First off, who’s Dario Cecchini? I never heard of him until Mike told me, but, when I learned a legendary butcher from Panzano, Italy was cooking a 5 course meal at Del Posto, I couldn’t really resist.
Mike, Harry, and I started our four hour culinary adventure with drinks and some tasty hors d’oeuvres, and, after we sat down, Mario Batali did an intro.
And Dario, speaking in Italian with interpretation by his wife Kim, explained that we were in for a whole cow dinner.
That started with what Dario called “Chianti Sushi”, or beef tartare. One part entirely raw along with a ball with a rosemary sprig in it that was seared on the bottom. Excellent presentation.
I’m all about meatballs these days, but the baked meatball in the second course didn’t really interest me. The third course, however, was superb. Tenerumi in Insalata, which was boiled beef knees with a raw vegetable salad. It wasn’t very photogenic, so I don’t have a shot of it, but the meat was really delicous.
Dario got up between each dish to explain what we were eating, which I really enjoyed. He’s very charismatic and high energy, and he joked that that it was hard to make this dish because there isn’t much meat on a knee and a cow only has 4 of them.
Next up was the Florentine Roast Beef. You know that was good.
Dario and Kim popped by our table at one point. Kim started thanking me for some mozzerella I gave them, but she must have confused with Harry.
Fontodi wines, also from Panzano, accompanied dinner, and, when the Flaccianello 2000 came out around the 4th course, we really took notice. A very pleasurable Sangiovese.
After the roast beef was the Carne in Galera, or “prison beef.” Dario said it was called this because it derived from a dish prisons served using less choice cuts of beef which they had to cook for hours to make tender. Dario’s version used neck meat cooked for 6 hours with Tuscan herbs. Its deep and rich meaty flavor was another favorite and well worth a trip to the big house.
I had a big meeting in Ohio the next day so I left after the first dessert, but what Mike called a “crazy chocolate thingamajig” came out after I left.
It was a leisurely and luxurious evening. The setting downstairs at Del Posto was elegant with barrelled ceilings and tables set with candelabras.
We sat next to the celebrity table, and watching Batali, Gwyneth Paltrow, David Chang, and Joe and Lidia Bastianich was part of the entertainment.
I’m looking forward to Dario’s next visit.