New York’s storied Italian destination, Wine Spectator Grand Award winner Del Posto, has permanently closed. The news was announced April 12 by the restaurant’s executive chef, Melissa Rodriguez, and general manager, Jeff Katz. The duo also revealed that they’ve teamed up with chef James Kent to purchase the space in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood from B & B Hospitality Group, with plans to fill it with three new concepts this fall.
Since debuting in 2005, Del Posto has been known as one of the top Italian restaurants in the country. Most recently helmed by wine director Evan Clagnaz, the wine program first earned a Grand Award in 2008 for numerous strengths including Italy and Champagne. Rodriguez was named executive chef in 2017, further cementing the restaurant’s reputation during her tenure.
Though the closure just became official, Del Posto stopped service in the spring of 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic before auctioning off its 40,000-bottle wine collection at Chicago’s Hart Davis Hart Wine Co.
The upcoming concepts are still in the works but will include a bar, pizzeria and fine-dining restaurant. There are few other details available at this time; however, the team did share that they’ll be starting from “scratch” following a renovation of the dining space, and that the fine-dining restaurant and pizzeria will share a wine cellar.—Taylor McBride
Manresa Starts Residency at Intersect by Lexus
California chef David Kinch is bringing his Best of Award of Excellence–winning Manresa to Intersect by Lexus in New York City’s Meatpacking District. The three-story, multifunctional space is a collaboration with Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group that’s been hosting rotating restaurant residencies since 2018. This marks Intersect’s sixth residency, following restaurants such as Sergio Barroso’s Restaurante 040 in Chile, Gregory Marchand’s Frenchie in Paris and, most recently, Mashama Bailey’s the Grey in Savannah, Ga., which ended its run April 4.
Manresa’s takeover kicks off April 30 and runs through August. The Los Gatos, Calif., restaurant has been temporarily closed by the pandemic since March 2020, but will reopen May 19. “[Intersect’s team] came out to California and spent several days in our little universe, met all of our team members and were really receptive to our ideas and philosophy,” Kinch told Wine Spectator. “They have worked closely with us to incorporate unique details into the residency that reflect our Manresa ethos.”
Intersect beverage director Gabi Neuberg created a wine selection that’s smaller than Manresa’s list (90 labels compared to 1,000), but similarly focuses on California’s Santa Cruz Mountains. The program will also offer Champagnes, Burgundies and other picks from France, Italy and Germany. “I was very inspired by Manresa's wine list in creating the list for Intersect,” Neuberg said. “I would love for guests to experience the same magic of Manresa without leaving New York.”
Intersect’s executive chef, Nickolas Martinez, will oversee the kitchen. There are à-la-carte options and a 14-course tasting menu highlighting Kinch’s farm-driven cuisine, with a mix of signature dishes as well as newer innovations. Expect items like roasted aged duck with fermented carrot juice, Japanese beef with salt-baked onions, sea-bream sashimi and salted butter ice cream. Also premiering April 30 is Intersect’s new outdoor-dining pavilion, as well as a Japanese-influenced concept by Martinez called the Lounge. It will be located on the first floor, in the former café-and-gallery space, serving cocktails and small plates.
The Manresa residency isn’t the first time that Kinch has hit the road with his team. In 2017, they celebrated the restaurant’s 15th anniversary by traveling to France to collaborate with three acclaimed kitchens in Paris, Provence and Marseille. The trip became the subject of a 2020 documentary, A Chef’s Voyage.—Collin Dreizen
Charlie Palmer Steak NYC Opens in Former Aureole Space
Chef Charlie Palmer’s eponymous steak-house brand with four Restaurant Award–winning locations has a new outpost in New York. Opened April 15, Charlie Palmer Steak NYC is located at One Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan. The space formerly housed Aureole, Palmer’s Best of Award of Excellence winner that pivoted into a to-go concept this summer after the pandemic forced it to close last March.
Head sommelier Tyler Newell, who also ran the wine program at Aureole, will oversee Charlie Palmer Steak’s wine program of about 1,000 selections. Thirty wines are available by the glass. Since some of the inventory was kept from the former restaurant, Newell says the list does have “a kiss of Aureole,” but with a slightly different focus. “The previous list had a huge emphasis on Burgundy, Bordeaux and California, and that will be similar,” Newell told Wine Spectator. “But being a steak house, we can see a greater demand for some full-bodied reds.”
He’s planning to bolster those already-strong sections, which offer verticals from top producers such as Bordeaux’s Château Lynch Bages and Burgundy’s Domaine Ramonet. Additionally, Newell is looking forward to rounding out those classic regions with more big reds from places like Spain, Portugal, Australia and New Zealand.
There are still plenty of sparklers, white wines and rosés to pair with lighter dishes on Palmer's menu. For example, Newell suggests matching a Champagne with selections from the full raw bar or a crisp Albariño with Moore’s tuna tartare. He adds that guest demand will be the driving force as the wine list continues to evolve, especially in times like these. “We’re being more angular and open to listening to our guests,” he said. “We’re all excited to welcome everyone back.”—Julie Harans
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