Posto Pubblico is back in business after a minor interior facelift – just a tiny nip and tuck in the dining area to smooth its edges and a new al fresco booth to open up the restaurant to the street – but big things have been going on in the kitchen and the menu’s undergone a refreshing transformation while still staying true to its Italian-American roots. Here are some of our favourite dishes from the new menu:
Cold antipasti platter
The variety of the cold antipasti platter ($269) kept us occupied and coming back for more. With the homemade cheeses gone in a flash of greedy forks, we leisurely sampled our way through four kinds of salumi and crunchy pickled vegetables. The chopped kale salad ($149), crowned with candied hazelnuts, red onion and ricotta and drizzled in a chilli vinaigrette, harkened back to the fine consistency of a tabbouleh and energised our taste buds for the heavier Italian flavours to follow.
As the champion of meatballs, we always expect big things of Chef Vinny Lauria’s veal meatballs ($142), and this Posto Pubblico favourite has remained just that: tender, flavourful, slightly crumbly in texture and delightfully cheesy. They’re a great size for sharing, especially right before you plough into all those #carbs.
Tuscan-style garlic bread
Marinated octopus with fettunta
Garlic bread lovers will want to get their hands on Posto’s Tuscan-style garlic bread ($98), a whole Italian loaf stuffed with homemade mozzarella cheese and pesto, as well as the fettunta that’s served alongside the marinated octopus ($149). What’s fettunta, you ask? Oh, just garlic bread taken to the next level: thick grilled slices rubbed with raw garlic and drizzled with olive oil and salt. Mmm…
Homemade tagliatelle alla gricia
If garlic bread’s not quite your thing – hey, not judging – there are plenty of other carb-y options to be had. Posto’s homemade ravioli ($169), in the shape of half-moon pillows, are stuffed with homemade mozzarella and ricotta and served with a red vodka sauce and spicy n’duja chunks, with each raviolo coming out pretty substantial without being too heavy. The homemade tagliatelle alla gricia ($174), a thoroughly tried-and-true execution in all aspects, also made an impression on us in all its ribbon-y glory, tossed in a garlicky white wine sauce flecked with succulent pork jowl for a salty umami kick.
Cacio e pepe
The deceptively plain cacio e pepe ($158) made a trendy comeback a few years ago and may only require a whopping total of three ingredients – spaghetti, Pecorino Romano cheese and black peppercorn – but this recipe’s method makes or breaks the dish. Though it takes more skill than I possess to create the magic that turns water and cheese into a creamy sauce, the team at Posto have got the technique down pat, serving up bouncy spaghetti with a smooth, peppery sauce clinging to its strands. This is one of those dishes that you dig into, thinking, What’s the big deal? I can make this at home! – until you actually try and fail spectacularly, ending up with bland, stringy pasta swimming in a shallow puddle of lukewarm water along with chunky blobs of poorly grated cheese. Yeah, just don’t bother.
New York strip loin
We were treated to a visit to meat lovers’ paradise with a sweet pork sausage ($179) on a bed of pepper and onion, a New York strip loin ($300) with a ruby-red centre and secret homemade sauce and pork braciole ($248), a traditional meatloaf-esque log stuffed with Pecorino, roasted garlic and – how’s this for keeping things interesting? – pak choi. After the onslaught of quite conservative dishes that kept true to the Italian-American spirit, we quite enjoyed this very Asian twist on braciole, especially appreciating the creative adoption of locally available produce.
Posto Pubblico’s revitalised menu and sweeping appeal keep its time-honoured Italian-American cuisine in good hands. Be it salads and healthy greens, a meat lovers’ paradise or a carb-tastic fiesta that you have in mind, the team make the most of what’s available on the local organic produce circuit and craft stunning, yet humble, dishes that send Italian-American love right to the tummy. We love the straightforward presentation that reminds us of homestyle cooking – just slap it on a dish or in a bowl and serve it to the hungry masses – and that makes us feel like we’re right at home when making a mess on our plate.
28 Elgin Street, SoHo, Central, 2577 7160
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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