Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Emperor's New Pasta

Forget everything you ever knew about pasta. The new pasta is the pasta-free pasta.

We learnt this at Del Posto last weekend, during one of a series of events to celebrate TLOML turning forty. Del Posto is our local special occasion restaurant of choice. Despite having eaten like kings at Quality Meats the night before, we decided to go for the thirty-four course tasting menu.
Okay, I'm exaggerating for effect. It was only 8 courses. Twelve if you include the bar nibbles, 2 rounds of amuse bouches and the takeaway box (more on that later). Whatever, it was the longest and largest meal of my life. We were eating at a steady pace for well over three hours.

We left the restaurant groaning and clutching our stomachs and agreeing that the veal course was overkill. And we would have settled for 50 layers of yesterday's lasagne, not all 100. (We also wondered if there was a discount for getting today's, rather than yesterday's lasagne, but fortunately were not gauche enough to ask the wait staff).

To give you an idea, here's the ostrich course. That's an ostrich carpaccio, an ostrich pate, and a date sealed in ostrich-stock-based aspic. And a barley crisp, obvs. This was actually a slightly controversial course for us, as the wine pairing was, in fact, a beer. A very nice beer but still... for what we were paying we kinda expected fine wines all the way. Anyway all those different ostriches were delicious.

Back to the pasta. Pasta nudi is not, it transpires, pasta served by the rotund waiter in the buff. In fact, it is pasta without pasta. Once you take the ravioli away, ricotta-stuffed ravioli becomes just, well, ricotta.
This is what 'nude' ricotto-stuffed ravioli looks like

I'm being sniffy because it's easy to poke fun at the pretentions of Del Posto. But me-oh-my it is incredibly good food. A most memorable dinner, fantastic service and a pianist playing Burt Baccarach. And the company was not half bad either - our favourite New Yorker and our favourite West Coast Rascal made for a perfect foursome.
And that takeaway box? Two perfect dark chocolate truffles in a jolly little gold box. Sigh. They gave our fridge a nice festive feel for a few hours but I could only resist so long... Perfect for breakfast the day after a 3000 calorie dinner.

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