Dine & Wine at Del Posto…

Some people think they’re silly with all those books of 101 things to do and travel to, etc.  And in a way, I see their point, just do it. But on the other hand, I think you should have a bucket list that has meaning for you and have a sense of satisfaction as you cross them off. For me, life isn’t about things, but experiences.  And one of my bucket list items or experiences  is to have dinner at Del Posto in New York.

Why? Well, if you have to ask. It’s one of the few restaurants to go from a three stars to four stars from the New York Times from two separate food critics, plus, it just seems such a cool place with its imposing 24,000 square feet of space, plus a wine cellar of over 50,000 bottles with only a third listed on their wine list.

So when the Del Posto Cookbook by its former Exec Chef Mark Ladner came across my desk I was more than interested. Not for the recipes, as I’ve said before, I’m pretty useless in the kitchen. But for the inspiration and the wine pairings, as my Italian wine knowledge is woefully inadequate. Not all my fault, as the book points out, Italy boasts more than a thousand varietals which is astounding compared to France’s few hundred. There’s only so much my liver and pocketbook can take. It’s nice to have a cookbook like this that comes with recommended wine pairings.  So without further ado, here’s just a few of my fav food and wine pairings from Del Posto’s cookbook:

scallop crudo

Scallop Crudo – the sweet and salty raw scallop with a kiss of heat from full flavored ‘nduja sausage alongside herbal notes of asparagus, earthy mushrooms and scallions; add up to a pairing of Greco, a white grape found in southern Italy.

Fried Calamari – features a rich butter sauce infused with spicy peppers and briny capers, which calls for a wine with acidity and ample fruit. Nerello Mascalese, a red grape with deep smoky and bright fruit flavors that is well suited for this recipe.

Spaghetti with Dungeness Crab – the sweet crab and spicy peppers in this spaghetti call out for Rosato, a blush wine that bridges the white wine pairings served with the antipasti and the rich red wines paired with the secondo. Bisson’s rosato has lush and ripe notes that temper spice and enough minerality to elevate sweet shellfish.

spaghetti with dungeness crab

100 Layer Lasagne – the sweet tomato sauce begs for wines made from the Sangiovese grape Chianti or Brunello are good expressions for this pairing. But look to the coast, where the sun shines brighter and the fruit is sweeter. One of the best choices is Castello Romitorio’s Morellino di Scansano, a wine that is lush, bright and packed full of the classic cherry notes in Sangiovese.

Apicius Duck – Duck is always a friend of Pinot Noir, but the Apicius spices give this dish a distinct identity that lends itself to different wines. The wines of Piedmont from the northern foothills of the region to the southern towns of Barolo and Barbaresco, will pair well here.  Ferrando Carema is a classic Nebbiolo from the far north of Piedmont and a wonderful pairing.

apicius duck

Slow Cooked Lamb Alla Romana –  Both  the Lazio and the Campania regions offer great options when pairing the slightly gamy and savory qualities of lamb alla Romano.  Lots of blackberry  and spice notes  that are full-bodied  and show off the warmth and power of the south.

That’s just a small sampling of the recipes and wine pairing that await with a peruse of the Del Posto cookbook.  Mouthwatering desserts to create too.   If you like Italian food and wine, pick up a copy and invite me for dinner.  I’ll bring the wine.