Joseph Bastianich is a chef and restauranteur who has partnered with Mario Batali on multiple restaurants, including the fiercely lauded West Village spot Del Posto. That restaurant recently snagged a rare four-star review from critic Sam Sifton at The New York Times, and now has the right to consider itself among the best dining spots in the city. It’s the first Italian restaurant to earn four stars — the highest possible praise from The Times — since 1974.
As Del Posto co-owner Bastianich is an arbiter of taste nonpareil, and would be loathe to ignore any new items tickling the city’s most established palates. Naturally, then, the man must have a definitive stance on the dish of the moment that’s simply all the rage: the spaghetti taco.
It turns out Joseph Bastianich is an enormous fan of that odd new culinary concoction. “I think it’s brilliant,” he told Grub Street, at the Magic Martinis and Mario event. “I think my kids would love spaghetti tacos. In fact, if I didn’t have to come to this event tonight, I was going to go home and make my kids spaghetti meatball tacos.”
But Bastianich knows that the joy of taco shells stuffed with spaghetti noodles swimming in meaty red sauce is certainly not just for kids. So, he brainstorms a few more high-end varieties of the famous spaghetti taco, as well.
“I would put a bolognese with lots of tomatoes and mini meatballs,” he said. “I think soft taco, not hard. If I wanted to do a Mexicali riff, I’d do soft tacos. You could riff and do branzino tacos with arugula salad and Tuscan olive oil and avocados and soft corn tortillas.”
Well, we can look past some of his more blasphemous ideas (A soft tortilla? With a spaghetti taco? Come on, Joe). But regardless, the prospect of spaghetti tacos at Del Posto is breathtaking. That restaurant certainly earns its stars.