I don't even know where to start this post. I am still reveling in the memories of eating one of the best meals of my life last week at Del Posto Ristorante in New York City. I've been watching Del Posto for a while now once I learned they were trying to make a gluten-free version of every item on their menu. Then, after I saw this video
, I knew I had to go. Well, restaurant dreams do come true, my friends. Last Friday, I had an impressive multi-course tasting menu carefully prepared by Chef Mark Ladner.
I recently connected with Chef Ladner via Twitter. (God, I love the power of social media). I saw a news item about his upcoming gluten-free Pasta Flyer project
and I got excited. (stay tuned for exciting details later this week!) Quick, healthy, and gluten-free pasta bowls for busy people on the go? Where do I get one?! Chef Ladner and I started actively emailing to chat about this new project and then I got invited in for lunch.
The chef himself invited little old ME for lunch. Flattered, honored, and beyond excited are just a few of those emotions that flooded through me. To say I was nervous to eat lunch was an understatement. And this wasn't nerves of being afraid of gluten, this was nervous energy to finally eat at one of my bucket list restaurants
in the world!
|The beautiful dining room at Del Posto. Behind those stairs sits a live pianist!|
My meal was extraordinary. Dish after beautifully-plated gluten-free dish was served to me by a steady stream of extremely professional waitstaff. Service was impeccable and as I watched the busy dining room, I knew I wasn't get special treatment because I am a blogger. This was just how it is at Del Posto. Professional and luxury dining at its best. There is a reason Del Posto
has "a four-star New York Times rating, one Michelin star, a Relais & Chateaux distinction, a grand award from The Wine Spectator and five Mobile Diamonds." This is dining at its absolute finest! Chef Mark Ladner
is also a 2012 and 2013 James Beard Award
Not only was the food gorgeous and the service great, but the Chef went out of his way to talk to me during and after my meal. I felt very honored that Chef Ladner came and sat with me to talk about the Celiac community, his gluten-free trial and error in the kitchen, and how he wants every diner in his restaurant to be treated equally. There is no judgement if you have allergies, preferences, or Celiac needs at Del Posto. You are a customer and you will be fed. Simple as that.
Now on to the food! My captions will do these dishes no justice. I was too busy eating and admiring each dish to remember the exact names of the food. I just know it was beautiful and delicious and all gluten-free!
|Dehydrated rice penne|
|Local, spring vegetable salad|
|Veal ravioli with asparagus|
The thing that really impressed me most about Chef Ladner is his dedication to getting his gluten-free recipes just right. He uses Thomas Keller's Cup 4 Cup flour
blend in the kitchen. He spent YEARS getting the pasta just right. And let me tell you, he nailed it! Fluffy, airy focaccia bread. 100-layer lasagna with the thinnest gluten-free noodles I have seen in my life! Ravioli!!! He puts a tremendous amount of effort into each gluten-free dish to make sure the Celiac customer's dining experience is no different from a "regular" customer. Chef Ladner does not have celiac nor is he gluten-free, he just makes delicious food and accepts the challenge of gluten-free cooking. I truly believe he has gone above and beyond for the gluten-free customer and is one of the most impressive chefs I've ever met who is feeding the gluten-free community.
|Gluten-free focaccia bread with rosemary and thyme|
|I never eat fish because I am always afraid it's going to be "fishy." This halibut was perfect. |
Chef, please note, you got me to eat fish. That's a HUGE accomplishment in itself!
|100-layer gluten-free lasagna. Yes, you read that correctly... ONE HUNDRED LAYERS|
Del Posto is definitely a special occasion restaurant. This would be perfect to celebrate birthdays, retirements, or anniversaries. It might be a bit pricey for some people, but it is definitely worth every dollar. If you are looking to get a taste of what Del Posto has to offer, I highly recommend lunch. At $39 per person for a prix fixe lunch, you are getting quite a bargain at this high-end restaurant. Make your reservations early because they fill up quickly. This is not a place to be missed.
|Palette cleanser: rhubarb granata with rhubarb compote and cucumber ice|
|Butterscotch semi freddo with plums and cherries|
|Housemade "candies" including edible rice paper filled with champagne vinaigrette caramel. |
|Presented to me as "chocolate with some chocolate on top of chocolate"|
Thank you so much Chef Mark Ladner and the staff of Del Posto for such an amazing dining experience. This post cannot really express how much I appreciate what Chef Ladner is doing for the gluten-free community. He has raised the bar for gluten-free dining to a new all-time high! The Chef's approach to making the gluten-free dining experience so "normal" is what stood out to me the most... after the delicious food, of course. Instead of seeing our dietary restrictions as an annoyance, Chef Ladner has embraced the challenge of gluten-free cooking. In my opinion, there are very few people that do this for our community. My lunch last Friday was so special to me and I feel lucky that we made the connection via Twitter.
I cannot wait to help share the Pasta Flyer efforts in the upcoming weeks. If this meal at Del Posto is any indication of what's to come with Pasta Flyer, we are in EXCELLENT hands.
THANK YOU, CHEF MARK LADNER!
Del Posto Ristorante
|Me with Executive Chef Mark Ladner of Del Posto|
85 10th Ave.
New York, NY 10011
I met a lovely woman dining next to me who wondered if I was a food critic. I was beyond flattered. I told her I am a gluten-free blogger and she proceeded to tell me her son-in-law had been diagnosed with Celiac Disease just two weeks ago! She said as a big foodie living in Europe, he was devastated. I told her he shouldn't be and that I was living proof that life goes on. I was sitting eating at Del Posto, wasn't I? I wished her son-in-law well and hope that he soon enjoys (gluten-free) food again!