I’ve long been a fan of the restaurant Del Posto. It is stunningly elegant, formal and yet cozy, and the cuisine shines. It is haute Italian, of multi-Michelin star quality (and when they lose a Michelin star, I suspect a wayward night for the inspectors, not the kitchen), and yet with exotic imagination and whimsy.
My wife and I dined at the very bespoke “Chef’s table.” One such table a night, maximum — no more than four. The Chefs personally preside, and deliver each dish, drawn from the best of the season. The dishes are not plucked from the current menu, but are a window to the chef’s imagination and the kitchen’s capabilities.
This is grand cuisine served intimately. Porcelain from Richard Ginori of Florence, copper from Alessi, silver from Sambonet and crystal from Movia of Slovenia. Gorgeous, stunning, at times eye-brow arching and at other times, simply breathtaking.
Warm Tuscan bread arrives, drizzled with the best vintage olive oil. Luscious champagne accompanies it.
A Bagna Cauda is next, a succulent paste made with anchovy, garlic and olive oil, accompanied by a lovely Pigato “U Baccan” by Riccardo Bruna 2008, wonderful minerality to accompany the paste and the variety of vegetables, pastries and cheese to dip into it.
A masterpiece follows! The balance of the anchovy garlic paste serves as a foundation for soft scrambled eggs with caviar and shavings of pumpernickel. Extraordinary! Luscious, and a riot of flavors on the palate. This is matched by an “Alteni di Brassica” Sauvignon Gaja 2007…rendered more exotic because it also has a lovely touch of Chardonnay.
Wonderful wild Black Bass arrives with Moroccan spices, drizzled with clam juice and uplifted by fennel — both sashimi and fish at once. The accompanying Cerasuolo di Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2007 is Italy’s finest Rose — complex and yet palate-puckering.
The intervening salad is more than filler by far. Head cheese and tuna with a lovely rose Champagne. A medley of colors and flavors, on the palate and for the eye.
The Chef switches gear and out comes a procession of extraordinary pasta. It begins with the Anellini with Black Truffle and Reggiano, rich and almost decadently flavorful. It is matched by a lovely, refreshing Chardonnay.
Another masterpiece! A 100 layer Lasagna that simply redefines Lasagna, moist pasta, rich flavorful ragu, interlaced together in a perfect symphony of tastes and textures. The Aglianico del Vulture “Caselle” 2004 has great depth, if not complexity and so picks up the richness beautifully.
The final in this portion of this exquisite collection is Polenta with duck eggs and frozen shaved foie gras. The richness of this exquisite combination virtually jumps up from the sheer mention of these ingredients. The Montefalco “Collepiano” 1999 has dark fruit, good balance, and a wonderful finish.
For the final savory, Veal in ash arrives, abundant with juice , soft, rich, lovely. The Barolo “Sarmassa” Bergadano 2001 is spicy and elegant — a fitting companion!
Simple salt baked pineapple, though sliced and served with magisterial flourish from a handsome tray, comes to refresh and revive the palate.
An exquisite dessert caps an unforgettable experience. An Eggplant Crostata, lightly glazed with chocolate and paired lusciously with sheep’s milk ricotta…moist, flaky, evocative, layering the palate with texture and flavor. The Recioto della Valpolicella 2000 demonstrates the sheer velvety finesse of this delectable dessert wine.
We arose having feasted, having been awash in genuine hospitality of an increasingly rare kind, enjoying grand surroundings but exceptional intimacy — our own cocoon of elegance and enjoyment.
“Del Posto” means “of the place”. Well this meal was of another time, and with great artistry and culinary wit, that time was brought triumphantly and unforgettably back to life at “this place” today!
GRAND TASTING COLLEZIONE
FILONE Hot Pot with Vittorio Cassini 2010 served with Champagne Duval Leroy 1996
PINZIMONIO in Bagna Caoda served with Pigato “U Baccan” Riccardo Bruna 2008
Smooth Scrambled EGGS served with Sauvignon “Alteni di Brassica” Gaja 2007
INSALATA CAPRESE with Testina di Tonno served with Champagne Rose, Alfred Gratien NV
Fonduta con ANELLINI with Black Truffle and Vacca Rossa served with Chardonnay Isole e Olena 2008
100 Layer LASAGNA served with Aglianico del Vulture “Caselle” D’Angelo 2004
BIGOLI con L’Anatra and Goose Liver served with Sagrantino di Montefalco “Collepiano” Arnaldo Caprai 1999
VEAL in ash with Grass and Corn served with Barolo “Sarmassa” Bergadano 2001
Salt baked PINEAPPLE
EGGPLANT Crostata with Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Stracciatella served with Recioto della Valpolicella Lorenzo Begali 2000