Mon-Fri, 11:30am-2pm and 5:30pm-11pm; Sat, 4:30pm-11pm; Sun, 4:30pm-10pm
A, C, E at 14th St.; L at Eighth Ave.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
As dinner unfolds at Del Posto, the new addition to the Mario Batali–Bastianich-family fine-dining empire, it's hard to know whether you’ve entered restaurant nirvana or some strange, slightly comical pastiche of what an opulent five-star restaurant should be. The plush, darkly glowing room has towering columns and tall curtained windows like those you'd find in the lobby of a grand Roosevelt-era New York hotel. The menu is stuffed with $60 dishes of lobster risotto for two, and old Batali favorites like bollito misto, a medley of rustic Italian offal products that are carved, with elaborate ceremony, tableside. With Mark Ladner (formerly of Lupa) in the kitchen, the cooking is generally superb. But if you’ve managed to fight your way into Babbo over the last few years, none of it is exactly revelatory. Among other things, Del Posto represents Batali's conspicuous, somewhat strained attempt to put Italian cooking on the same level as high French cuisine. Somehow, in that grand, cavernous space with its tall columns and endlessly tinkling piano music, a little of the [food's] essential flavor is lost.Tasting Menu
Seven courses, traditional or seafood, $145; with wine pairing, $280.
A smaller dining room off the bar, offers an abbreviated menu and full wine list.