Sunday, December 07, 2008
The long awaited Posto restaurant opened its doors in the old Veridian space at 14th and Corchoran Friday night!! We decided to try it last night (its second night), and I was pleasantly NOT surprised that it was VERY GOOD. You wouldn't know, save for the unfinished electrical work behind the host stand, that they're still ironing out the kinks. First off, the service is attentive and friendly. Our water glasses never got more than half empty. When a person in our party dropped a knife, a bus boy hurried over to replace it before she sat back up after picking it up. Secondly, the prices are very good for the quality of food. Following the popular trend of more accessibility vis a vis cheaper sister restaurants to upscale venues--a la Citronelle and Central; Marcel's and Brasserie Beck--the owners of up-market Tosca created this more democratic eatery. The menu consists of simple Northern Italian fare, using fresh, locally grown ingredients...and they even have a wood-fire oven for pizzas. The structure of the menu is, of course, italian with the first two courses appetizer-like. The first course (primi) is mainly a choice of salads and/or bits of protein, second (secondi) is mainly pasta or hearty soup, and the main course is the usual larger portion. I opted for a very lovely GRILLED OCTOPUS SALAD with frisee and other greens in a lemony fresh vinaigrette. Others in the party had the green salad with arugula and large thin slices of pepper parmeggiano. By the way, CORKAGE IS ONLY $20. So reasonable. We brought two bottles that they opened and minded for us. Again, the service is attentive for such a casual place. Actually the food reminds me of Sette, but the service and atmosphere ARE SO MUCH BETTER THAN SETTE. Instead of a main I got the secondi of a lightly fried, CREAMY POLENTA with a americiano sauce, which is basically a light red sauce sauteed with bacon. The balance of the tangy sauce worked well with the richness of the polenta. Jules had a delicious, and small, secondi of hand-made ravioli stuffed with walnuts and spinach in a light olive oil sauce. DELICIOUS. Our two guys got a main of BRAISED VEAL CHEEKS that were so melt-in-your-mouth savory, it tingled. The desserts were lovely. We had a fabulous SQUASH AND PINENUT SEMIFREDDO that was just the right amount of sweet with a bit of smokey carmelized popcorn and a yummy cinammon gelato. All very well balanced flavors! But if its chocolate and more chocolate that's your passion, there's the MARSCAPONE MOUSSE with a chocolate shot that our friends shared! Yummmm. And the best part? The prices. Low 20's or high teens for the mains eight to ten bucks for the primi and secondi's. They even treated us to a little Muscato, sweet sparkling wine after dinner! Given that the ingredients, service, and preparation were so good, we all agreed we'd come back. Unlike Veridian, where we made half-hearted attempts at returning to give them (many) second chances, POSTO made a great first impression and we whole-heartedly look forward to coming back for more!