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Mario Batali Plays Hero for an Anniversary Dinner

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A liquid dinner at Del Posto for the wife of comic Jim Gaffigan

Food Bank Of New York City Can Do Awards 2016 Hosted By Mario Batali - Inside
Mario Batali and Jim Gaffigan, center
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Food Bank of New York City

Must be nice to have star chef Mario Batali’s email on hand, as comedian Jim Gaffigan learned this week. The funny showman shared a touching story on Instagram Wednesday, in which he asked a vacationing Batali for an anniversary dinner recommendation in New York City. The catch: His wife Jeannie could only eat liquids after undergoing successful surgery to remove a life-threatening brain tumor.

Rather than send the Gaffigans to another restaurant, Batali “responded insisting that we come to Del Posto [which Batali owns] and that he would make sure we were well taken care of,” Gaffigan wrote. “When we arrived we saw that Mario had created a custom tasting menu of various gourmet soups with accompanied wines or cocktails. Of course the whole experience was insanely amazing but the generosity of kindness and compassion by Mario was most moving.”

The seven-course, entirely liquid menu included pea soup with pecorino cheese, seafood broth with marjoram, pig meat consomme, liquid pear with Thai basil syrup, and more. Jeannie Gaffigan shared a photo of her own on Instagram along with her appreciation.

For Batali’s part, he tells Eater in an email, “It went well. Jeannie finally got to eat a meal perfectly suitable for her difficulties. Chef Melissa is the hero; she actually made the soups and made it happen physically!”

That’s Melissa Rodriguez, who is now Del Posto’s executive chef. Rodriguez has a history of finding unique solutions to food problems — she’s the one who spearheaded the Italian fine dining restaurant’s vegan and gluten-free options.

Del Posto

85 10th Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10011 (212) 497-8090 Visit Website