Change has come to Posto and the intended objective is to make the restaurant even better than before. I have long been a fan of Posto so I was intrigued to see what the changes would bring. Last week, I was invited to a media dinner to check out some of those changes, and speak to them about what else might be coming for Posto. I am pleased to say that the quality of the food remains as high as ever.
The menu has been revised in both substance and layout. It now is a single page menu, broken down into Antipasti (11 choices from $2.50-$14), Ensalate (4 choices from $10-$13), Paste (6 choices from $17-$19), Carne E Pesce (5 choices from $18-$26), and Pizze (12 choices from $11-$19). They have kept some of the long time favorites, like the Arancini and Nonna's Meatballs. The menu also changes around every 3-4 days, though only about 2-3 items change each time. Some of the changes are seasonal, such as taking the Bolognese and Carbonara off the summer menu though they will return when the hot weather is over. The menu continues to present plenty of diversity, an assortment of dishes that should appeal to all preferences.
They no longer offer Brunch though you could visit their other restaurant, The Painted Burro, for Brunch. (And if you go, get the meatloaf!) As for future changes to the Posto menu, they are considering the possibility of adding Charcuterie or even a Cheese program.
The beverage program has also seen some changes. The cocktail list now includes a selection of Aperitivo, Cocktails made with house infused spirits, house made limoncello and simple syrups, in addition to selections of local and international draft and bottled beer. Cocktails are generally priced $9-$12 and they carry about 15 beers and a pear cider, priced from $6-$9.
The wine list, which is about 90% Italian, offers 32 wines by the glass, priced $8-$22, with most $12 or under. They have some good diversity, including some more artisan wines, and they are seeking to expand their choices. Wines by the bottle are generally priced about $36-$100, however the markup on many of those wines is 3 times the usual retail, which means the markup from their cost is even higher. I would like to see a lesser markup, which I think would lead to increased wine sales. They are also seeking ways to keep their wines available by the glass at a better temperature.
We started the evening with an Aperol Spritz ($10/glass, $34/pitcher), made from Aperol, Prosecco, and Soda water. A pleasant and refreshing summer cocktail with a balance of sweet and bitter.
2012 Poderi Cellario Favorita. Made from the Favorita grape, a white grape grown primarily in the Piedmont, this wine was crisp and clean, with delicious pear and citrus flavors, as well as hints of floral and herbal elements. A delicious and more unique wine, it was food friendly too, and a welcome addition to their wine list.
2009 Guido Porro "Vigna Santa Catarina" Barbera d'Alba. Light and fruity, with a touch of spice and earthiness, it is a fine food wine as well as something you could enjoy on its own. This wine is going to appeal to most wine lovers, seeking a simple wine to savor and enjoy.
The Marinara, with sliced garlic, oregano, and parmesan, is a basic pizza, sure to appeal to the picky pizza lovers. The Mais comes with sweet corn, fontina, applewood bacon, grape tomato, and basil puree, offering a nice balance of sweet and salty flavors. The Salsiccia is made with fennel sausage, whipped ricotta, and a pistachio nut pesto. There was plenty of tender sausage, complemented by the creamy ricotta and nutty pesto. Pizza is always a fine option at Posto.
Christina's in Cambridge and their Cannoli from Modern Pastry. We had their Panna Cotta, a lemon basil flavor with strawberry and shortbread. Though Panna Cotta usually doesn't impress me much, this was different, the creaminess making for a more compelling dish.
2012 Vietti Cascinetta Moscato d'Asti, a crisp, lightly sweet, and fruity wine with a bit of frizzante. Nice flavors of peach and citrus, it is well balanced with a pleasant finish. This is not one of those overly sweet Moscatos that some people enjoy. This is a more serious wine, which should please many wine lovers.
Damilano Barolo Chinato, said to be similar to an offspring of Vermouth and Amaro. Posto has 4 Chinato on their wine list, and this is supposed to be the sweetest of the four. Chinato starts with a base of Barolo and then adds an herb infused alcohol, which contains quinine bark and some 21 other spices and herbs (such as rhubarb, gentian, orange peels, cloves, and cardamom seeds). As the quinine bark is known as "china" in Italian, that is the derivation of the name chinato. Legend states that Barolo Chinato was invented in the 1800s by a pharmacist seeking to create a medicinal potion. It is an interesting wine, with a savory blend of spices and some bitterness, though not to the level of a Fernet Branca. The sweetness, which is still relatively low, balances out the bitterness. There is plenty of complexity in the Chinato, and you get some of the usual Barolo flavors too.
Posto remains as one of my favorite restaurants, and the changes have not diminished the quality in the least. The changes have largely been positive and I think the restaurant will continue to improve, rather than remain stagnant. My only concern is with the high markup on their wines, which is a problem with many restaurants, and far from unique to Posto. If you haven't been to Posto, or haven't been there in some time, then you should make the effort to dine there and experience some delicious Italian food, from small plates to pizza, from pasta to seafood.