del posto lunch
you all know i'm an eleven madison park devotee. that my lunches there when i'm between cases and have the rare weekday off, are blissful. i knew 4 stars would change that. what i didn't predict was the fact that they'd stop participating in restaurant week. that, never again, would i get 3 courses for $24. EMP, i love you but you've priced me out. i can't afford your dinners and i found a much more satisfying place for lunch.
when i read this post, lunch at del posto jumped to the top of the list. AND, LO, IT WAS GOOD. i mean, HOLY HELL: YES.
service is beyond gracious. really proper without being stuffy. billie and ella and edith and nina played in the background. i had the bastianich sauv blanc because it was from friuli and i'm slightly obsessed with his tocai (or friuliano or whatever it's called now, available by the glass at esca! sit at the bar with victor!). my server (though i don't think they're called servers. maybe head waiters?), though not flirty, was italian so he oozed sexiness. it's the italian swagger. i love it. he greeted me with a hearty "buon giorno!" and recommended the duck. and then did NOT ask me come come out back and get naked but in my head, that's what ALL italian sounds like. it all sounds like, "let me make love to you, bellissima"
tre amuses and one hell of a bread basket served with both lardo and butter. lardo, for those uninitiated...think gourmet bacon fat. but bacon fat so good that you briefly think of eating it with a spoon. or bathing in it. but then you remember that 5 minutes ago someone came over with a brocade stool for your purse. a chair! for a purse! i mean, how silly! but also: fancy. which is what stops you from rubbing said lardo all over your face.
i started with the roasted vegetables because i'm a sucker for robiola. and though you'd think i'd be truffled out, i am not. my favorite part was the slice of apple (granny smith?) on the far side of my plate. i ordered the duck. OH GOD. it was gorgeous and so tender, the skin so crispy. it's the best dish i've had in a long time. (i mean, it might have been better than the ribeye from carnevino.) it was transcendent. there are no words for this duck. i'm totally wasting my time trying to convey how awesome it was. if i could have sex with meat, i would screw the crap out of this duck. i would propose. i'd move into its brooklyn apartment even though i SWORE i would not leave the borough of manhattan.
mark ladner was in the house. and joe bastianich also arrived as dessert was delivered. i asked for a skim latte and was told "we do not use skim milk" which, you know what? that's fine by me because whole milk tastes so much better and i never order it because i've got some female guilt that i'm sure i got subconsciously from looking at skinny models on magazine covers in the grocery store checkout aisle. i respect a restaurant that full on refuses to give you something they know doesn't taste that great in favor of the stuff that tastes better, even if it may be fatty (mmmmmm.....lardo......)