Choose Between Two Options
- $85 for a six-course spring tasting menu of contemporary American cuisine for two ($170 value)
- $150 for a six-course spring tasting menu of contemporary American cuisine for four ($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 spring menu brims with bright, fresh produce, such as the breakfast radishes and baby loom tomatoes in the second-course salad—which also includes Nueske smoked applewood bacon, Maytag blue cheese, and an herb-buttermilk dressing—preceded by a chilled bowl of white asparagus soup sprinkled with parmesan and bits of proscuitto. Next, an herb-ricotta gnocchi graces the table to fill the air with aromas of San Marzano tomato sauce, micro basil, and grana padano cheese.
For the fourth course, diners may choose between a deconstructed Maine lobster pot pie with fennel, truffles, and plentiful spring vegetables; or an Asian-inspired Sterling Silver flat-iron steak with a szechuan-peppercorn sauce, wasabi mashed potatoes, shiitake-goat-cheese rangoon, and edamame pesto. An artisanal cheese course then readies palates for the final dish, a dessert tasting that features flourless chocolate cake, lavender-blueberry crème brûlée, and a strawberry tart.
For an additional $35, a chef's wine pairing can be added to each course. Servings are 3 ounces per pour.
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.