Del Posto has become one tough table since its four-star promotion in the Times. So how to sample its haute Italian cooking without waiting two months and dropping $300? “In a word,” famdoc suggests, “lunch.”

A high point of his $29, three-course meal was wild striped bass, done to a turn (one recent preparation came with bagna cauda and warm radicchio salad). Roasted root vegetables and whole-wheat pasta with chickpea sauce rounded out a fabulous repast. This isn’t your ordinary midday feed, so block out ample time—famdoc’s lunch clocked in at nearly three hours—and expect amuses galore, classy service, and even Del Posto’s customary evening piano music, played by an actual pianist. “We felt like special guests,” says the doc. “Highly recommended.”

Del Posto [Chelsea]
85 10th Avenue (between W. 15th and 16th streets), Manhattan

Discuss: Del Posto: How to get the four-star experience without waiting two months and spending $300

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