Northern Italian Style Shrimp Scampi in Bay Area?
- SteveTimko Oct 7, 2006 02:27 AM
About six years ago I tried the shrimp scampi appetizer at Fior d'Italia and loved it.
It doesn't look like I'll be able to make it to the restaurant at the new location.
Does anyone know of another restaurant that makes a tomato-based shrimp scampi instead of a butter and white wine based Sicilian style?
Frankly, I've never heard of a tomato based "shrimp scampi". Some clarification might help. Scampi is a crustacean found in the Adriatic, similar to shrimp/lagostino/rock shrimp/ prawn/whatever. It is quite rare in the U.S. these days, and very expensive. In many Tuscan restaurants, scampi is lightly floured and sauteed in wine, butter and garlic. It is a delicate sweet dish. While there are other cooking methods, the light saute is prevalent. Since scampi is so rare and expensive, many restaurants cook shrimp or prawns the same way. They have adopted the name "shrimp scampi" to denote shrimp sauteed in wine butter and garlic. It would not be surprising to find Southern Italian cooks adding tomato sauce. Many purists would consider that sacrilege, but there is no accounting for taste. Good luck in your quest, but you might consider ordering "shrimp scampi" and ask the cook to toss in a bit of marinara sauce.
I found another restaurant that made a tomato-based shrimp scampi but it was nothing like Fior d'Italia. The fact that I've found two tells me it's not unique. The waiter told us the tomato was the northern way of doing it, although I know tomatoes are more associated with southern Italy.
Closest dish that comes to mind is the Prawns Provinciale at the North Beach Restaurant which can be prepared ineither a fresh tomato or white wine,lemon and butter sauce.