Since Del Posto opened in 2005 I have tried the restaurant several times. Frankly I never had a great meal as there was always something that wasn't right. In 2009 my sentiments were echoed by the Michelin Guide, which downgraded the restaurant from 2 stars to 1 for its 2010 guide. The lost of a Michelin star shook up the restaurant. In an effort to regain the star, the owners decided to reduce the number of tables and invest more on quality. Their efforts paid off when in the fall of 2010, The New York Times gave the restaurant four stars, making it one of the top six restaurants and the only Italian restaurant in the City with that distinction. Clearly Del Posto has changed and is worth another try.
Del Posto is located on the corner of 16th Street and Tenth Avenue near The High Line (the City's latest landmark), thus an ideal place for lunch before or after the visit to the new park. Besides the location, Del Posto offers a great deal for lunch: a three-course menu for $29. Del Posto has now replaced Jean Georges as the cheapest place to get a four-star meal.
I made the reservation after getting assurance from the restaurant that I could bring our two kids and they would make some simple pasta for them. When I walked in the restaurant, the decor hasn't changed and the piano player is still there, but I could sense it was a bit more spacious with less tables.
The restaurant started us off with a trio of amuse-bouches: small sandwich, speck with sauerkraut, and a shot of tomato soup. Our server then brought a bread basket accompanied by very good butter and even better house-cured lardo.
Instead of asking the kitchen cook a simple pasta for the kids, I actually ordered the Garganelli Verdi al Ragu Bolognese on the menu for them to share. Both kids ate the pasta silently, which is usually the sign of a very good pasta. I tried one bite of the pasta and it was indeed excellent. After the kids finished their pasta they played with my two iPads, which have the magical ability to keep them quiet through the rest of my lunch.
I started with the Cotechino and chose the sliced duck breast as my main course. My dessert was the chocolate tartuffo. My wife, Maria, went with the Primavera della Terra salad followed by the wild salmon. Her dessert was macerated strawberries with gelato. I won't go into details about the dishes except to say all of them were wonderful.
With our coffees the restaurant brought out mignardises that included some great bombolini. On our way out, we were given more chocolates to take home.
At Del Posto the food was great and the service was professional and friendly. It is definitely a much better restaurant than I remembered. I still don't really like the decor and I cannot tell whether or not the piano player has improved. Nevertheless, Del Posto is now a great restaurant and the lunch is a fantastic deal.