If you have any interest at all in the Batali-Bastianich restaurants in general, Del Posto in particular, or great, one-of-a-kind chefs who haven’t ever gotten their due, check out the Observer’s profile of chef Mark Ladner. We’ve always said that Mark Ladner is one of the great unsung heroes of New York dining — both from his work at Lupa and now with what he’s done at Del Posto as its executive chef. Rangy, nerdy looking, egoless, and utterly passionate about the art of Italian cooking, Ladner hasn’t received a fraction of the ink afforded some of his flashier rivals, but if you can find anyone in the business with a bad word to say about him, you get around more than we do. The profile is also surprisingly candid about Del Posto, which Ladner considers a work-in-progress. Del Posto, he says, is “probably the least successful of all [the Batali restaurants], but we’ll win in the end.” As long as he’s cooking, they already have.
The hidden hero of the Batali empire. Photo: Patrick McMullan