New York is a city of contrasts and the same goes for Del Posto which offers interpretations of modern, regional, Italian-American cuisine or simply “Cucina New Yorkese”. Another good example of contrasts are the quotes – you can have one of the best value for money lunches in the city when it comes to a fine dining experience, but you can also have the city’s most expensive menu if you order in advance the Collezione menu. In between you have five and seven courses menus which will not disappoint and all made for you by one of New York’s most talented and skilled chefs when it comes to top Italian cooking – Executive Chef Mark Ladner.
Chef Mark Ladner is not the kind of chef you see in the dining room, walking around and chatting with the guests and making sure that the restaurant’s offerings are appreciated as well as securing the brand of the chef – because today a lot is about branding and making sure that the chef is well-known. Paul Bocuse started that trend many years ago and today it is mandatory for most chefs to make a name for themselves, ideally via television, printed press and cooking books. Executive Chef Mark Ladner has his own cooking book as do most recognized chefs, but Mark’s style is a bit different. He is more the kind of a shy chef who prefers to stay in the kitchen and let his cuisine speak for itself and nothing wrong with that as long as the chef continues to cook his impeccable Italian fare – think pasta dishes to die for and you are getting there!
Executive Chef Mark Ladner started his cooking career as a teenager working for a fast-food restaurant on Cape Cod, but eventually he ended up with some of America’s best chefs like Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mario Batali. Mark is today a partner of Del Posto together with Mario Batali, Joseph Bastianich and Lidia Bastianich. They have established the Italian restaurant to dine at if you are looking for the best in New York City.
The opinions about Del Posto go apart, some have difficulties with the interior which they think reminds of a hotel lobby or even worse a Cruise liner restaurant. The opulent interior with its theater-like balconies and big dining room might not trigger everyone, but the service just gets better and sitting a bit from the sometimes noisy bar just listening to the live piano music while having wood-grilled lobster with artichokes, hazelnuts and basil works perfect for us.
Wine Director Jeffrey Porter works in a paradise when it comes to Italian wines. Let him sell you one of the many fantastic Barolo wines and you are set for an unforgettable dinner. Start up the evening with a glass of champagne, but proceed after that with Italian wine pairings which fit brilliant to Mark Ladner’s cuisine.
Del Posto is an impeccable restaurant striving hard to get even better than that and might just as well succeed if they continue on the path they are on right now. Executive Chef Mark Ladner shows confidence when he dares to cook lasagna which is something you very seldom see at the most exclusive Italian restaurants nowadays. However, this lasagna is far from just any lasagna – the “Yesterday´s 100 Layer Lasagne alla Piastra Butter” made with thin eggy pasta and served at perfect ambient temperature makes the reservation worth it alone.
Written by Andy