Del Posto Enoteca ~ Orderinny

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Del Posto Enoteca

I went to dinner at Del Posto last night, but instead of shelling out hundreds, I had a very tasty and affordable meal at its casual dining corner, the Enoteca. For $45, one can partake in 5 courses spanning the entire spectrum of the menu, from antipasti down to the dolci. And with about a half dozen choices per course, you're getting none of that Restaurant Week crap of getting to choose between only dry chicken breast or salmon.

Dinner starts with a basket of about 5-6 different house-made breads, served with a pat of sweet butter and another pat of lardo, unadulterated pork lard perfumed with rosemary, utterly spreadable but a little too rich for me. Germaine and her friend Charmaine selected the luxurious beef carpaccio, simply dressed with oil, pepper, salt and melted mozzarella while I had a luscious grilled octopus. We then had 2 perfectly al-dente pastas, the famous bucatini alla Amatriciana, a thick spaghetti with a small hole running through the strand, slick with a spicy, intense tomato sauce. The other pasta was little ears of orcchiette in a peppery chard base. Both featured the smoky goodness of pancetta and a lot of heat. And as if we needed more pig, Germaine and I picked the roasted pork loin as our secondi, served just a little pink with a sweet applesauce to cut through the fat. The cod that Charmaine got was perfectly cooked, but overall the very big plates of entrees paled in comparison to the pastas.
The desserts were generally good, ranging from the very rich chocolate pudding to the tart and refreshing passionfruit sorbet in my 4-sorbet plate, but we were so full that they did not taste quite as impressive as they sounded on paper. Another reason why the desserts lost some points was due to the fact that some of the desserts such as the chocolate cake and the tart could be found sitting on the table next to where we were seated. While I know intellectually that most restaurant desserts are pre-made, its something else to actually watch the panettone dry out in front of you.
The corner of the enoteca was elegant and cozy, a little too tight but perfect for couples and small groups. Unfortunately none of my pictures came out right due to the dimness of the room. Service was very gracious, and despite spending much less than the big rollers in the main room, we were not treated like second class citizens. My request to pack my entree home was taken without the slightest bit of disapproval and my pork loin met me at the coat check, where the server had thoughtfully left. For pork and pasta fiends alike, eating at Del Posto's Enoteca may be the best semi-fine dining deal in the city.

Del Posto
85 Tenth Ave (Bet 15th & 16th St)
(The enoteca takes only same-day reservations, lines open at 10AM)

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