Choose Between Two Options
- $85 for a six-course tasting menu for two (a $170 value)
- $150 for a six-course tasting menu for four (a $340 value)
Chef Ponte borrows influences from French and Italian cooking styles when designing his six-course tasting menu, which changes regularly according to seasonally available ingredients. The fall menu is rich with warming, hearty autumnal ingredients, such as the spice cream in the introductory course's curry pumpkin soup. The soup is followed by kale salad and then by butternut-squash gnocchi, which features hazelnut, brown-butter sauce, and mascarpone foam.
The fourth course arrives with a choice of wild Virginia sole with a parmesan-coriander crust and apple truffle-leek risotto, or prime new york strip with caramelized brussels sprout and onion confit. Artisanal cheeses and a dessert tasting follow the main course, capping each dining experience with the flavors of flourless chocolate cake, spiced pumpkin cheesecake, and poached pear/salted caramel pecan tart.
For an additional $35, diners may accentuate each course with a 3-ounce wine tasting selected by Chef Ponte. Bottles of elegant French reds can be found in the restaurant's wine library, along with varietals from regions in Italy, Germany, and Spain.
After graduating Johnson & Wales University in 1991, Chef Christopher Ponte began his career at Pepper Mill Restaurant. The chef had been accommodating special requests for one of Pepper Mill Restaurant's picky patrons for many months. It always took extra work to conjure up off-menu items, but Christopher didn't complain. He loved cooking. One day, the customer asked to meet the chef, and Christopher obligingly came to greet him at the table. As conversation casually flowed, the elderly gentleman asked, "What would the young man like to do in the future?"
Without hesitation, Christopher said, "Study in France."
Mere months later, thanks to the patronage of one very happy customer and Long Island retiree, Christopher Ponte enrolled at the Le Cordon Bleu culinary institute, one of France's most iconic schools. He made excellent use of his time there—including apprenticing at Paris' Taillevent. Chef Ponte returned stateside to apprentice with Daniel Boulud at his self-titled restaurant, Daniel. With this wealth of experience, in 2002, Chef Ponte opened Café Ponte. Awarded a Golden Spoon and a Zagat rating as one of the top area restaurants, his unabashedly adventuresome menu sizzles with European and Asian influences. The 250-seat dining room hosts its guests at intimate tabletops or a zigzag bar, which serves seasonal cocktails and fine wines from an eclectic wine list.