While I don't do reviews of New York restaurants (there is so much, perhaps too much, information to be had already), I do from time to time mention noteworthy experiences of sheer excellence at New York establishments.
This week my wife and I dined at Del Posto and Gramercy Tavern. Two great meals in two great restaurants. The two meals both featured imaginative, excellent dishes but in totally different idioms, and both restaurants featured attentive, capable service, quite formal at Del Posto and more casual at Gramercy Tavern. Perhaps my best compliment is to say that they both made it look easy, while we know that running a great restaurant is among the most challenging of endeavors.
At Del Posto, we had the menu tradizionale, pictured below, with a couple of perfect substitutions for my wife, who can't eat beef and doesn't like eggs.
At Gramercy Tavern, I had a sublime corn custard, followed by a grilled and slow-roasted lamb duo and a peanut butter semi-freddo. Others had creative preparations of shrimp, duck and pork.
Neither experience comes cheap. The "menu tradizionale" at Del Posto is $145 without wine, and the three-course prix fixe at Gramercy Tavern is a relative bargain at $88, with tasting menus in triple digits. But they are both worth the price, for they provide not just great food but wonderful, total dining experiences.
Del Posto, 85 Tenth Avenue; Gramercy Tavern, 42 East 20th Street.