Downtown Dining: Del Posto
After two weeks in Cambodia and eating predominately Khmer food, I was ready for some tastier meals. Luckily, one of my friends had a dinner reservation at Del Posto just two days after I got back to the States.
As you may know, Del Posto is the highly acclaimed Italian restaurant from Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich and Joe Bastianich. After one too many bowls of rice, I was ready to dig into some pasta and enjoy other tasty Italian dishes.
My friend (let’s call her “Kristin Wells,” shall we?) and I opted to go with the five-course menu (Il Menù del Posto) because it appeared to be the best deal given the prices on the a la carte menu. Each person gets to pick an antipasto, secondo and dessert while splitting two pasta dishes. For my antipasto, I ordered the carne cruda because I was craving high-quality beef (the cows in Cambodia, which are comparable to cows throughout Asia, were on the meager-looking side). Kristin Wells opted for Lidia’s lobster salad (pictured).
One fantastic part of the dining experience at Del Posto is the bread basket. The bread comes out piping hot and tastes as fresh as can be. To enhance the experience, the bread is served with your choice of butter or lardo. Being that Kristin Wells doesn’t eat pork, I got the lardo all to myself. There’s nothing like spreading whipped fat that tastes just like delicious bacon on oven fresh bread.
Following the antipasto course, Kristin Wells and I split a very over-salted pasta dish (pennette with porcini, preserved tuna & tomato strattu) and a spaghetti with with Dungeness crab, sliced jalapeno and minced scallion dish that made us both pause and take a moment to enjoy because it was so good. Kristin Wells declared the spaghetti was the best pasta dish she had ever eaten and that girl has been to her fair share of good restaurants.
For our main courses, Kristin Wells had the roasted turbot (foreground) while I got the wood-grilled lobster (background). Hands down, the lobster was the better of the two dishes. It was perfectly cooked and well seasoned while allowing hints of smokey flavor to come through but not overpower the sweetness of the lobster. We finished off the meal with some very well-prepared desserts, but since neither one of us are big sweets people, we weren’t mesmerized by them like the savory dishes of the meal.
If you are looking for an amazing meal for a special occasion or just want to be treated to a nice night out where the food is delicious and the service top-notch, Del Posto is a great option. And unlike other Mario Batali joints, the music is not cranked up to ear splitting decibels. You can actually hear what your dining companion says to you and won’t need to shout a response back.