The best Italian restaurant according to the New York Times is Del Posto on 10th Avenue, Lynda and I would tend to agree,
It's a spectacular room, marble staircase with lit candles on every step, high ceilings and Italian sculptures and art worthy of a castle. We're greeted by a young woman who admires your humble narrator's Venezia T-shirt as a memory of her home town, and directed to a table where Lynda and I sit side-by-side with a view of the room.
Our waiter is a personable young man from Sicily, who chats with us about New York and his family visiting his home in Forest Hills.
We decide on the Il Menu Del Posto, a five-course meal with a Chianti from the extensive iPad menu. Chef brings out some amuse bouches which are delightful, and a range of breads with hme-whipped butters. Lynda starts with the lobster, I go with the Truffled Beef Carne Cruda, a steak tartare with amusing crunchy bits of something called salsify. Then there's two pasta dishes, gluten-free as we chose, with a lobster pansoti and a crab spaghetti, Struggling a little, we weave our way through the Secondi, a nice lobster dish and my choice of lamb. The Californian lamb is the most tender and flavoursome I have experienced, melt-in-the-mouth and cooked to perfection.
There's live music from a pianist with subtle variations on tunes as diverse as The Beatles' Julia and the soundtrack from Les Demoiselles de Rochefort. Very pleasing and atmospheric.
The desserts are a trap, I go with the butterscotch semi-freddo with a tasty dessert sherry, Lynda chooses the Sweet Pea Pannacotta (which is insane and delicious) and a matching thin port.
A cafe corretto with a slug of grappa over petit fours rounds off the superb experience.
And chocolates to take home, yum.