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Apr 4, 2008 10:09 AM

Dinner at Scampo- Report

Had dinner at Scampo last night.Wonderful! According to the hostess, last night was the first night of full operation. Wednesday night was reservations only.
The restaurant is on the main floor of the hotel with a separate entrance immediately to the left of the front door to the Hotel. There are three steps down, but for those needing access, there is an elevator immediately as you enter which will bring you to the lobby so you can enter without stairs. Valet parking is validated in the retaurant- 3 hours for $10.
The room is very nice. As you enter there is a seating area whichoddly has a very long table and a couple of small tables. On the right is a U-shaped bar which seats about 15 people. On the other side of the bar is the dining area. Off white leather seats, pleasant sort of modern Italian decor. In the middle of the restaurant opposite the bar is an open kitchen. This kitchen is obviously not making all the food- there were about 6 people with chef's hats filling bread, pizza and salad/ appetizer orders.
The menu lists about five different bread items for $5-7 each. So, you assume they do not serve bread. However, after we placed our bread order, we were served complimentary crispy bread sticks with a fava bean puree with pignoli- delicious. The bread choices were garlic, focaccio, naan, another which was described as a pizza dough with a filling and a roti with or without chicken curry. We had the garlic bread which was excellent- charred on the grill, a little oily and flavorful with slices of garlic. A generous portion enough for 2.
The menu lists a few pizzas, spaghetti in several preparations, and house made mozzarella prepared about five ways. About 6 appetizer, a list of housemade pasta dishes, about 6 entrees, a sirloin -6 or 12 oz. and a wagyu sirloin -market price; a $50 lobster dish and dover sole for 2 @ $85.
I had the burrata on a crisp bread with cherry tomatoes and micro greens. Very delicious. A burrata BLT was also an option. DC had fried artichokes with hummous. Artichokes were somewhat overpowered by cheese and the hummous was ok.
For entrees, DC had a handmade pasta with zucchini and cockles which he said was incredibly delicious {he almost picked up the bowl to drink the remainder of the broth]. I had a cod with crab and cockles which was really outstanding.
We shared a dessert of fresh strawberries with zabaglione. Very rich and the strawberries were very good.
Service was amazing. Very attentive but not overbearing. The weird thing was the amount of people working. There were 6 people wearing chef's hats at the bread/ ppizza kitchen. There were at least 10 bus boys/ back waiters wearing striped prison t-shirts. Plus about 5 waiters. A couple of waiters were amusing- soooo Italian, big tall heavy men with heavy Italian accents. DC was wondering if their ad for bartenders said something like " female bartenders with breast enhancements willing to wear low cut sweaters wanted."
He kept saying he needed to go sit at the bar.
Lydia Shire was there and came around to speak to everyone. She was very nice and friendly and clearly pleased with her new place. [she also confirmed for me that Susan Regis is still at her new restaurant in York Me- "Blue Sky"]. The general manager as well as the hostess [who was a bartender at Locke-Ober for 6 years] also came around to all of the tables to chat.
The total bill for one martini, 3 glasses of wine, bread, two appetizers, two entrees, one dessert and 1 double espresso was $140 (before tip). Quite reasonable for excellent food and great service.
BTW- we walked in without a reservation at about 5:45 and it was never completely full.

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  1. Great review! Some things you describe remind me a little of Pignoli. I'm glad to hear Regis has landed back with Lydia.

    1. Loved reading your review! And, thank you for the access info. Very nice.

      2 Replies
        1. re: emilief

          That's very kind of you emilief!! I really appreciate it. Thank you.

      1. I wish I could remember the name of the bartender at Locke Ober who I think may be the hostess you refer to. She used to bartend at Vox P. then was at LO for a while. Short hair, glasses, a few extra pounds, really cool and nice. Sound familiar?

        $140 sounds like much more of a bargain than I was expecting.

        12 Replies
        1. re: Joanie

          Glasses but not real short hair, but very curly hair, brown with sort of gold streaks. Very nice. The Cod with crab and cockles was $24, I think the pasta dish was about $18.Wine, $11 per glass.Appetizers around $10-12.

          1. re: emilief

            Is that Cara? Probably one of the best Negroni makers in the city.

            1. re: Wursthof

              Did she formerly hold court at the old Restaurant Zinc? I've been trying to track her down for years, a very fine bartender. A stint at Vox would explain why I lost track of her (terrible place), but I get into L-O a few times a year, and had never seen her there.

              1. re: Wursthof

                Yes, it is Carah from Locke Ober. She's the new AGM @ Scampo.

              1. re: bearisland

                And for ther record-----> Mario Capone is the Chef along with Lydia @ Scampo-----> Susan Regis is in Maine @ Blue Sky....

                  1. re: bearisland

                    I've been a fan of Cara for years..great bartender..wonderful person.

                    I think some of you are making too big a deal about the "few extra pounds" comment. I'm sure Joanie meant no insult.

                    BTW, I have a few extra pounds too..occupational hazard of being a devoted CH..:)

                    On topic, I have friends that went to a family and friends dinner and were very impresssed with Scampo. I've also been a fan of Lydia Shire's from the Biba days and looking forward to going. They mentioned the lobster pizza is on the menu and that was always a hit.

                1. Emilief thank you. We had a wonderful evening and meal. Lydia came over almost immediately to advise that the room was not yet " done". Banquettes on order but we found the room to be warm and inviting. The menu on first pass is dizzying. Couldn't make choices as so many things we wanted to try again ( memories of Pignole) We shared the lobster pizza ( $24 and worth it ) and mozzarella with aubergine. Just really really fine. DH had the pork chop which was crusty and juicy and huge. I did the brick chicken which seemed to me almost to be terrific fried chicken with house made potato chips. We shared the caramel brulee for dessert and anticipated our return . I think Boston is on a food roll right now with Hungry Mother, Benatti, Scampo and so many tried and trues like Rendezvous, Green Street, Pigalle and Salts. !!!! Good for us .

                  1. do they have a website up yet?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Kodiak604

                      Not yet and Opentable will start online reservations tomorrow