Choose Between Two Options
- $90 for a six-course fall tasting menu for two ($180 value)
- $160 for a six-course fall tasting menu for four ($360 value)
Chef Ponte borrows influences from French and Italian cooking styles when designing his six-course tasting menu, which changes regularly according to seasonal ingredients. The fall menu is rich with warming, hearty autumnal ingredients, such as the spice mascarpone cream in the introductory course’s butternut-squash soup. The soup is followed by winter-green salad and then by bolognese, which features mini butternut rigatoni, lamb, beef, pork, cream, San Marzano tomatoes, and herb ricotta.
The fourth course arrives with a choice of branzino with a parmesan crust and autumn-squash risotto, or prime new york strip with chimichurri pesto. Artisanal cheeses and a dessert of chocolate semifreddo with peanut-butter macaroon conclude the meal.
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. This deal makes a great gift for the holidays.
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's 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.