At Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s Del Posto, everything is larger than life: Ceilings are over twenty feet high, an army of waiters fuss over tableside preparations and the almost all-Italian wine list is an epic 80-pages long. This is the pair’s over-the-top venture into four-star Italian dining in an exalted European style—there’s a piano player and a special grand tasting menu (the Collezione menu) that costs $500 a person. The food matches the sense of occasion, as executive chef Mark Ladner makes Italian food as luxurious as possible, such as his 100-layer-lasagna, alternating layers of béchamel, marinara and Bolognese sauce. Pastry chef Brooks Hadley’s desserts ingeniously mix sweet and savory, such as his goat-cheesecake balls rolled in olive oil and served with a celery sorbet.
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