Thank you Del Posto for this extravagant experience!! And thank you Marla for this lovely birthday present!!
* "La Battagliola" Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro 2008 D.O.C.